The ketchup craze is officially upon us. The world hasn’t been the same since discoveries were released stating that ketchup contains more sugar than ice cream. This discovery led to a ketchup craze, with brave culinary pioneers adding it to all kinds of things previously thought as crazy in its wake, sparking many debates amongst ketchup fans and scholars alike. One of those debates is, is ketchup a smoothie?
This debate sparked many conversations and understandable controversy. We are here to dispel any controversy surrounding this topic, and settle the score once and for all that, no, ketchup is not a smoothie.
What is ketchup?
Ketchup is a popular condiment made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices. It is commonly used as a dip for french fries, hamburgers, and other food items. Ketchup is also used as an ingredient in many recipes, such as barbecue sauce and chili, and has been around for centuries. The first recipes for ketchup date back to the 18th century! Today, ketchup is produced by many different companies all over the world.
Let’s take a moment to think through some of the defining characteristics of ketchup:
- It has a long shelf life
- A bottle of ketchup is made using a standard set of ingredients (mentioned above)
- Ketchup is cooked before bottling and consumption
Tomatoes are fruit
Ketchup is predominantly made from tomatoes, which, despite their vegetable-like features, is a sort of an anomaly as it is technically classified as a fruit. This is because they fit the botanical definition of a fruit. Fruits are defined as the ripened ovaries of plants, and these ovaries contain seeds. Since tomatoes contain seeds, they are technically fruits.
Some people might argue that tomatoes should be classified as vegetables instead of fruits. After all, they are typically used in savory dishes, not sweet ones. However, the classification of tomatoes as fruits is not based on taste or culinary usage. Instead, it is based on their scientific classification as plants with ripened ovaries containing seeds.
Does that make ketchup a smoothie?
The common definition of a smoothie is a thick, creamy, and cold beverage made from pureed fruits and vegetables. Being that tomato is a fruit, it seems like a logical ingredient for a smoothie. Hmm, tomato smoothie…I’m not so sure I’m on board with that. But let’s take this a step further. Conceptualizing a sauce made from tomatoes as a smoothie is not exactly too big a leap to follow.
Now, granted there are plenty of examples of tomato-based drinks. Bloody Mary, anyone? By the way, I would venture to guess that ketchup in a Bloody Mary would probably be pretty delicious! But this is beside the point. The point is, it is just too much of a stretch to say that ketchup is a smoothie.
To prove my point, let’s take a look at how smoothies are made.
What is a smoothie?
A smoothie is a drink made from pureed fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients. Smoothies are typically made with a blender and can be customized to include any number of ingredients. Common smoothie ingredients include milk, yogurt, honey, and fruit juices.
Here are a few characteristics that help define a smoothie:
- Smoothies are cold
- Smoothies are made using a large variety of ingredients
- To make a smoothie, you’d blend fruits, vegetables, juice, ice and other ingredients
- They are typically for drinking. Though smoothie bowls have also become very popular!
Smoothies are often seen as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks. They can be a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, some smoothies can be high in sugar and calories, so it is important to choose healthy ingredients and limit the amount of added sugar.
Is ketchup a smoothie?
So here we have it, the main event. Why oh why isn’t ketchup considered a smoothie?
The main and perhaps most important distinction to understand is that to make ketchup, the ingredients mentioned above are cooked together to make a thick sauce. To make a smoothie, cold and often raw ingredients are blended together to make a thick drink.
So, therefore, ketchup is not a smoothie. The fact that multiple ingredients are cooked together, as opposed to blended, gives us a better understanding of why this beloved condiment is not a smoothie.
Also, most people would not consider ketchup to be a smoothie because it is comprised of tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices that are made into a sauce, not a drink. And while tomatoes could technically be considered an acceptable ingredient for a smoothie, ketchup, in its saucy glory, is not a smoothie.
Ketchup vs Smoothie
What are the main differences between a smoothie and ketchup? Below is a short list of differences I feel define why ketchup is not a smoothie.
- Ketchup is cooked while smoothies are not
- Ketchup usually has a long shelf life while smoothies do not
- Ketchup is made with vinegar and is salty. I haven’t had a smoothie that tastes this way, and I’d rather keep it that way…
What type of food is ketchup?
So now that we have cleared up that ketchup is indeed not a smoothie, what exactly is it?
Ketchup is a tomato sauce that falls under the condiment category. Condiments are sauces or other preparations that are used to enhance the flavor of food.
All about the condiments
In the early modern era, some of the most popular condiments were mustard, ketchup, and horseradish. Mustard was originally made from the seeds of the mustard plant, but today it is usually made from a mixture of mustard seeds, vinegar, and spices. Ketchup was originally made from mushrooms, but today ketchup usually is made from tomatoes. Horseradish is a root vegetable that has a sharp, pungent flavor. It is often used as a condiment for roast beef or ham.
Today, there are many different types of condiments available. They can be used to add flavor to food or to change the texture. Common condiments include salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, sugar, and our dear friend, ketchup. In some parts of the world, condiments are even used as a form of social currency!
Ketchup – the condiment that compliments
Here is a list of some of our favorite things that we believe ketchup compliments quite nicely:
- Ketchup on tacos
- Ketchup as a dip for french fries
- Ketchup on hamburgers
- Ketchup with eggs
- Ketchup on grilled cheese sandwiches
- Ketchup on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- Ketchup on pizza
- Ketchup as a salad dressing
- Ketchup on ice cream
- Ketchup on macaroni and cheese
OK, so about half of these may or may not be jokes (or suggestions, never know until you try!), but there is certainly some validity in the others.
Ketchup is not a smoothie
So, is ketchup a smoothie?
Ketchup is not a smoothie due to a number of reasons we have outlined. Ketchup, instead, is a type of condiment that is made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices. It is not a smoothie because the ingredients are cooked together to make a sauce, rather than being blended. And let’s not forget that ketchup is a type of sauce, not a drink. Ketchup can be used to enhance the flavor of food or change the texture. And while it may not be a smoothie, it is certainly a popular condiment in many parts of the world.