Catsup (ketchup, if you prefer) has been on my mind since supper two nights ago. I'm starting a personal jihad against high-fructose corn syrup, which is what catsup is nowadays, so I wondered what catsup used to be and how I'd make it from scratch.
Well, it started out as a tangy tasty dipping sauce, and there are all kinds of catsup, including tomato catsup, green tomato catsup, walnut catsup, oyster catsup, mushroom catsup, gooseberry catsup, cucumber catsup, currant catsup, apple catsup, and a couple of tarted-up vinegars filed under catsup: celery vinegar and spiced vinegar. All those are from this 1887 book which serendipitously appeared at Project Gutenberg this morning: the The White House Cook Book: Cooking, Toilet and Household Recipes, Menus, Dinner-giving, Table Etiquette, Care of the Sick, Health Suggestions, Facts Worth Knowing, Etc., Etc., The Whole Comprising a Comprehensive Cyclopedia of Information for the Home, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette and Hugo Ziemann, Steward of the White House.