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Ketchup is one of the best known condiments, but it can come with a surprise. And sometimes, with more than just one.
The first surprise is usually the amount of sugar that a Ketchup can contain. And it usually goes like this: the more green tomatoes that are mixed into a tomato paste, the more sugar must be used to balance that. So some Ketchup(s) can contain quite a lot of sugar. A table spoon of Heinz Ketchup contains about 4 gr of sugar, which is more than an average Chocolate chip cookie (1*). But it can get worse, it might not even be sugar but something like a high fructose corn syrup, which is made from GMO corn.
So sugar is one problem. The second problem could be the tomatoes. Depending where they come from & whether they are organic or not, they (meaning the already made tomato paste) can contain up to 25% of corn starch, which will not even be listed in the ingredient list. And the reason for that is that China has become one of the largest producers of tomato paste & what goes on over there with how some of the products are produced, is largely unregulated. Then, those products are distributed throughout Europe & US as Italian tomatoes.
One more problem is also caused by the fact that most of the tomato paste or tomatoes that are later used as a material for tomato sauce come in cans. And here's why: (2*)
"The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food."
Knowing all that we know, we avoid the commercially made Ketchup & we've been making our own, fermented version for quite some time. Just recently, after numerous requests, we have decided to offer it also for sale.
When we make it, we pick BIO tomatoes that are in glass & we check the country of origin. This gives us some assurance that the product does not come from China & that we do not get extra BPA with it.
Besides all these problems, Ketchup can be quite delicious, especially if it's made right. We love it & that is why we also make it. Our own Fermented Ketchup.
Below are all the ingredients that go into making it.
When we make it, we start with onions & garlic. Those we brown off a bit in olive oil.
When they are done. We puree them & add them to the tomato mix, along with sugar, salt & spices.
Next, we mix all the ingredients & we bring the whole mixture to a light simmer.
When that cools down, we add our live & delicious Kombucha vinegar.
Kombucha vinegar kick starts the fermentation process & that makes our Ketchup two notches better than most of the readily available Ketchup.
Live (unpasteurized) vinegar starts the fermentation process, which consequently eats up most of the sugar. At the end it gives our Ketchup some sour notes, making it pleasantly slightly sweet & sour.
So next our Ketchup goes into our Fermentation Jar, so that the fermentation process can proceed.
After few days, we start seeing the fermentation bubbles.
The length of the fermentation depends on the overall room temperature. But that can be from few days to over a week. But even when the Ketchup jars goes into the fridge, the fermentation process will continue.
Below is a pic of fully fermented Ketchup, just before it goes into our retail jars.
At this point we transfer it into jars.
And in the end it looks like this:
We love our Ketchup & when we have a sandwich that can call for it, we obviously use it.
Here are just two examples:
A Lentil Burger with Lettuce, Tomatoes, Fermented Ketchup & Lacto-fermented Onions
Tempeh Sandwich with Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato, Kombucha Mustard, Fermented Ketchup & our Garlic Dill Pickle.
Ingredients: Tomatoes, Kombucha Vinegar, Unrefined BIO Sugar, Onion, Garlic & Spices (Smoked Paprika, Cumin & Coriander)