Food: Heinz Ketchup

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by rhombusleech.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by rhombusleech.

Actually, I had something different planned for today’s post. Then I typed “No. 57” in the subject line…and the perfect Great American Thing for today came to mind. Heinz Ketchup.

Heinz introduced its tomato ketchup way back in 1876. The venerable Henry Heinz his own self had just started his company seven years earlier selling bottles of his mother’s horseradish recipe. Well, let me be clear. He didn’t sell the recipe, he sold the horseradish.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by publictenews.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by publictenews.

But we were talking about ketchup. Today, Heinz sells more than 650 million bottles of the slow red goodness each year. And over 11 billion of those little single-serving packets you should get for your fries at the drive-thru but you have to remember to ask because the fast food people hoard it as if they were in possession of the last dozen packets ever produced.

Finally, let’s clear up two significant ketchup issues. First: Is it ketchup or catsup? Well, the sauce originated as a pickled Chinese fish sauce called “ketsiap.” But it was pronounced more like catsup. So you can see how we have this dilemma. However, pronunciations change all the time, and I agree that “ketchup” is a closer tie to the product’s origin.

And what’s the best way to get Heinz Ketchup out of the bottle?  Here’s what the company says: “To release ketchup faster from the glass bottle, apply a firm tap to the sweet spot on the neck of the bottle — the “57.” Only 11% of people know this secret. Now you’re ‘in-the-know.'”

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