Seed-free tomato puree reduced with sugar, salt and a slight admixture of spices such as celery and garlic.
The word 'ketchup' is known in England at least since Charles Lockyer's 'An account of the trade in India' of 1711; "Soy comes in Tubbs from Jappan, and the best Ketchup from Tonquin". It possbly derives from a word pronounced something like 'key-tsiap' for a fish pickle in the Amoy dialect of the area around Xiamen - a city designated as a port for trade with Britain under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking.
Tomato ketchup starts appearing in English receipt books in the 18th century, though mushroom ketchup is much older.
The best-known brand, Heinz, claim that they use enough tomatoes to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool every day in making tomato ketchup.
Original Receipt in 'A New System Of Domestic Cookery' by 'A Lady' (Mrs. Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell) (Rundell 1807);
Take six pounds of tomatos sprinkle them with salt let them remain for a day or two then boil them until the skins will separate easily pour them into a colander or coarse sieve and press them through leaving the skins behind put into the liquor a handful of shalots a pint of chili vinegar and half a pint of wine pepper cloves ginger and allspice boil them together until a third part has wasted then bottle it closing the bottles very securely It must be shaken before it is used
Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton: (Acton 1845)
BOTTLED TOMATAS, OR TOMATA CATSUP. Cut half a peck of ripe tomatas into quarters; lay them on dishes and sprinkle over them half a pound of salt. The next day drain the Juice from them through a hair-sieve into a stew-pan, and boil it for naif an hour with three dozens of small capsicums and half a pound of eschalots; then add the tomatas, which should be ready pulped through a strainer. Boil the whole for thirty minutes longer; have some clean wide-necked bottles, kept warm by the fire, fill them with the catsup while it is quite hot; cork, and dip the necks into melted bottle-resin or cement. Tomatas, i peck; salt, i lb.; capsicums, 3 doz.; eschalots, i lb. hour. After pulp is added, i hour. Obs. - This receipt has been kindly contributed by a person who makes by it every year large quantities of the catsup, which is considered excellent: for sauce it must be mixed with gravy or melted Imtter. We have not ourselves been able to make tnal of it.
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