To date, ketchup is considered to be the most popular sauce. It is used with meat dishes, pizza, pasta, various salads, used to prepare other sauces, and much more. In fact, ketchup has long been a universal seasoning, widely distributed throughout the world.
A bit of history
It turns out that initially the tomatoes had nothing to do with this sauce. In the distant XVII century, China invented the sauce, which was based on a piquant and aromatic pickle, often used by the Chinese to pickle fish and seafood. The word ke tsiap itself, translated from one of the Chinese dialects, sounds like "fish sauce." Along with the development of trade, this marinade, generously flavored with mushrooms and spices, came from China to England, where it was successfully used to improve the taste of anchovies and oysters. Soon, he became so firmly established in everyday life that his name became a household name and became attached to the sauce created on the basis of this Chinese marinade. They began to add garlic, walnuts, beans and even wine. In England, he began to be called in his own way - catchup. This sauce was so successful that it quickly captured the whole of Europe. It quickly changed, in large cases due to the fact that specific oriental spices and spices were hard to get on the continent, and the cooks were forced to look for a replacement.
The addition of tomatoes to this seasoning is mentioned for the first time at the beginning of the 19th century. The first printed recipe for such a ketchup is Sandy Edison's recipe, a little later he flashed through the pages of a James Mies cookbook. Mary Randolph, in her "Housewives from Virginia" also gives one of the recipes for tomato variations of the famous ketchup.
Later, when the question arose in the USA about the use of sodium benzate preservative in the food industry, many industrialists began to try to get ketchup based on thick tomato paste. One of the very first inventors of this method was a large entrepreneur, the founder of the famous brand "Heinz", Henry J. Heinz. Unlike tomato juice, which was added to ketchup earlier, the paste gave a density and prolonged the period of use of the sauce for a long time. Soon, it was the density that became the highlight of ketchup, and to achieve even greater ductility, many manufacturers began to add starch there. But be that as it may, the Heinz company is still the largest producer of ketchup.
The chemical composition and types of ketchup
Today, the classic composition of ketchup is a sauce of tomatoes, water, vinegar and spices. As spices, cloves, onions, cinnamon, mustard, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, ginger, fennel, bay leaf and many others are most often used. Instead of whole tomatoes, tomato paste, or tomato puree, is used. For sweetness, add a little sugar or sugar syrup. Cheaper types of ketchup incorporate a variety of flavors, thickeners, stabilizers and flavor enhancers. Some manufacturers use whole spices in its manufacture, while others use ground spices. There are also artificially created spices, which are also successfully used in the food industry.
There are many varieties of ketchup:
- tomato ketchup;
- ketchup for barbecue;
- hot chili ketchup;
- spicy ketchup;
- ketchup for national cuisine.
Here you can add a variety of ketchups with additives: ketchup with pickled cucumbers, garlic, mushrooms, apples, hot or bell peppers, and so on. The leader in nutritional supplements is ketchup chili - with the addition of hot red pepper or its varieties. The reason is simple - there are a lot of thrill-seekers among the consumers of this tasty sauce, besides the addition of this wonderful product brings a whole range of valuable vitamins to the ketchup: A, C, K and R. What makes this tomato sauce more tasty and healthy .
The calorie content of the product varies depending on the constituent components. On average, it is about 100 kcal per 100 grams. It is rich in carbohydrates (26.2 grams) and water (69.16 grams). But fats and proteins are low in it, respectively 0.2 and 1.3 grams.
Natural tomato ketchup is valued for its high content of the antioxidant lycopene (14,308 mcg). It includes minerals such as: potassium (315 mg), calcium (16 mg), sodium (907 mg), magnesium (15 mg), phosphorus (28 mg), manganese (0.099 mg), selenium (0.3 μg ), zinc (0.24 mg), iron (0.41 mg), copper (130 μg) and fluorine (15.1 μg). The product contains B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, choline, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and folates), ascorbic acid, as well as tocopherol (vitamin E) and vitamins A and PP. It contains both fatty acids and sterols, as well as some essential and essential amino acids.
One of the main useful qualities of natural ketchup prepared using the impeccable technology is its high content of coloring pigment lycopene. This substance has an antitumor effect and significantly reduces the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system. It is worth noting here that during the heat treatment of tomatoes, the amount of this useful antioxidant not only does not decrease, but, on the contrary, increases. And after fifteen minutes of intense heating at high temperatures, its concentration in the product increases about one and a half times.
Due to the fact that the composition of natural ketchup contains a number of useful vitamins and minerals, it acquires valuable properties necessary for the human body. For example, a high content of vitamin C can resist colds, and B vitamins will help to improve the functioning of the nervous system and protect against depression and stress. Moreover, in properly prepared, high-quality ketchup, there is serotonin, the so-called hormone of happiness, as well as tyramine, which, when it enters the human body, also produces this hormone. Therefore, in conjunction with the vitamin composition, the presence of these hormones makes tomato sauce almost a natural antidepressant, which can improve mood, remove spleen and restore peace of mind.
