#64 Ketchup & Mustard

64 Ketchup & Mustard

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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 über-​abbreviated amper­sand—see the demon­stra­tion here. The com­pa­ny can be found at ketchup​-and​-mus​tard​.com.

2. A café

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).

marty katon stilllife

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 blogfood​ig​gi​ty​.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

ketch-must-mixThe 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 sein​food​.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?

heinz-ketchup-old-bottleThe 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: mus​tard​mu​se​um​.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: heinzhis​to​rycen​ter​.org

hotdogflashdriveIs this cute or what? It’s a thumb dri­ve, and you might be able to find one online.

listen up!

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: emptyfrenchmustjar

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
Program: Illustrator
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​.moon​fruit​.com
Ketchup bottle: Heinz​.com
Thumb drive: hot​dog​prof​its​.com
Empty mustard bottle: unknown
Enjoy & share…

7 thoughts to “#64 Ketchup & Mustard”

  1. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a ketchup bot­tle is a GOOD GUY with a MUSTARD bottle.”

    And in case you did­n’t know, accord­ing to the Nation­al Condi­ment Research Coun­cil Annu­al Report (2016), “Ketchup is now the lead­ing cause of child­hood stu­pid­i­ty in Amer­i­can.” p. 366

    Is there a ketchup muse­um? No! A mus­tard muse­um? YES!

  2. Hi Chaz,

    Mus­tard and the dog burned on the BBQ. Love the col­ors and Poster you nev­er pick a bad one if it was even be pos­si­ble. Anoth­er one out the park.

    Best Regards My Friend

  3. Mmm…that’s a good ques­tion: “Ketchup & Mus­tard” or “Mus­tard & Ketchup”? I think I always say the for­more while my hus­band always says the latter…and who says oppo­sites don’t attract?!

    Yum­my poster! Makes me think of din­ers! I can’t wait for the rest of the post, Chaz! 

    And I kind of enjoy burnt hotdogs! :)

    1. You too — you like ’em grilled to a crisp? I nuke mine till the skin is crusty, or grill them till they have black lines all around. Steamed ball­park franks are good, but I just can’t stand boiled hot dogs.
      I like my toast, Eng­lish muffins, baked pota­toes (I only eat the skin) and oth­er stuff “burnt” as well, and of course got­ta have the end cut of the prime rib.
      Hope you’re enjoy­ing Labor Day weekend.

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