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Do you say Ketchup & Mustard or Mustard & Ketchup?
Either way, it’s what most people squirt on their Hamburgers & Hot Dogs (yes, another AmperArt title—or is it Hot Dogs & Hamburgers?) during Labor Day weekend, which to many sadly signals the end of summer. (Actually, summer ends on September 21, so we still have a few weeks of “official summer sun” left.)
I wanted to use the more popular phrase, so I Googled both. K&M brought up more than M&K, but to substantiate the results I tried a few other searches and came up with…
1. A marketing company
There’s a marketing company called “Ketchup+Mustard” but not one called the opposite. By the way, the plus sign is actually an uber-abbreviated ampersand—see the demonstration here. The company can be found at ketchup-and-mustard.com.
2. A cafe
Another discovery where “mustard” gets second billing adds a little spice (er, condiment) to this story is where the first word isn’t “ketchup” but rather “catsup.” It’s Corey’s Catsup & Mustard Burger Bar, Manchester, Connecticut (website). What’s that spelling all about? My friend and fellow artist Marty Katon says it’s “catsup” in Michigan, too. (For incredible wildlife and still life oil paintings—including ripe tomatoes—and a wonderful story about the artist, visit katonart.com).
Still life by Marty Katon, www.katonart.com.
I recall seeing “catsup” here and there as we grew up in Southern California, but still pronounced it “ketchup.” According to Wikipedia, “catsup” is a failed attempt to Anglicize “ketchup,” but remains the prominent term in some southern US states. It has also been spelled “catchup.” You can see the spelling “catsup” on an old Heinz bottle here; look at the upper right image.
There’s a fun article about ketchup vs. catsup, along with a mid-century ad featuring Hunt’s Catsup, on this blog: foodiggity.com Then search “ketchup” on the site and you’ll find several other fun articles. Or just look through the whole website and have a good chuckle.
3. A bottle of both
The hands-down decision for naming this piece of art Ketchup & Mustard, not Mustard & Ketchup, is attributed to a product that combines both in one bottle. It’s called Ketchup & Mustard, invented by a college student. Read about Raymond Joyner’s product here.
Then I found another invention that mixes ketchup & mustard together, made by Kramerica Industries. Wait a minute—that’s Kramer of Seinfeld! It’s a just-for-fun poster which you can see at seinfood.com.
It’s settled: “Ketchup & Mustard” is more common, so that’s what I’ve titled this piece.
Of course, if you only like one or the other—or if you prefer Jack’s Secret Sauce on your hamburger—this research is totally irrelevant.
What does 57 stand for?
The iconic “57 Varieties” slogan (it’s in the little pickle on the label) was born in 1896 after Henry Heinz saw a billboard in New York advertising “21 Styles of Shoes.” He was inspired by the use of numbers and even though there were more than 60 varieties at the time, he chose the number 57.
For more history about Heinz, including when ketchup was called catsup—look at the bottle in the upper right—here’s an interesting timeline.
Mustard, mustard & more mustard
So far, we’ve talked only about ketchup. There are of course several variations of ketchup flavors (and colors, including green, pink & teal to appeal to the kids–all discontinued in 2006), but the variety of ketchup doesn’t begin to compare to all the different types & flavors & consistencies (& prices) of mustard.
There is no other place to discover how many mustard varieties exist than at the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin. Begin by visiting this list of 5000 mustards on the website. Ironically, the only brand I didn’t see was that staple of the hot dog, French’s classic yellow. Several French mustards, but no French’s.
Why did founder Barry Levenson open a mustard museum? As he explains, you can blame it all on the Boston Red Sox. In the wee hours of October 28, 1986, after his favorite baseball team had just lost the World Series, Barry was wandering an all-night supermarket looking for the meaning of life. As he passed the mustards, he heard a voice: If you collect us, they will come. He did and they have.
This site and museum is for the true mustard connoisseur (I’m just an amateur but I really do love my stone-ground mustards and fresh ground pepper). The link above takes you just to the huge mustard list; this takes you to the home page: mustardmuseum.com
The museum even sponsors a National Mustard Day on the first Saturday in August. It has raised thousands of dollars for local charity. There’s a mustard newsletter you can subscribe to, also.
I want to visit the National Mustard Museum to see all the mustards and mustard jars…and to hear Barry play the accordion!
In case you’re wondering, as I was, whether there’s a ketchup museum, there is, sort of: heinzhistorycenter.org
Is this cute or what? It’s a thumb drive, and you might be able to find one online.
To me, ketchup should be in a glass bottle that requires a bout of pounding and patience. That’s part of the ritual.
Same goes for mustard: needs to be a glass jar, if for nostalgia alone. Besides, I think the mustard was thicker. I miss that squatty French’s mustard jar with the acorn shape. If you have one, hold onto it. They don’t exist at all on the Web, except for one I found that was empty:
Standing the new plastic bottles upside down with the labels right side up just looks odd. But I have to admit it’s convenient when I’m in a hurry. I’m sure my sister loves the easy squirt bottles—she likes ketchup on everything, including a fine steak! Just today she taught me if you tap on the little pickle on the label the ketchup flows right out. That’s good to know, but where to you find a tall, glass ketchup bottle today, Sis?
Tip: I’m not a ketchup hound—not the way I like mustard and pepper—but I do appreciate a quality ketchup. Recently I tried “Simply Heinz” premium ketchup, which is just that—simple ingredients with no preservatives. It does taste better.
Original size: 20×30 inches
Font: Gill Sans
Ampersand: Copperplate Gothic, modified to resemble the typography on Heinz labels
Colors: Red & yellow sampled from actual ketchup & mustard specimens; green border sampled from a Heinz label border
Still life: Marty Katon, www.katonart.com
Ketchup & mustard in one bottle: lazyray.moonfruit.com
Ketchup bottle: Heinz.com
Thumb drive: hotdogprofits.com
Empty mustard bottle: unknown
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