There are entire internet communities dedicated to the hate of ketchup. One that I find particularly interesting is a Facebook group called "Ketchup is a Garbage Condiment," which I discovered while specifically writing about how ketchup, an invention of imperial China, became an American staple, albeit a polarizing one.
This 13,000-member group was created with a satirical mission centered partially on exposing the "over use of ketchup we see on our feeds." Dig around within the group, and you'll find entire folders of photos of ketchup used in increasingly unorthodox — and occasionally stomach-turning — places: on macaroni and cheese, as a "dip" for Cheez-Its or smeared on croissants.
Does your kid eat scrambled eggs with ketchup? Most of the members would jokingly counsel you to simply "toss the whole kid, make a new one."
My feelings about ketchup definitely don't run that deep. I don't hate ketchup. It's just not something I actively seek out. In my mind, a good burger doesn't need it. The Chicagoan in me prevents me from putting it on hot dogs. I'm a heathen who prefers my french fries with aioli (or even just straight-up mayonnaise).
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However, the tomato condiment that I have become particularly passionate about this summer is tomato jam. It's incredibly easy to make, as it takes only four ingredients and less than an hour to put together.
Tomato jam is sweet, thick and slightly acidic, making it an ideal addition to basic sandwiches, avocado toast and cheese plates. Currently, I'm loving it on vegan brioche that's been toasted and topped with cashew milk ricotta.
- In a small pot, combine the tomatoes, agave to taste, apple cider vinegar and a generous pinch of salt. Just cover the mixture with water and bring to a boil, before reducing to a simmer.
- Stir occasionally as the mixture thickens — making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot. It should take 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove the jam from heat. Season again with salt to taste. After it's cooled, place the jam in a sealable glass jar or plastic container. It will last for about 2 weeks.
While this recipe is delicious when made with only four ingredients, feel free to tailor it to your specific tastes. Additions like black olives, fresh basil, rosemary, red pepper flakes or even roasted red pepper would be absolutely delicious.