So Apparently, We’ve Been Using Ketchup Cups All Wrong

Apparently, we — a collective of food-eating-ketchup-using hooligans — have been consuming ketchup all wrong.

If you’ve ever poured ketchup into those tiny paper cup containers and brought them back to your table for fry dunking and burger smearing, you might be a victim of ketchup ignorance as well.

Did you know that these ketchup containers are built to fan out, and are made to allow for more dunk square-footage?

As it stands, your fries probably fit pretty snugly, but imagine wanting to dip your burger into that tiny cup — not happening.

The conversation came up after a long day at the beach. I was weathered, the sun had beat down on my face, I was nothing more than a walking zombie and my barbaric eating habits must have shown. There we were, a group of my friends sitting on a picnic table outside of a local burger shack in Laguna Beach, and I was trying to dunk my burger into a cup of ketchup that looked like this:

My friend Matt, noticing my struggle of trying to fit a humongous peg into a seemingly unwilling pinhole of ketchup, nonchalantly reached for my ketchup container, tugged the upper crust out, and showed me that I had been using these ketchup containers wrong my entire life.

Now my dunking apparatus looked like this:

Amazing. I will never look at people using ketchup in the pre-fanned containers the same again. Hell, I can barely look at myself in the mirror for doing it incorrectly my entire l  ife.

Thanks mom and dad, for teaching me absolutely nothing about proper ketchup eating. At least now I know.

By Elie Ayrouth

Elie is a product of Orange County, CA. In early 2012, his dentist diagnosed him with 8 different cavities, three of which on the same tooth, as a result of his 23-year Sour Patch Kid addiction.

162 replies on “So Apparently, We’ve Been Using Ketchup Cups All Wrong”

Matt is a real life person, in fact the true story is it was a combination of my friend Dominic, telling my friend Matt, and both of them explained the “Ketchup Fanning” to me that one day at the beach. We did not pull this from the Gawker sites, they [via] us — nor do we write for them.

I’ve been doing this since i was like 10!  BK onion rings never fit either, so i would just loosen up the sides of the container and was able to eat my ketchup with my onion rings. ha ha!  

SOMETHING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION YESTERDAY!!!!!!! to Quote Billy Madison. But seriously, you’ve known for all these years and didn’t spill the beans…er… ketchup?

I suspect that the ability of the ketchup cup (aka condiment cup, aka souffle cup) to be “fanned out” is simply a by-product of its design, and not the intent of the design.

I can’t be the only person to find the term “white people problems” offensive, can I? I believe the term “first world problems” is more applicable than what you’re saying and is at least not racist.

Do you really believe that? That whites and non-whites are really that different? That they only have 0.1% in common? It’s not like we’re different species, we all do basically the same things. Black people drive cars, they ride trains, they use internet services, and they eat hamburgers. They have all these same problems that you dismiss as so trivial by labeling them “white people problems.”

@yahoo-QKC5C6JWYCWORIDKK73T5ZYBQM:disqus I agree, and I know White people like Corn Bread and Catfish. 🙂

i worked a catering event recently to help out a family friend and i was taking orders and passing out the appropriate bun to go with their order as well as taking payment for said food. 100% of the black people that ordered a hamburger walked away from the grill with chicken on their bun. so no, blacks dont eat hamburgers so you are wrong.

its a white person problem. Not a first world problem, there are other races living in first world countries, including the USA having issue with such small mandane things are called white people problems.

False. It’s not offensive to white people, because by calling this a “white people problem” rather than a “first world problem,” you’re suggesting that all non-white people in the first-world are too poor or something to afford to eat at places that serve ketchup cups.

That’s raaacist!!

white people problem refer to complains white people make in life that are so trivial they are almost offensive. Such as jeez my job does not offer free gym memberships as a benefit. Or my gosh I didnt know ketchup cups can be unfolded geez wow

if your white why be offended? your white! why is there a sense of offense , do you think you complain a lot? or what… i do not see how that can offend a white person, do not all white people “first world people” feel happy proud even that they are white?

Offensive are yelling white people that don’t even know the correct use of the word YOUR and have the most racist undertone going for them of anyone here.

