The Old-School Ketchup Variety You Didn't Know You Needed

What would life be without ketchup? We don't know about you, but we love the saucy stuff, slathering it on burgers, dunking our fries into it, and even dabbing a little bit on our scrambled eggs (don't tell anyone, we're sophisticated foodies, after all). Even as adults, it seems like there's no end to the culinary uses for ketchup, but sometimes we want a sauce that's not tomato-based. 

Enter cucumber ketchup. You read that right — cucumber ketchup. We recently learned about this old school condiment made from cukes, onion, garlic, mustard, vinegar, and fresh herbs. Similar to a salsa verde, this bright, acidic condiment is delicious spooned over a grilled fish filet, drizzled over roasted potatoes, or slathered inside a grilled cheese sandwich. Best of all, it's super easy to make at home. Read on to learn more about this little-known ketchup, and get ready to up your condiment game.

Ketchup is not just for tomatoes

When you hear the word "ketchup," your mind goes straight to tomatoes, right? Most of us associate the condiment with the thick red stuff that comes in a bottle — usually the Heinz brand. But as reported by The Takeout, the word "ketchup" used to refer to a wide range of condiments, usually made from either fruit or vegetables that were cooked down with vinegar in order to preserve them. In 1876, when Heinz added a tomato ketchup to its selection of vinegars, pickles, and horseradish, the sauce took off in popularity, and we've pretty much thought of ketchup as a tomato thing ever since. 

But before that, according to The Heart of New England, cucumber ketchup was well-known, too. Their recipe combines cucumbers with onions, vinegar, and spices, blitzing them in a blender or food mill and then simmering the mixture until thickened, for about 20 minutes. Once your ketchup is strained, check it for seasoning, then pour it into a glass bottle and store it in the fridge for up to a month. Now, when it comes to ketchup, you've got at least two options — red and green.