5 Fun Facts about Ketchup That Will Blow Your Mind

While noshing on your favorite supersized serving of fries dipped in in its go-to condiment, have you ever stopped and wondered if there’s a difference between “ketchup” and “catsup”?

Well, the spelling is just one of the many questions we have about this condiment.

Other than that, there are also other questions like is it really made from tomatoes? Some labels say bananas make up this dip.

Catching Up: The Ketchup Origin

Legend says that when some Chinese wanderers sailed the oceans, a Vietnamese fisherman introduced  them to the fermented fish sauce he had.

Thrilled with its taste, the Chinese gave it a name and made it known to their community.

Thus the word ketchup, which is a derivation of either of the two Chinese words  “kê-tsiap” (Hokkien, meaning fermented fish brine), and “keh jup” (Cantonese, meaning tomato juice or sauce).

On the other hand, Malays use the word “kecap” for this dip.

Over the years, there have been many stories about where ketchup comes from. Normally, people trace its origin from the Americans. But little do people know, this dip originated from Southeast Asia before it became Heinz, Hunts, or Del Monte.

Fascinating Five Facts

1. The Doctor Prescribes What?

Doctor, doctor... prescribes what?

Tomato pills? YES!

Back in 1834, Dr. John C. Bennett started the tomato pill craze.

He was telling everyone how tomato can cure almost everything, from diarrhea,  nausea, cholera, indigestion, bloating, headaches, and whatever pain you want to cure. The usual “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” became “A tomato a day keeps the doctor away” throughout the 1930s.

A few years after, an investigation took place saying these tomato pills were a fraud because of its laxative contents. It was then concluded these were false medicines. In 1840, tomato pills were then brought out of the market.

2. The Largest Ketchup Bottle: There’s Water for Everyone!

The Largest Catsup Bottle: There's water for everyone!

Known first as the home of the famous, Brooks Tabasco Tomato , a 100,000 gallon water tower was provided for plant operations and to supply the new fire protection sprinkler system.

The tower stands tall at 170.1 ft., with 100 ft. for its legs and a huge steel ketchup bottle measuring 70.1 ft. tall.

The world’s largest ketchup bottle gives the resident of Kentucky the benefit of experiencing water pressure in their little town.

Aside from standing tall and strong, they also promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone. They even have a website for their fans and annual festivals.

3. Flawless Polish

Flawless Polish

Do you have tarnished metal like silver and copper? The ketchup in your kitchen can solve this problem!

The vinegar and tomato contents of this condiment has a pH level of 3.85, making it acidic. With this, the ketchup is able to break down the carbons that cause the metals to tarnish.

See how you can save a penny with the ketchup’s cleansing ability? Now all you have to know is how to do it right.


For your precious silver jewelry, grab a bowl and pour in ketchup. Next, submerge your jewelry and soak it for about 5-10 mins. When done, rinse it with warm water and use a towel to dry it.

When dealing with copper kettles, brush just enough amount of ketchup where the tarnish is and wait for about 5-30 minutes. If there are any stubborn parts, a pinch of salt will help.

Basically, the process is just the same. What you only need to be very careful of is the amount of ketchup you put on your metals because its acidity might eat the metals out.

4. Not a Bad Summer Hair Day with Ketchup

Not a bad summer hair day with "Catsup"

The sun beams brightly, and you happily splash the summer away in a swimming pool.

Having wavy beach hair is a popular trend, but having actual messy and damaged green-colored hair from spending too much time in the pool?

You might think that the greenish hue that your hair gets is triggered by the chlorine present in the pool, but you are wrong. It’s not the chlorine but copper.

Yes, there’s copper in pool water. There’s even magnesium and a lot more chemicals on it. These chemicals are absorbed by your hair, which explains that greenish tint.

And during summer, there’s never a good time to hit salons for a hair fix.

How Does Ketchup Help?

Ketchup has a vinegar content, which controls the chemical reaction in your hair.

So when you get this greenish tinge, get out the pool, get a bottle of ketchup, and put some on your head. Leave it on for 20 minutes, rinse, and voila! It’s a bad hair day no more.

5. Slower Than the Slowest

Slower than the slowest

Maybe we think that ketchup hates us because whenever we try to get some from its bottle, it would take minutes to get it going. Its viscosity is always testing our patience.

Surely, if there is ever a race between turtles and a ketchup’s flow, turtles will win the game. An average turtle travels about 3-4 miles per hour, but ketchup?

Better than those reckless drivers out there, ketchup has its legal speed limit of only .028 mile per hour, and if its speed flow exceeds, there’ll be a need to rebuff its sale.

Although there are always hacks to boost up its speed by tapping or squeezing the bottle or pack.

The famous Heinz ketchup also has its trick that only 11 percent of its consumers know. See that number 57 in the neck of their bottles?  That’s one lucky number. Tap it firmly, and the flow goes a little faster.

Kate B. Forsyth is a writer for Be Healthy Today, who specializes in health and nutrition. Her passion is to help people get an overall transformation of health that lasts a lifetime. In her blog posts, she goes beyond research by providing health-concerned citizens doable and simple tricks to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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