Summit Up 9-10-11: Queasy over Chinese ketchup
September 9, 2010
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that feels obliged to point out the numerical creepiness of this day: 9-10-11. Poring through the dusty tomes of mystical lore crowding our bookshelves, we’ve learned the ancient Croutonians predicted that, on this day, all world supplies of croutons will suddenly disappear, leaving chef, Caesar and other types of salads bereft of dried little chunks of bread on top. Too, the Lotus Eaters of ancient Whateveristan had a calendar that mysteriously ended on this day, which some “experts” have said means one of two things: 1. It was impossible for them to imagine something so far in the future, or 2. They simply ran out of the gazelle-blood ink they used and wandered off to drink the fermented mare’s milk that kept them in a state of scurrilous inebriation most of the time.Also on this day in 1917, ketchup was invented. Just kidding.MILLIONS OF SUMMIT UP READERS: WTF? You can’t just make stuff up!SU: The hell we can’t! Just watch us go: Goats in Turkey can fart the Marseillaise; nuns in Sicily really can fly; 2+2=47 in North Umbria; an itchy nose means your 401(k) just lost 10 percent of its value; gophers love chocolate milk; Kyle Orton is from another planet, etc.But OK, here’s the deal on ketchup, according to our old friend Wikipedia: In the 1690s the Chinese mixed together a concoction of pickled fish and spices and called it ke-tsiap.(sound of barfing)By 1801, a recipe for tomato ketchup was created by Sandy Addison … As the century progressed, tomato ketchup began its ascent in popularity in the United States, influenced by the American enthusiasm for tomatoes. Tomato ketchup was sold locally by farmers. A man named Jonas Yerks (or Yerkes) is believed to have been the first man to make tomato ketchup a national phenomenon. By 1837, he had produced and distributed the condiment nationally. Shortly thereafter, other companies followed suit. F. & J. Heinz launched their tomato ketchup in 1876. Heinz tomato ketchup was advertised: “Blessed relief for Mother and the other women in the household!”Not to mention good news for John Kerry. We out. Happy Friday!