Friday, June 02, 2006

Ketchup Is the Opposite of Mustard

Welcome back! As you know, Friday is Opposite Day here at Very Little Known Facts, the day where Jon Black and Britt Bergman pick two polar opposites and square off to debate their relative merits. Today's battle: ketchup vs. mustard.


Ketchup, or Catsup, or Cetschup, is the singular greatest contribution America has ever made to the culinary world. Full of anti-oxidants that alleviate cell oxidation due to excessive iron intake, ketchup has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and basal respiratory rate. Key (but secret) ingredients of catsup actually reverse the aging process, restoring skin to its youthful, elastic appearance. A balanced diet that includes at least five servings of katsup per day may help prevent cancer, correct temporary memory impairment, and enhance social standing. No wonder its very name is derived from the Greek word katsus meaning "perfect condiment."

BONUS FACT: Although the tomato is technically a fruit, ketchup is still a vegetable.


Being the chemical opposite of ketchup, mustard is a sauce that has been used for hundreds of years. In Gloucester England, there is actually a law still on the books banning restaurants from serving a sandwich without this golden, tangy material. Mustard is made from a combination of horseradish and the mustard plant (Iroquois Vulgaris). Its origin is unknown, but some scholars think that ancient cultures may have invented mustard. Personally I love it, so I plead with you not to go to the other side like Jon or I will spray you with mustard gas*! Just kidding, of course.

* Seriously though, a Very Little Known Fact of great importance should be interjected here: Old mustard gas canisters from the Vietnam War cause more cases of asthma per year than every kind of pollen combined, so seriously--be safe.


Eric said...

Any of you city slickers read Malcolm Gladwell's seminal piece on umami and ketchup and the non-proliferation of gourmet varieties in the face of hundreds of post Grey Poupon mustard brands? Good stuff. Which sauce do you put on your corn dog, and yes, I am speaking metaphorically, dudes.

tracie b said...

I've got a metaphor for you. I ate three hot dogs last night at the horse races, and one and a half corn dogs today at the county fair, and all of the dogs, regardless of coating or wrapping, took mustard and ketchup together. I also had a few other things. The lesson is that I can put both condiments, ketchup and mustard, on my cylindrical, starch-enshrouded pork products, but when it comes to sucking on a frozen banana covered in chocolate and dipped in crushed nuts, I can't use either. It's like a world in which neither ketchup nor mustard even exists. A WORLD IN WHICH NEITHER EXISTS!

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Eric--thanks for your comment! Umami is nice, but we prefer meat-based products to soybean products. Also, contrary to urban legend, Gianni Versace's 1992 death was not caused by a bad batch of Grey Poupon. Thanks for your comment!

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Tracie--thanks for your comment! Be careful when you mix catsup and mustard. Not because of any chemical reaction--that would be absurd to postulate such an event. No, it is just that many people are disappointed when they mix catsup and mustard because they do not get custard. Thanks again for your comment!

Eric said...

Look for your enjoyment and reference, we've opened the umami information centre.

I ain't too sure what that lady was talkin' 'bout with the corn dog and all that, but damn could she do some fine tricks with a frozen banana. Enshroud my pork in starch anyday. Huh?

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Thanks for your comment, eric! We will have the folowing meat-based protein alternatives quite soon:

Tofaux(Meat based tofu replacement)

Regretfully, at this point we will not be carrrying corn dogs any time soon, but we will send your request to our staff in development! Maybe there will be a Mocken dog available in the near future!
Thanks again for your comment!

Eric said...

Can you please post me a turducken of average size. I have a craving for turducken and, as you know, that is one itch we gots to scratch. Please. One plump turducken with mustard on the chicken, ketchup on the duck, and mint jelly on the all-enveloping turkey. Thanks.

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