How is it that I expect those two traits to fit perfectly together?

People in general tend to complain more when they are given (granted) things instead of earning it; hence, the phrase taking things for granted. The phrase “white people problems” isn’t derivative of racism, or any sort of “caste system”, if you would call it so. Historically, we can all agree, white supremacy existed and still somewhat exists. Not to say it other races don’t have a sense of supremacy, but white people take the reigns for lengthiest declaration. As a result, the sense of entitlement trickles down the lineage for so long, that people’s sense of value depletes to iphones, accessories, and apps instead of food, health, and homes. The biggest problem they face in their life is not having wifi service in the restaurant they decided to eat at. You could say it’s a first world problem; however, it’s not a first world problem it’s an over-privileged, under-worked, entitlement problem. BLACK PEOPLE CAN HAVE WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS TOO. The term is just a term used because these types of problems are more heavily associated as being projected, and verbally accentuated by white people. TYPICALLY, in a white household, everyone is complaining about not getting wifi at Carrabba’s, while in a black household it’s probably just the kids complaining. The percentage of complainer’s is just increased amongst white people. And if you’re offended by this, learn to not be so sensitive, and actually understand where, how, and why things happen. We are all the same, yet SO different. We as people have history, you can’t forget that, but you also can’t let that history be a crutch. If you don’t rise above it, you live under it forever.

hm atleast this one was actually designed to be used that way, not a by product like the ketchup which was just a design to be leak proof (other other design involving glue to attach the sides around would leak at the seam)

You can also blow the cups up to twice the size they are before you put ketchup in them. Just make a nice tight seal by pressing the tiny cup up against your lips and palm, then blow. Instant giant ketchup holder.

Work well when you get the same style cup at the water cooler.

I dip my burgers, too. Opening a fast food cheeseburger bun and smearing on ketchup is too much effort. Whoppers aren’t so bad, but a regular cheeseburger just falls apart. Whoppers give me mad gas, though. The kind that makes you feel like your chest and abdomen are collapsing.

Lol! I never knew that was how I was supposed to use the condiment cups! I’ve used those at fast food restaurants and small  mom/pop restaurants my WHOLE life (33 years) and never knew….

I will correct this 😛 It makes ALOT of sense and yes….I also suffered from issues trying to dunk something large into the tiny cups.

That works until the ketchup moistens the folds and your now rimless paper condiment cup unfolds into a ketchup topped tostada.

I am amazed at non-solutions to non-problems.

Discreetly cut down or tear down a paper cup. Holds a more serious quantity of ketchup as well.

Yeah, but now the ketchup cup is unstable. Who the heck wants to eat ketchup off the dirty food trays or tables? Or maybe ketchup cup fanning can become part of the GOP platform — you’re going to hell if you don’t fan your ketchup cup….

I’m not white, and I find that white people get more offended by what they think is ‘racism’ more than anyone else. ‘White people problems’ comment was written by a white girl. Chill everyone. It is neither racist to a non-white nor is it racist to a white. It’s just an observation. Not everything is racist, and y’all obvs have no clue what real racism is.

If you hold a Heinz ketchup glass bottle on the 57 in the middle of the bottle (it’ll be raised so you can feel it), that angle dispenses ketchup with the best air to ketchup ratio so you don’t sit there hitting the top of the bottle till it all falls out.

or you could dip one fry at a time, or just put ketchup on the burger. I don’t know anyone who smothers a burger with ketchup in ketchup. Do you really need to cram 10 fries in your mouth at once? Why don’t you just bring your own shovel and fill it with ketchup? Then you won’t have to taste any of that nasty food. Inject your ketchup in the vein like a ketchup junkie. Just pick up a bottle of ketchup and skip the burger and fries all together. I don’t think you should be giving advice on anything food related if you actually have such bad taste that you needed to find a way to get as much ketchup as possible all over everything. No wonder we’re having an obesity epidemic in America, we’ve eroded our taste-buds down into ketchup-flavor-receptors.

