Tomato Ketchup Vs Tomato Sauce

One day while I was traveling with my HR in the middle of some FOOD related conversation he asked me “Gokul, tell me what is the difference between Tomato Sauce and Tomato Ketchup”, out of ignorance I replied “Both are same”. He smiled back at me and said “No, You are wrong”, when I asked how he replied “Figure it out yourself”. Due to my Obsessive Curiosity Disorder I tried searching in net, DAM no signal in mobile. The very first thing I did when got access to the internet is to search for the answer, As usual Google helped. This happened almost a month back, As I am quite bored and jobless (vetti) on a weekend morning I just thought I will share the answer in my blog. So writing this post.

Before I explain the answer let’s see what a sauce is.

In cooking, a sauce is liquid, creaming or semi-solid food served on or used in preparing other foods. Sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to another dish. [Source : Wikipedia]

So any sauce in which tomato is a major ingredient is a tomato sauce or tomato based sauce. Now let’s see what a Tomato Ketchup is and some history related to it.

Tomato Ketchup is a sweet and tangy sauce, made from tomatoes, vinegar, a sweetener, and assorted seasonings and spices. The sweetener is most commonly sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.  [Source : Wikipedia]

In the 1690s the Chinese mixed a concoction of pickled fish and spices and called it kôe-chiap or kê-chiap meaning the brine of pickled fish. By the early 18th century, this table sauce had made it to the Malay states (present day Malaysia and Singapore), where it was discovered by British explorers. The Indonesian-Malay word for the sauce was kechap. That word evolved into the English word “ketchup”. Many variations of ketchup were created, but the tomato-based version did not appear until about a century after other types. By 1801, a recipe for tomato ketchup was created by Sandy Addison and was later printed in an American cookbook, the Sugar House Book. As the century progressed, tomato ketchup began its ascent in popularity in the United States even long before fresh tomatoes were. Its in the year 1876 the famous Heinz tomato ketchup was launched by  F. & J. Heinz  and it still dominates the market share.

There is one more thing which comes to my mind when i hear the word Ketchup, Its the Las Ketchup – The Ketchup Song. One of my old favorite 🙂

To conclude all Tomato Ketchup are Tomato Sauce and all Tomato Sauces are not Tomato Ketchup.


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