Last weekend my dad and I were watching a program on the History Channel about the food that built America. The episode was about the history of Heinz ketchup. I was fascinated and learned so many things that I never knew about the condiment. Originally it was a sauce not made from tomatoes, but from either fish, green walnuts or mushrooms. There is a theory that the word “catchup” came from China or Indonesia. They had a word, “keh jap,” which meant tomato juice or tomato sauce.
In the early 1800s there were recipes for “catchup” that included anchovies. For many years people would eat food, including meat that had spoiled because there was no refrigeration, doused in sauce to cover the smell and the taste. The story goes: One night Henry Heinz was sitting with his brother and sister-in-law having dinner and he thought he needed to come up with another condiment that people would love. Prior to inventing tomato ketchup he had gone bankrupt on a horseradish sauce that he attempted to mass produce, but it just didn’t catch on with the American public. Eventually he, along with his two brothers, started F & J Heinz and launched their condiment in 1876.
The last two weeks I’ve been inspired to use “catchup” in my recipes. Last week I did my cranberry barbecue sauce and recently I made meatloaf with a ketchup sauce. I served this with baked new potatoes and mixed vegetables.
I ended up pairing my dinner with 2012 Reyes Cabernet Sauvignon. This delicious estate Cabernet Sauvignon has a delightful bouquet of black cherries and mace. On the pallet this wine brings forth notes of cherries, pomegranate and cocoa. It was aged in oak for 33 months which gives it a striking butterscotch and oaky finish. It won two bronze medals, one in the 2017 Los Angeles International Wine Competition and also in the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition. It pairs well with a steak topped with blue cheese or black forest cake.
We are featuring this wine all month long in the tasting room at Reyes Winery. I hope to see you soon!