The American Mother Sauce

Ketchup, who would have dreamed an Asian sauce based on pickled fish would, over centuries morph into the thick, tomato-rich product that now sits on every American refrigerator door?
A reference from " A New Dictionary of the Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crew: (circa 1698) calls "catchup" a " high east India sauce," likely referencing to Indonesian kecap manis-spelled "ketjap manis" by the Dutch- a thick, complex, Carmel concoction similar to soy sauce.

Elizabeth Smith reputedly published the earliest ketchup recipe, based on anchovies, in 1727's " The Complete Housewife." Dr. William Kitchiner's renowned 1829 British cookbook"Apicius Redivivus, or the Cooks Oracle,"includes several "catchup"; the Mushroom Catchup is key to his famous Wow Wow Sauce for Stewed or Bouilli Beef (No.328)

Colonist had long since carried the ketchup legacy over the Atlantic. In 1801, Mrs. Samuel Whitehorne released her"Sugar House Book," which includes a recipe for Tomato Ketchup. Another for Love Apple Ketchup hit print in 1812, courtesy of an ex-patriot living in Nova Scotia by the name of James Meese. "The Virginia House-wife," an 1824 cookbook from early American aristocrat Mary Randolph (Thomas Jefferson's cousin) also includes a recipe for ketchup.

In 1837, Jonas Yerkes sold American consumers bottled ketchup, made from the byproducts of tomato canning. The Heinz family took that ball and ran with it, and in 1876 released their higher-quality ketchup, proclaiming it "Blessed relief for Mother and the other women of the household!"

Deceptively simple in its ubiquity, modern ketchup embodies nearly perfect culinary balance via its simultaneous triggering of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami taste, Burgers and fries would have never been the same.