Hunt's Catsup - Let's call the whole thing off.

I say tomayto. You say tomahto. Catsup ketchup, Vomit, regurgitate. I've mentioned before how food can be famously difficult to capture on film at an appetizing moment. I have a sneaking suspicion that in these old magazines, it's the combination of their oldness (duh) combined with the un-glossy nature of the paper that makes the food come out looking gross. You know how, when you're printing pictures on your inkjet, and you reach for the fancy glossy paper if you want a really good copy? I think it's like that. Plus, as the magazine, ages, the hue of the inks change at different rates and in different directions around the color wheel. So, what once may have been a perfectly good "beefeater" sandwich becomes a slice of human thigh on bread.

I spent 4 1/2 minutes looking for a definitive recipe for a "beefeater" sandwich, which is probably as long as anyone in history has searched. The results page mostly consisted of various epicurian websites fighting each other to be the first one to tell me that they couldn't find anything. I did find a couple of mentions of some ingredients, and the sauce was generally au jus, not ketchup. Not catsup either. Big deal. Un-fascinating.

More interesting, though, was the difference between "catsup" and "ketchup". The answer is... dun dada daaaa....! Nothing. Diffen dot com says that both words are an english approximation of a word that doesn't exist in English. Originally, ketchup was ke-tsiap, a Chinese sauce made from pickled fish. Mmm. As it stands now, "ketchup" is the favored word in England and the U.S., with "catsup" having a slight majority in the American south. Got it. Fat  republicans say "catsup", apparently. I guess Google is a democrat, since it underlines the word as a mistake every time I type "catsup", except when I put quotes around it. Weird.

In 1690, ke-tsiap was fish sauce, and 319 years later, Mr Burns is still funny trying to decide between ke-tsiap's illegitemate children. That's the same episode where he chose to buy Count Chocula cereal because he thought the picture on the box looked like him. Man, that was a good one.

Okay, where was I? Ugly sandwich picture... dishonest ketchup marketing... catsup is fish goo... burns is funny... that's about it. One last thing. I hate ketchup. I love tomatoes on a sandwich and ketchup is just a bottle of ruined, sugary tomatoes. If I'm having a sandwich with ketchup, it might as well be made of human flesh, because I'm not eating it.


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