I know there are other brands on the market, but for me, tomato ketchup has to be Heinz tomato ketchup. In 1801, a recipe for tomato ketchup appeared in an American cookbook, the Sugar House Book; and by 1837, a certain enterprising character, Jonas Yerks (great name!) was selling it across America. F & J Heinz first marketed their version in 1876.
What's in it? Well, tomatoes (obviously), vinegar, salt, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. I've tried to make it at home (by reducing tomatoes, adding a bit of sugar and some decent vinegar), but although the results have been reasonably good, I still prefer the famous stuff in the bottles.
Oh- and I miss the glass bottles. I know that the new plastic squeezy ones are much more practical, but there was something wholesome about the old classic glass bottles- even though you had to turn them upside down to get anything out, and then suddenly all the ketchup would be over the floor.
Why the 57 Heinz varieties? It was an original slogan of the H. J. Heinz Company of Pittsburgh; used as a marketing tool. Although the company had more than 60 products in 1892, the number 57 was chosen because the numbers "5" and "7" held a special significance to Mr Heinz.
In a later post, I'm going to have a look at two British classics: HP Sauce, and Daddie's Favourite Sauce- two variations on brown sauce made from molasses. I have a feeling that Daddie's is now defunct. Put it this way, I haven't seen a bottle on the shelves for a long, long time. The world is becoming too sophisticated, by half.