: please, put down the ketchup :

Come on, I’m begging you. There are other condiments, other seasonings abroad in the land. Lots of them. Have you ever tried mustard? Mustard’s good and you get a choice of sunny yellow or brown. There’s also horseradish and avocado and Worcestershire and olive oil and mayo. But, no, we are awash in ketchup.

The thing is, I’m not a fan of red food — tomatoes, pimentos, red peppers, not even apples. I like blue food, especially Icees and blue cheese. I like green food, too. Any color, but red. This aversion is probably due to the fact I don’t like tomatoes. There, I’ve said it. I know that verges on unpatriotic, but it’s the truth.

Do you know why I won’t order a cheeseburger at McDonald’s or any other fast food place? Because that order gets me a sandwich, all right, one that’s dripping with ketchup. No mustard, just ketchup and a lot of it. Even the paper it’s wrapped in has puddles of the stuff. I have to special order ‘no ketchup’, but even that’s no guarantee. It’s such an unusual, unimaginable request that cooks assume it’s a mistake and ladle it on, anyway.

Fast food burgers should come with a spoon. And a towering stack of napkins, tossing in a stain remover wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. Especially now that Heinz has redesigned their packaging. The cute, new packets have three times more ketchup and facilitate the easy dipping of your fries as you barrel down the highway at 70 mph. It’s a Christmas (close enough) miracle.

Should I decide to pick up a pizza, there’s two gallons of pizza sauce lurking under the extra cheese and pepperoni. Taking a bite makes me feel a little too much like Dracula, which is not an especially enjoyable sensation. And it’s messy, besides. Why does there have to be so much? Is soggy, limp pizza more of a delicacy or something? I’d rather taste the cheese and toppings than the sauce, but that’s just me.

And then there’s the ubiquitous salsa. It’s everywhere, you can’t escape it. People eat it by the bowlful, by the jar, even. They make full meals of salsa and chips. The chips I understand, the salsa is a mystery. It’s watery, for one thing. And the spicy taste isn’t a pleasant spicy, it’s an angry spicy, harsh and spiteful. Well, I have harsh and spiteful aplenty, I don’t need more from an ill-tempered condiment, thank you.

I don’t have anything against ketchup, I’m sure it’s a fine product. Colorful, too. But where’s the moderation? One skinny hamburger doesn’t require dousing with a full bottle of ketchup. Pizza wasn’t meant to be served as a liquid. There’s just no need to be so heavy handed with the ketchup, a modicum of restraint is what’s called for. Not a straw.

PS. Happy Thanksgiving! With or without ketchup.

Copyright © Publikworks 2011.

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30 Responses to “: please, put down the ketchup :”

  1. ceciliag

    We have a name for ketchup in NZ. It is not nice. So i will not tell you. Our ketchup is called tomato sauce and is NOT on the table at dinner time..I don’t even have any in this house.. c

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  2. misscapri

    Hehe! I’m with you on the tomatoes. I don’t mind a little sauce on pizza, but not very much, certainly not so that it’s dripping with the stuff and that I get as much sauce as solid food in my mouth. Ketchup – I won’t go anywhere near it, and I hate ketchup chips too. Honey mustard is lovely, and I’m more of a chicken nugget person than a fast food budger person and like either honey mustard or barbecue sauce with the nuggets and fries, or even better still, gravy. Tomato chunks – what can I say about those? BLECK! They literally make me gag. Most other veggies I’ll probably not mind too much if they’re blended up fine enough and mixed into some dish, but – sparingly, please. So, you’re not the only one who hates tomatoes! *Grin*

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  3. Min

    *snicker* Well yes, I’m mostly with Ceciliag, Misscapri and you when it comes to ketchup. I do not hate it but I certainly do not need it to each and every meal. Eventually I’ll have some once or twice per year. I like tomatoes, but ketchup doesn’t really have much in common with tomatoes. We got all kind of ketchups here in germany, but even more mustard. You should move here, me thinks you would like our food. =)

    Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll!

    PS.: how’s your harddrive doing and did you frie that tech guy yet?

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    • publikworks

      You know, I used to squeeze ketchup on my fries one at a time when they had those red plastic squeeze bottles in restaurants. They were good that way, but now I don’t bother. And you’re right, I love the dark breads and cheeses and spaetzle you guys are famous for.

