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Q: Age old ketchup question ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: Age old ketchup question
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: smutzer-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 14 Jun 2003 07:15 PDT
Expires: 14 Jul 2003 07:15 PDT
Question ID: 217234
I know this is an old silly quesion but I am really curious.  What is
the difference between "fancy ketchup" and "ketchup or tomato
Subject: Re: Age old ketchup question
Answered By: missy-ga on 14 Jun 2003 10:00 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi Smutzer!

There really isn't one!

Consider the ingredient list for Heinz 57 Tomato Ketchup (from the
label on the bottle in my fridge):

"Tomato concentrate made from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar,
high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder,
natural flavorings."

Now consider the ingredient list from the following "fancy" and
"tomato" variants of ketchup:

McDonald's Fancy Ketchup:

"Tomato concentrate made from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar,
high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, salt, natural

McDonald's Fancy Ketchup

Hunt's Fancy Ketchup:

"Concentrated tomato puree, high fructose corn syrup, distilled
vinegar, corn syrup, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, natural

Hunt's Fancy Ketchup

Baker's Drive Thru Ketchup:

"Tomato puree, corn sweeteners, distilled vinegar, salt, spices and
onion powder"

Baker's Ketchup

Portion Pac Fancy Ketchup (we used to get this in the school

"Tomato paste, corn syrup, distilled vinegar,sugar, salt, onion,
garlic and natural flavorings."

PPI Fancy Ketchup

Although the formulations vary slightly in proportion and addition of
certain spices, all ketchup is essentially the same.  The California
Fruit Packing Company defines Fancy Ketchup as "Ketchup, Catsup" and

"Fancy Ketchup is produced from mature, whole, red, vine-ripened
tomatoes, which are sorted, crushed, screened, and concentrated. Corn
Syrup, vinegar, salt and seasonings are added."


The Ketchup FAQ declares:

"Q: What's the difference between Ketchup and Catsup? And what is
Fancy Ketchup?

A:  Well, this one is up for debate. As far as I am concerned they are
the same thing."

The Ketchup FAQ

Says one wag:

"FANCY KETCHUP. I saw this on a packet of ketchup. I mean, it's
[expletive elided] ketchup. How [expletive elided] fancy could it
possibly get? Especially when it comes out of a packet."

Suspicious Words and Phrases

It would appear that the use of "Fancy", as with many other packaging
notations, is merely a marketing ploy to try to convince the consumer
that one brand of seasoned tomato glop is better than another.

For more ketchup facts and trivia:

Planet Ketchup

The Condiment Packet Museum


The origin of "ketchup"?

Ketchup World

Hope this helps!


Search terms: [ "fancy ketchup" ], [ "ketchup facts" ]
smutzer-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
The research put to this question was far above what I expected for
the price I listed.  I am however only giving 4 stars as I reserve the
right to pout.  Whereas the answer was undoubtedly correct, I was
hoping for some frighteningly enlightening response that would shake
the fiber of my existence and potentially lead me to the meaning of
all things.  Thanks nonetheless...and GREAT JOB!

Subject: Re: Age old ketchup question
From: respree-ga on 14 Jun 2003 10:30 PDT
This is just a wild guess, but I would say "marketing?"

Don't be surprised when you see "Super Duper, New and Improved,
'Extra' Fancy Ketchup!" =)
Subject: Re: Age old ketchup question
From: jumpingjoe-ga on 14 Jun 2003 19:11 PDT
The marketing of it isn't the end of the story. Here's a comparison:

Missy's US Heinz Ketchup      
 "Tomato concentrate made from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar,
 high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder,
 natural flavorings."

Joe's UK Heinz Ketchup
 "Tomatoes (126g per 100g Ketchup), Spirit Vinegar, Glucose Syrup,
Sugar, Salt, Spice and Herb Extracts, Spice, Garlic Powder"

Americans get onions, whereas we get garlic. There's something going
on here, and I think the public deserve an answer.
Subject: Re: Age old ketchup question
From: missy-ga on 14 Jun 2003 22:31 PDT
At risk of being branded a heretic, I prefer the curry ketchup I was
able to get at the Boulettentrude in Germany.

Subject: Re: Age old ketchup question
From: pinkfreud-ga on 14 Jun 2003 23:38 PDT
I like nothing better than my homemade cranberry ketchup. Old Oklahoma
recipe. And it is so good that you can eat it all by itself.

Oklahoma Cranberry Ketchup

4 cups cranberries
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1/2 cup cheap white wine
1 cup V-8 Juice
3 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon powdered celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Boil cranberries and minced onions together with wine and V-8 Juice
until the berries pop. Allow mixture to cool slightly, then transfer
to blender or food processor and puree. Return the puree to saucepan
and stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat for about an
hour until thickened, stirring occasionally. Store in glass jars or
bottles. Keeps for a long time in the fridge, or practically forever
in the freezer.
Subject: Re: Age old ketchup question
From: pinkfreud-ga on 15 Jun 2003 09:00 PDT
Left a couple things out of that recipe. Forgot to mention stirring in
the spices (which is best done after the pureeing.) Also forgot to
mention that it's tasty to use brown sugar instead of white.

There's only one problem with cranberry ketchup.

It makes ya forgetful. ;-)
Subject: Re: Age old ketchup question
From: magnesium-ga on 16 Jun 2003 14:50 PDT
A very informative and well presented answer. Too bad the questioner
decided to play games with the rating. I would have given this five
stars without hesitation.

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