It began life as ke-tsiap, a 17th-century Chinese brine of pickled fish and spices, and now shows up, in its modern-day tomato-based version, in restaurants and on home tables across the nation—and across the world. Heinz, the company that invented ketchup as we know it, says that it squeezes 24 of its own specially bred tomatoes into each bottle, along with white vinegar, corn syrup, salt, and flavorings (plus a secret ingredient, which SAVEUR contributor Stephanie Pierson is pretty sure she identified, while touring the Heinz factory in Fremont, Ohio, as clove oil). We like Heinz ketchup, incidentally—but we also like to make our own, this way.
- 1 (28-oz.) can tomato purée
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
- 1⁄2 fresh jalapeño, stemmed and seeded
- 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup cider vinegar
- Pinch cayenne
- Pinch celery salt
- Pinch dry mustard
- Pinch ground allspice
- Pinch ground cloves
- Pinch ground ginger
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put tomato purée, onions, garlic, jalapeño, and sugar into a blender or food processor and pulse until blended. Add vinegar and 1 cup water and purée until smooth.
Transfer to a medium saucepan; add cayenne, celery salt, mustard, allspice, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 month.