Did you know that Ketchup was originally made from cucumbers?August 24, 2006
I bet you didn’t, and you know why? Because it’s a total lie, albeit one that I believed was true and repeated as fact for like ten to twelve years before someone called me on it. I can’t really figure out where I got this stupid idea from, but I think it was from reading an article in the Straight Dope about Heinz & their 57 varieties, and how they have a dill pickle on their label. I think in my head I got it confused, and made up a story to myself about how one of their original “varieties” back in the day was a cucumber based ketchup, and that it wasn’t until sometime in the 20th century that they realized the tomato based ketchup variety was starting to outsell the cucumber one, so they switched to selling that one, mainly, and that eventually the cucumber one just went away.
A key detail in this Clavenesque fantasy was the continued presence of a cucumber on the label, which, when combined with my acute case of Male Answer Syndrome really made for a convincing argument whenever someone doubted my nonsense. I’m not sure how many people I bored at parties with this blatant mistake, but I can only hope that they, themselves, filed the information away, and like a bad mistake on the wikipedia, repeated my lies as gospel every time the subject of Ketchup came up from there on out.
Apologies for two straight ketchup posts, by the way, but that last post made me remember this ridiculous mis-wiring of my brain.
P.S. – Speaking of Male Answer Syndrome, this comprehensive list of Calvin’s dad’s explanations of scientific phenomena made my day.