Harm and hazardous properties
Natural ketchup made from high-quality products, without the addition of chemistry, can be dangerous for people prone to allergies, as there is a risk of allergic reactions due to the inclusion of various spices and spices in its composition. Pregnant women are also not advised to abuse this product, as it can provoke the development of allergies in newborn babies.
Of course, you should not use tomato sauces, especially with the addition of hot pepper, to people who suffer from problems with the digestive system. When used even in small quantities, this can trigger attacks of gastritis and peptic ulcer.
Recent studies in the field of childbearing have shown that the tomato concentrate from which ketchup is prepared contains harmful substances. They negatively affect the male body in terms of reproduction of offspring. Therefore, families planning a child are not recommended to eat this product.
A huge amount of dyes, thickeners, preservatives and other various food additives contained in low-quality tomato sauces, with regular use, can cause irreparable damage to the body. It is proved that they can even cause cancer.
The high sugar content and modified starch, which are part of ketchup will bring harm to people with metabolic disorders and are overweight.
In Russia, ketchup is prohibited for school meals and meals in institutions of secondary and vocational education.
What to give preference to
Of course, a quality product. An ideal option would be one containing only tomato paste, spices, salt, water and vinegar. In premium and extra class sauces, the tomato content is about 40-50%, in the highest category ketchups it does not exceed 30%, but if not more than 15%, it is an economy class ketchup, unfortunately the most common product in our stores. Adding acetic acid to a quality sauce is quite acceptable and will not be able to harm the body, since it is contained there in small doses, which is absolutely harmless.
The color of ketchup also has an important role. It should be remembered that during heat treatment, the bright red color of tomatoes darkens somewhat, so if you have an unnaturally red product in front of you, then there is not much tomato paste used in the process of cooking it. And most likely, dyes and preservatives were used here. It should also be guarded by a too dark color - it is likely that this ketchup contains additives in the form of plum or apple puree.
By consistency, you can also judge the quality of the product. It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that it is quite thick, no gurgling sounds appeared during the shaking of the bottle. If you buy ketchup in a glass container, you should note the absence of gas bubbles. A good quality ketchup does not spread when serving and should be a thick bulk.
The best packaging not only for this sauce, but for any other, is still glass. It is environmentally friendly and does not emit any harmful substances. In addition, through it you can see the product, which allows you to immediately assess its quality.
In general, buying ketchup in stores should carefully study the product label. As part of a high-quality natural sauce should not be:
- flavor enhancers;
- any food additives labeled E;
- fruit or vegetable puree;
It is advisable to pay attention to the fact that the product complies with GOST. And of course, it is worth remembering that a high-quality product prepared according to standard technology and a classic recipe will have a rather high price.
Cooking ketchup at home
The safest to eat will be exactly the ketchup that you prepare at home. You can definitely be sure of the quality of the products used, the cooking technology and the environmental cleanliness of the production.
For cooking you will need:
- tomatoes - 2 kg;
- sweet red pepper - 500 grams;
- onions - 500 grams;
- sugar - 1 cup;
- vegetable oil - 200 grams;
- ground black pepper - 1 tablespoon;
- mustard - 1 tablespoon.
Pass all ingredients through a meat grinder, add spices and mix. Put to cook for about an hour and a half. You can try the prepared sauce before sending it to cook. Some love pungency, some piquancy. At this stage, it is possible to add hot chili pepper, and garlic, and various other spices that seem necessary. It is possible and even necessary to experiment in the preparation of sauces, because it is in this way that you can prepare a unique, incomparable, exclusive dish.
Ketchup is the most popular and most common sauce in the world. Both adults and children love him. For kids, even separate products are now produced, prepared only from quality ingredients. Coming to us from mysterious China, he conquered European hearts with his simplicity and unique taste. Today, there are many varieties of this sauce: there is for both spicy lovers and fans of savory tastes, you can choose with a variety of additives and the classic version. Any gourmet will be able to satisfy his refined taste. In addition, a natural product contains an antioxidant that is quite useful for the human body - lycopene. This valuable substance has unique properties: it fights bad cholesterol, improves the cardiovascular system and even helps with cancer.
The only thing worth noting: when buying ready-made sauce in a store, preference should be given to extra-class or premium-class products to be sure of the purity, naturalness and quality of ketchup. Well, if suddenly there was no such product in the store, you should not despair. It is possible to make a very tasty and healthy sauce at home, and it will be absolutely no worse than the most expensive and high-quality product.