Jenny, over at the Nourished Kitchen, posted a rather enticing recipe for real ketchup. I'd read about this in Wild Fermentation, about how condiments, once upon a time, were digestive aids rather than vehicles for excess fat, sugar and salt in our diet. I'd always wanted to try some cultured condiments and her post made it look so easy that I gave it a try.
All you really do is mix up a few simple ingredients and let it sit for the weekend while you go visit family (at least that's what we did). Couldn't be easier. For the whey I just put some yogurt in a cheesecloth and let a bit drain out. I didn't have homemade tomato paste, but I did have a few jars of organic stuff kicking around in the pantry. I think the storebought stuff lent it a bit more of an acidic taste. If I follow through with my goal of canning bushels of tomatoes this summer I'll try it again with the homemade version.
I also didn't have ground allspice, though I did have the little seeds, so I just threw in a spooful, which may have made those notes a bit stronger. But, it still tasted pretty yummy (even if it looked kind of gnarly); a little improvisation didn't hurt.
We made a fry sauce of sorts, homemade ketchup with greek yogurt, to dip home fries in tonight and everyone loved it. I loved knowing that instead of ketchup being a compromise ("well, at least he eats all his dinner if it's slathered in ketchup..."), it was actually a beneficial, nutritious part of the meal. I have this hunch that eating a lot more cultured food would do us worlds of good. Ketchup will be a first step in that direction...
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