Ketchup & Condiments

Tomato ketchup and other ketchup variations

Presumably, the ketchup that we know today originated from the Indochinese word kecap (meaning sauce). However, in the 17th and 18th centuries, it wasn't made from tomatoes but from soybeans or kidney beans instead. In England, ketchup was already available as a finished product in the mid-18th century. The main ingredients were mostly mushrooms, fish, or walnuts. In the USA, a condiment made with pureed tomatoes was prepared for the first time in 1812. About 30 years later, tomato ketchup became very popular in the USA, although it was still often made by housewives themselves. With the increasing production of canned tomatoes in the second half of the 19th century, methods were developed to produce ketchup industrially. The traditional and still used recipe for tomato ketchup is thanks to Henry John Heinz. In Germany, industrially produced ketchup has been available since the beginning of the 20th century.

Currently, the most popular type of ketchup in Germany is tomato ketchup. The Federal Association of the German Delicatessen Industry prescribes the permitted composition of tomato ketchup: it may contain tomato paste, onions, garlic, sugar, salt, vinegar and spices as well as flavorings and additives. The proportion of tomato paste in the total amount of ketchup must be at least 25%. However, it is different for spice and curry ketchup, as the recipes for special ketchup varieties are the sole responsibility of the manufacturer. Under the name of spiced ketchup, all ketchup varieties are summarized that contain more than the aforementioned ingredients. Examples of additional ingredients are bell peppers and chili peppers. Ultimately, barbecue sauces and steak sauces also belong to the spice ketchup product group. Curry ketchup is characterized by the addition of curry spice blends to the basic recipe for tomato ketchup. In contrast to tomato and spiced ketchup, curry ketchup is usually relatively spicy.

How is ketchup produced today?

First of all, it is about obtaining tomato paste from ripe tomatoes. For this purpose, the tomatoes are washed, blanched, peeled and seeded. The resulting mass is concentrated very gently with the help of modern steam technology. Finally, only vinegar, sugar, and spices need to be added. All the ingredients are mixed and evenly heated. This procedure allows for a fine distribution of ingredients and the desired consistency. The finished product can be filled cold or hot. Cold-filled ketchup is usually supplemented with sorbic or benzoic acid to extend its shelf life. In this shop, you have the agony of choice if you do not already prefer the ketchup of a particular manufacturer. Examples of products are Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Kraft Tomato Ketchup, and Hela Curry Spicy Ketchup Delikat.

Mustard is more versatile than you might think

Unlike ketchup, mustard has been around for about 3,000 years. The mustard seeds used come from an annual plant that belongs to the brassica family. Originally, this plant was mainly native to Asia and Eastern Europe. The first recorded mustard recipe is that of the Roman writer Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columella in the 1st century. Since pepper, chili, and other spicy herbs were only available in Europe from the late Middle Ages, mustard and horseradish served as the only hot spices for a long time. In the 13th century, the French city of Dijon was granted the exclusive right to produce mustard. This is where the first guild of mustard makers, "Soussiers et Moutardiers," was founded. The importance attached to the spice mustard is evident from the fact that in the early 15th century, Pope John XXII chose his nephew as the "Grand moutardier du pape" (great papal mustard keeper). The oldest mustard brand in Germany is ABB Mustard from Düsseldorf, which has been produced since 1726 and has been produced by Löwensenf GmbH since 1965. Mustard is predominantly used in France and the Netherlands today. The plants are usually grown in the field. They initially form yellow flowers from which pods with the spherical seeds eventually ripen.

What makes mustard taste spicy are the contained glycosides (sinalbin in the case of white mustard and sinigrin in the case of brown/black mustard). However, these glycosides must first be converted by the mustard's own enzyme myrosinase. So how is mustard made? After harvesting the mustard seeds, they must be dried, cleaned, crushed, and defatted. Afterwards, the crushed seeds are finely ground. The ingredients that are usually added, apart from water, are sugar, vinegar, salt, and other spices. However, some mustard manufacturers use white wine or juice from unripe grapes instead of vinegar. After a few hours, a kind of mash is formed. Once this fermentation process is complete, the mass is ground again. This gives the mustard its creaminess, even finer texture, and slightly darker color.

Ordinary mustard and mustard specialties

White, brown, and black mustard must be distinguished. White mustard is considerably milder than brown and black mustard due to the presence of the glycoside sinalbin. Therefore, mixtures of white and brown and/or black mustard are common. If you want to have a jar or tube of mustard for all cases in your pantry, medium-hot mustard is a good choice. The mustard, also frequently called delicacy mustard, is the most popular type of mustard in Germany. In principle, the hot mustard is similar to the medium-hot mustard - however, the proportion of brown (or black) mustard seeds is slightly higher. A special feature is sweet mustard (Bavarian mustard), which on the one hand has coarsely ground mustard seeds, which are sometimes also roasted, and on the other hand is sweetened (e.g., with sugar or sweetener). The mustard called rotisseur mustard or grainy mustard is the mustard that is coarsely crushed and therefore relatively heat-resistant. Examples of this mustard are the Reine de Dijon Rotisseur Mustard grob, which is available in our shop. Do you prefer Dijon mustard? Of course, you can also order Dijon mustard from us - for example, the Maitre Marcel Dijon Mustard or the Maille Dijon Mustard Original. Dijon mustard is made according to the traditional Dijon method. This special method involves putting brown and black mustard seeds into a sieve with very fine openings. The mustard husks remain inside the sieve. The mustard seeds are not de-oiled to make the mustard particularly flavorful. Dijon mustard is usually finely ground and has a sharp taste.