In a very interesting blog post, Wired Magazine contributing editor Jonah Lehrer explains why, when I look in my fridge, I see about six different mustards but only one ketchup. According to Lehrer, it all boils down to one word: umami. Among the many informative bits in his post....
"What does umami have to do with ketchup? It turns out ketchup is an umami speedball. Ripe tomatoes are full of L-glutamate, and so when all those tomatoes are cooked and reduced, and then cooked some more, the end result is a sauce brimming with delicious amino-acids. In fact, it is the umami note in ketchup - a mouth-filling savoriness, a low basso profundo note - that I most crave when squirting Heinz onto my fries. The deep-fried potato starch is delicious yet incomplete - it is the umami of ketchup that completes it."
Turns out ketchup is all about the mouth, whereas mustard is all about the nose (and with a nose like mine, it's no wonder I have so many!). Check out his article, so the next time your kid squirts ketchup on their ice cream, it won't be quite so disturbing.
Thanks to @steamykitchen on twitter for the tip
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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: eating. drinking, and hiking in the great outdoors!