Article from Intelligencer Journal/ Lancaster New Era. Jan 3,2012
By CLAUDIA W. ESBENSHADE
Ketchup is the mother sauce of the U.S., according to John Zuwiala, owner of Joe’s Famous American Kitchen.
“It’s the base of so many other sauces,” Zuwiala said. “People really downplay it’s importance.”
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, ketchup is defined as “a sauce for meat, fish, etc.”
“Ketchup wasn’t tomato-based when it was first created,” he said during a recent interview at his Richmond Square restaurant. “It was created as a sauce for fish, and we took it and made it what it is today.”
Some time in food history, ketchup became known as the primary accompaniment to fries and burgers. However, this is limiting ketchup’s potential, according to some local chefs.
“There are so many other ways to use it,” Zuwiala said.
Whether it is a Tabasco ketchup on your meatloaf or a banana ketchup for some tostones, ketchup is as versatile as you make it. There are even some ketchup varieties on the market that are made with agave instead of sugar as a lower-carb option, according to Briele Garber of Amish Family Recipes at Lancaster’s Central Market. Garber’s stand sells Steel’s ketchup, a no-sugar-added, gluten-free ketchup manufactured by Lancaster Fine Foods.
The $6 price tag, for 13.5 ounces, may be a little more than customers are used to spending on ketchup, Garber said, but “it’s a different take on ketchup and uses agave as the sweetener.”
Zuwiala, formerly an executive chef, said that yesterday’s tomato-based ketchup is being upstaged by modern ketchup revamps that can be created in just a few simple steps.
At his restaurant, Zuwiala likes to tease people’s palates with sauces and condiments that incorporate a range of flavors from sweet to spicy.
Garber sees the local community embracing new condiment flavors.
“I think people are looking for new flavors and tastes to experience,” Garber said. “People are using the different flavors to top more than just burgers anymore. They are getting very creative.”
It’s not difficult to create your own version of ketchup. It can be as easy as just doctoring up your store-bought ketchup with some herbs and spices.
“It doesn’t have to be that intimidating,” Zuwiala said. “Take it to another level. Use green tomatoes to make it a colorful ketchup, use a fruit and make it sweet.”
When looking at the shelves in local grocery stores, the variety of ketchup is not as great as the mustards, but that’s not to say that ketchup isn’t able to be versatile.
To create a ketchup, you need a fruit base (yes, tomato is a fruit), a sweetener, acid/vinegar, flavorings and spices. When creating a ketchup with fruit in it, omit the sugar because the fruit will add sweetness, Zuwiala said.
“Low and slow is the key to making a great ketchup that will have layers of flavor to it,” he added.
Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/561773_Create-your-own-ketchup-varieties.html#ixzz1rnadLpWG