Deutsch: Ketchup / Español: Ketchup / Português: Ketchup / Français: Ketchup / Italiano: Ketchup

Ketchup is a popular condiment made primarily from tomatoes, sweetened and seasoned with various ingredients such as vinegar, sugar, salt, and a blend of spices and seasonings. It is commonly used worldwide and is particularly associated with foods like hamburgers, french fries, and other fast food items.


Ketchup's hallmark is its sweet and tangy flavor, with a smooth, flowing texture that makes it easily spreadable or pourable. The color is typically a bright, glossy red. It is one of the most ubiquitous condiments in many countries and is especially beloved in American cuisine. While tomato ketchup is the most widely recognized form, historically and in some regions today, ketchup can also be made from other ingredients such as mushrooms or walnuts.

Application Areas

Ketchup is used in a variety of ways:

  • As a Condiment: Frequently used to enhance the flavor of dishes like burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches.
  • In Cooking: Often added to recipes for sauces, marinades, or even as a baking ingredient to add moisture and flavor to recipes like meatloaf.
  • As a Dipping Sauce: Commonly served as a dip for fried foods such as french fries, onion rings, and fried chicken.

Well-Known Examples

  • Classic Tomato Ketchup: The standard ketchup most are familiar with.
  • Curry Ketchup: Popular in Germany and Belgium, often served with dishes like currywurst.
  • Gourmet Varieties: Include those infused with other flavors like chipotle or balsamic vinegar.

Treatment and Risks

Ketchup is generally considered safe to consume with a few considerations:

  • Sugar Content: It often contains high amounts of sugar (or high-fructose corn syrup), which can be a concern for people managing caloric intake or diabetes.
  • Sodium Levels: Typically high in sodium, which can be a concern for those monitoring their salt consumption.


Here are some simple ways to use ketchup in recipes:

  • Homemade Ketchup:
    • Ingredients: 1 can (6 oz.) of tomato paste, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.
    • Method: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat; whisk until smooth. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Cool and then store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  • Ketchup-Based Barbecue Sauce:
    • Ingredients: 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika.
    • Method: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Similar Terms

  • Tomato sauce
  • Condiment
  • Dipping sauce
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Marinade


Ketchup is a versatile and globally popular condiment known for its vibrant flavor and deep red color, used to enhance a variety of dishes from casual fast food to gourmet meals. It combines the sweetness of tomatoes with the tanginess of vinegar and the richness of spices to offer a universally beloved flavor enhancer.


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