      PS. I got my third hard drive installed this morning. A new one. If this one doesn’t work that’s the end; I just can’t afford a new computer. I don’t have much hope ; (

      PPS. Wait, I might have found a likely culprit, but there may be two. I deleted one program and, alla kazam, a mass of problems disappeared. I’m keeping my eye on the second likeliest contributor. So, min, there’s either light at the end of the tunnel or it’s a speeding locomotive. Keep your fingers and toes and eyes crossed, please oh please oh please.

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  4. davidwallacefleming

    Mustard is unpatriotic. I’m greatly disturbed at your lack of appreciation of ketchup. How would the Pilgrims have survived Thanksgiving without the ketchup that the indians provided? Think about it…

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    • publikworks

      That’s funny, david, I love the way your mind works! But mustard isn’t unpatriotic, it’s a flag-waving optimist and very friendly. Besides, I heard the Indians were out of mustard and grabbed the ketchup by mistake.

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  5. nevercontrary

    I had a coworker that could not eat anything with out ketchup. I repeat ANYTHING. Once she said these peas are so good they dont need ketchep. SMH

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  6. Lenore Diane

    Your posts reminds me of a commercial from the 70s… maybe it was the 80s.

    I am a fan of ketchup, but I am not a fan of drowning food in condiments. Rarely do I have a salad with dressing on it. Why, if I had dressing on the salad, I might not be able to taste the tomato! I do so love tomatoes. But I respect our difference, PW. And I am glad you felt comfortable enough to share your quirks – er – tastes. (smile)

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      • misscapri

        H, I don’t remember that commercial, it’s funny, but I don’t agree with it. Also, I neve see what I’m eating and still have fun eating it – so there to that. :p Yeah, pour on the gravy. Or sauce in the case of this Asian chicken recipe we have. Mmmmmm!mm

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    • publikworks

      Too funny. I can’t believe I’ve never seen that commercial!?! But that’s exactly the point I was trying to make — thank you, LD. You’re a good and thoughtful person.

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  7. writerwannabe2011

    My dear hubby and daughter find great joy in teasing me that I find ketchup spicy. I do love tomatoes — especially on toasted cherry bacon and tomatoe sandwiches. I do love salsa (only homemade variety with lots of colourful peppers). But for the record, ketchup is not my favourite condiment . . . and no, I really don’t find it spicy.

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    • publikworks

      Hold the phone, I forgot about bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches! Great catch, wwb, those are definitely awesome. Aww, nuts, now I’m jonesin’ for a BLT. It was good to hear from you.

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  8. Angie Z.

    I am a newly reformed tomato enthusiast. I still don’t love ketchup/catsup all that much and rarely spring it from my fridge door. I also still can’t eat a tomato like an apple or even like a grape. When I was a kid I would dry heave when forced to eat a bite of one of my parents’ garden fresh tomatoes. Yet, over time I’ve slowly come around. First pizza, then spaghetti sauce, then salsa. So though I am not “with you” on this now, I am “with you” in spirit. I can vividly remember the gag reflex and avoiding Mexican food clear up until college because tomatoes were in every dish on the menu.

    So I’m guessing you disagree with Congress that pizza sauce should count as a vegetable? :)

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    • publikworks

      Shoot, pizza sauce should count as a meal the way some places make pizza. Isn’t Mexican food amazing? I think I like it because of the cheese, ooooooooooohhhhh, cheeeeeese.

      Thanks for visiting, Angie, have a groovy Thanksgiving.

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  9. maxiecole87

    I once watched an hour long documentary on hot dogs and this man went into this whole diatribe about how ketchup was the anti-christ of the hot dog, so very true.

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    • publikworks

      Condiments for hot dogs should be limited to chili. Oh, man, there’s nothing better than a chili dog is there? I appreciate you stopping by, maxiecole87. Come back any time.

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      • misscapri

        Meh, not much of a chill fan to begin with, and chill dogs are seriously messy. I prefer not to put anything on my hog dogs except once in a while cheese, or barbecue sauce. Big bbq sauce fan here. Oh, something else I love to do is scrunch potato chips on either hot dogs or hamburgers. If there was a way to manage this without a bun, I would. But that’s needed to hold everything in.

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  10. Nel

    *chuckles* What if ketchup was made of bananas, would you reconsider? We have banana ketchup in the Philippines.

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