Banana Ketchup from The Philippines
Yes, it’s ketchup, and yes it’s made from Bananas! In between the last of my two final social integration articles I wanted to put in something a bit lighter. Banana Ketchup made the list!
Where does Banana Ketchup come from?
The Philippines! There’s also rumored to be a variation of this in the Caribbean, though that one is a more natural yellow color. Banana Ketchup in The Philippines is also known locally as Banana Catsup
History of Banana Ketchup / Banana Catsup
The origins of banana ketchup in The Philippines dates back to World War II when there was a shortage of tomatoes on the islands. Looking for a cheap and stable alternative bananas topped the list as they were, and still are, plentiful.
Today Banana Ketchup is practically more popular than tomato ketchup. And, much cheaper to produce.
Many fast food restaurants use banana ketchup rather than tomato due to the price difference.
A common name for banana or tomato ketchup is “Catsup”. I can only hypothesize that this is a colloquial spelling derived from the original.
What is Banana Ketchup made from?
Do you really want to know? Yes, the main ingredient is really banana. Along with sugar and spices. However, in order to make it red, there’s also a host of chemical colorants added. The real color of banana ketchup is brown.
There are also a host of artificial flavorings added too.
On the front of many bottles it’s described as sweet, with spice. If you look closely at the banana ketchup photograph next to the real banana you will see little black spots. This is, allegedly, the spice.
What does banana ketchup taste like?
So this is the ultimate question about banana ketchup. Here’s my answer. To me, it’s very similar to the ketchup you will find in western Burger King chains. Sweet, with a little spicy edge.
Does it even have a remote taste of banana? No, not even a hint. The texture is nearly the same as regular tomato ketchup, though a lot more translucent as you can see.
All in all, banana Banana Catsup in The Philippines tastes like regular ketchup only sweeter. The reason for this is the artificial flavors used to make a tangy tomato taste.
Do I use banana ketchup?
I actually don’t think you have a choice in The Philippines. Banana Ketchup is used on many spaghetti dishes. And, as a coating for barbecue marinades.
If you’ve read my article about the local barbecue stalls in The Philippines you’ll notice how fluorescent the chicken looks. The reason for this is not over color compensation on my camera, it’s due to the massive amount of coloring used in banana ketchup! Yes, really!
Final note on banana ketchup
Food in The Philippines is evolving. Under pressure to satisfy taste buds, eyes, stomachs and budgets products like Banana Ketchup have become very popular.
However, concerns over the dangers of artificial food colorings and flavorings have not really hit Filipino households yet. Strangely the China food product scares do influence people in not buying so many, labeled, food stuffs from China.
Banana Ketchup is proudly Filipino. If you like your condiments sweet, you’ll probably like this as it actually can taste good. Just be wary of those scary chemical numbers that go into making it.
This is an additional article highlighting food from The Philippines