Fancy Ketchup?

Many a Fun Foto Friday ago, I jokingly posted something close to the following:

ketchup collage




Because I am a top-notch blogalist, I provided zero scientific fact regarding why some ketchups are “fancy” and went right for the joke. Classic me.

Recently, though, Mental Floss (one of my favorite online reads) tweeted an article from their archives explaining EXACTLY what makes fancy ketchup, “fancy”

Here is a choice quote regarding the distinction from Mental Floss: What Makes Fancy Ketchup so Fancy :

According to Heinz, “fancy” is simply a USDA designation that producers are allowed to use for marketing if their product meets the standards of US Grade A/US Fancy tomato ketchup, which possesses a better color, consistency and flavor, and has fewer specks and particles and less separation of the liquid/solid contents than US Grade B/US Extra Standard Ketchup and US Grade C/US Standard Ketchup.

For funsies, the article also includes a link to the 1992 USDA Grading Manual for Tomato Catsup. Both the article and manual are totally worth the read in toto for the curious.

Which then got me thinking about the difference between ketchup and catsup… or even the ORIGIN of ketchup/catsup.

Peep this informative video from Left Side, Right Side Games in their Chalking Points series that adorably encompasses all the information from the many pages I read:

For all my Word Nerds out there, check out the fascinating blog in their article Catsup vs. Ketchup for the super in-depth origin/history… including a quote from a similar article who managed to actually reach out to the ketchup/catsup industry.

According to a Heinz spokesperson, Henry John Heinz first brought his product to market as “Heinz Tomato Catsup,” but changed the spelling early on to distinguish it from competitors. And Dan Jurafsky tells us that Del Monte did not switch spellings until 1988, after it became clear that ketchup was the spelling of choice for American consumers. (Hunt’s went with ketchup significantly earlier, he says.)

The more you know, right?

But really (if I’m being honest) isn’t this post is just a blatant excuse to post Reba McEntire’s video for her classic song, “Fancy”?

More like Fancy for President, amirite?

Do you like to talk about random trivia at cocktail parties? Are you a word nerd? Did you also get a palpable 90’s flashback from watching Reba’s “Fancy”? As always, let us know in the comments!

At her finest

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