Looking back at my first Sauced post, I now feel like I should have been more descriptive with the title. "Tomato ketchup" instead of just "Ketchup." At that point I knew of a few other varieties—mainly banana ketchup from my time in the Philippines—but, like most, thought primarily of the tomato-based, classic version.
Ketchup is much deeper than that though, with a long history of iterations before reaching its current ubiquitous state.
Ketchup originated in China as a salty pickled fish sauce in the 1690s. This sauce, then called ke-tsiap, was taken back to England by British sailors, where it started getting ingredient additions like mushrooms, anchovies, oysters, and walnuts. It took about 100 years for tomatoes to find their way into ketchup, and in between that, the sauce was made out of a whole host of other base ingredients.
I'm a bit hazy on where this blueberry falls into that steeped history, but I no longer see ketchup as a singular condiment. You could say I'm feeling a new ketchup freedom.
What surprised me most about blueberry ketchup was how familiar it tasted. It had the common sweet and tangy characteristics of tomato ketchup while the blueberries gave it a more jelly-like texture and bright, fruity flavor that opens the door to a wide variety of uses.
A dip for sweet potato fries or spread on some grilled pork chops or even seared duck breasts—the possibilities are as limitless as ketchup varieties!
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot, about 1 medium shallot
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Heat oil over medium heat in a medium sauce until shimmering. Add in shallot and cook until softened, but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add in ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add in blueberries, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 30-45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, pour into an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.