ITT fat ass americans shovel condiments down their fat ass gullets while distracting themselves from their own fat asses by making sweeping generalizations about race. OHHH NOM NOM FUCKIN NOM NOM WHITE PEOPLE ARE ALL ALIKE NOM NOM. NOM NOM BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOM NOM NOM ALL ALIKE NOM NOM NOM. Fucking pathetic.

all you’ve done is turned a cup into a flat piece of paper that can’t contain the ketchup. Congratulations, you just got ketchup all over the place you stupid fat fuck. Next week, how to get mayo all over a table.

Ah, but what you gain in breadth you lose in depth, which is much more important to single-fry dunkers. This characteristic is desirable for widebody potato products such as cottage fries or tater tots (which can cause souffle cup overflow.) Note: I have never, in all my decades of burger eating, “dunked” a burger into ketchup. When ketchup was deemed necessary to complete a bite of burger, I instinctively went for strategic, pinpoint accurate application to the bitten edge. Now I feel like a rube with OCD.

I worked at a tavern years ago and we used to serve nuts in those little white containers. If the clients were good tippers they good the exanded cup of nuts. BTW, a lid from from the soda cup holds a lot more ketchup then one of those lil white containers!

can you think of a way that when driving and eating fries etc something that could attach somewhere – maybe cupholder that would hold your ketchup so you good dunk while driving?

Paper is cheaper then plastic, that is one reason we don’t stamp these particular cups, although any Outback or Chilis does provide stamped out cups to go when they need to last for a long time, even over night in a fridge

These cups are made like this because they are not meant to last more then 30 minutes when filled with sauce. Paper is cheap, and the less paper we use to make these, the more profit we have. Now as one commenter said, you unfan the cup and it becomes a wet sloppy mess. The folds are there to give it structure and to absorb some of the sauce without floundering. It’s not meant to be unfanned but if it makes your experience more enjoyable go for it.

What I don’t understand are the places that offer this (and not ketchup packets) but nothing to cover it with so of course they squash and soil the entire bag of food. I don’t want soggy fries before I get to them! but now I guess I can take another cup, fan it open and use it as a cover …

Certainly explains why we don’t have flying cars yet. With our species still struggling to master the tiny paper ketchup cup, there’s really not much hope for us.

There’s an even easier way to do this AND increase the volume of ketchup to reduce multiple trips to the dispenser or multiple cups.

Simply place the top firmly against your mouth (before filling, obviously), creating a seal around your lips, and gently blow, “puffing up” the container.

You’ll end up with something more like a “kettle” than a “flower-pot”.

If you need to widen the mouth after that, continue as described here.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just put an already-flat napkin on your tray and pump the ketchup onto that? If you want a heap of ketchup, make a heap. If you want a cup, use a cup. Don’t rip a cup apart and act like you’ve solved the world’s problems by inventing “something flat”.

“Tiny Paper Cup” ??? – Also known as a Tampoon. Is capable of expansion once full of red liquid…….Tampoon a necessity……Tiny Paper Cup for ketchup ????????? Bin it!

Amateurs…use a fountain drink lid…they are recyclable, require no work to “fan out”, require one less item to be stocked or grabbed, come in multiple sizes so you can choose based on personal ketchup habits, and provide great surface area for dipping burgers…

I think you can only really say we’ve been using them WRONG if we’ve been turning the cups upside down, thus spilling ketchup everywhere and preventing us from dipping our fries.

I mean, if we’ve managed to dip our fries into the ketchup, we’re using it right. It’s an interesting story, but really, I don’t give a f*ck how I get the ketchup to the fry, as long as it gets there.

three things: 1) anyone that thinks they can get away with dippin that many fries or the huge of a burger into such a small container is either a fat fuck idiot or just an idiot.

2) pour the fucking ketchup onto the burger dont dip it ya fucking savage animal.

3) the designer assumed you werent such a greedy fat pig and needed to douse everything you eat in ketchup. he/she is probably rolling in their fucking grave right now because of your fat greey ass. learn some self control

Why are you dunking your burgers in the first place? Wouldn’t you just smear the ketchup on top of it? When it comes to ketchup, the only thing I’d want to dip is fries. I don’t see any reason to dip anything else.

Just got back from Thailand and their ketchup cups are trays like this and I thought they were totally useless until I used them. Then I found out they were the tits.

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