Caribbean Ketchup (recipe)

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Top Trini Condiments

Caribbean Ketchup (recipe)

Ketchup. You think you know what it is, but if you haven’t tasted true homemade ketchup, well… in the words of MTV Diary, “you have no idea”. Often when friends come down to visit they leave with bottles of local ketchup. Curious about this behaviour I asked one why she did it. “It don’t taste the same away like it does here. Trini ketchup sweet and have flavour”. Having lived away I couldn’t recall a huge difference so when American-style chain restaurants began popping up here, complete with Heinz ketchup bottles I thought I would do a quick taste comparison. Wow. They were right. Who knew ketchup formulations could differ so much! Still, if I may be so bold, neither bottle (local or foreign) can hold a candle to any of the homemade ketchups that I have made through the years.

Made from scratch, homemade ketchups are jam-like in texture, jewel-like in colour and gloss, and possessing a depth of flavour, (simultaneously sweet and smoky) that store-bought versions are unable to reproduce. The following recipe comes from Rita Springer’s Caribbean Cookbook and is a ‘generic’ version of the ketchup recipes that can be found throughout the Caribbean.


Caribbean Ketchup
From: Caribbean Cookbook

INGREDIENTS:
3 lb tomatoes
1 cup vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spices
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cut tomatoes in quarters
2. Place in heavy saucepan and simmer with salt and vinegar until soft

3. Strain through a coarse strainer


At this point the liquid is very runny with some tomato pulp settling at the bottom


It’s hard to believe that this is all that is left behind!


4. Return puree to saucepan, adding sugar
5. Continue to simmer til mixture starts to thicken, then add spice, stir well and flavour to taste

Caribbean Ketchup (recipe)

6. When ketchup is very thick pour into hot sterilized bottles

This post was originally published August 10, 2007. It has been updated once since then.

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  • Maurini

    With regard to Trini ketchup: I always get a horrified response when I ask family to bring up a bottle of Matouk’s ketchup – I’ve even converted my husband… hahah…

    This recipe sounds interesting… I’ll have to give this a try.

  • Maurini

    With regard to Trini ketchup: I always get a horrified response when I ask family to bring up a bottle of Matouk’s ketchup – I’ve even converted my husband… hahah…

    This recipe sounds interesting… I’ll have to give this a try.

  • http://www.theperfectpantry.com Lydia

    Once you get the basic method, it’s easy to add other flavors. One of my new favorites is mango ketchup — and I always like it a bit spicy.

  • http://www.theperfectpantry.com Lydia

    Once you get the basic method, it’s easy to add other flavors. One of my new favorites is mango ketchup — and I always like it a bit spicy.

  • lance

    Ok, the secret for the flavors must be in the “mix spices”. Any chance of sharing them?

  • lance

    Ok, the secret for the flavors must be in the “mix spices”. Any chance of sharing them?

  • http://caribbeangarden.blogspot.com/ Nicole

    I love making my own tomato ketchup and sauces. I agree-when I tasted American ketchup it was OMG what is this horrible sour thing! Its all vinegar and corn syrup.

  • http://caribbeangarden.blogspot.com/ Nicole

    I love making my own tomato ketchup and sauces. I agree-when I tasted American ketchup it was OMG what is this horrible sour thing! Its all vinegar and corn syrup.

  • http://caribbeangarden.blogspot.com/ Nicole

    I love making my own tomato ketchup and sauces. I agree-when I tasted American ketchup it was OMG what is this horrible sour thing! Its all vinegar and corn syrup.

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    Hey Sarina, did you know that the use of tomatoes in ketchup is relatively new in terms of general ketchup-making? It originates from Eastern Asia, where it was originally made with pickled fish as the main component. But when English and Dutch sailors brought ketchup from Asia to Europe, mushrooms and anchovies became the usual flavourings. The first recipe for tomato ketchup was American, and was recorded in The Sugar House Cookbook in 1801. As the famous saying goes: Not a lot of people know that

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    Hey Sarina, did you know that the use of tomatoes in ketchup is relatively new in terms of general ketchup-making? It originates from Eastern Asia, where it was originally made with pickled fish as the main component. But when English and Dutch sailors brought ketchup from Asia to Europe, mushrooms and anchovies became the usual flavourings. The first recipe for tomato ketchup was American, and was recorded in The Sugar House Cookbook in 1801. As the famous saying goes: Not a lot of people know that

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Trig – I didn’t know that :D mushrooms and anchovies ? mindboggling! :lol:

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Trig – I didn’t know that :D mushrooms and anchovies ? mindboggling! :lol:

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Trig – I didn’t know that :D mushrooms and anchovies ? mindboggling! :lol:

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