We’re hard-pressed to think of something more American than a hot dog slathered in copious amounts of ketchup. Heck, our Independence Day is practically linked to the foodstuff. But what if we told you that the tomato-based concoction that we all know and love actually originated in the 17th century in China…as a mixture of pickled fish guts and spices? Believe it. From there, ketchup found its way to the United Kingdom, where it was traditionally prepared with mushrooms as a primary ingredient.
While many variations of ketchup soon popped up, it wasn’t until around the early 19th century that a tomato-based version found its way into people’s homes. Still, anchovies were a main ingredient in most recipes. It was quite the long journey before those iconic bottles and packets of Heinz would be commonly found at restaurants. Take a look at the video below — courtesy of Great Big Story — to learn about the complete history of our country’s national condiment, fish guts and all.