This Automated Ketchup Dispenser Nails It


Let’s flash back to 2007. We had the misfortune of watching Spiderman 3 in theaters, Drake started dropping mixtapes, and to that point, all our presidents had always been white dudes.

One thing that unfortunately didn’t catch on in 2007 was the Heinz Automato57. As you can clearly see in the videos below, this could easily have been the future of ketchup squirting.

This remote control ketchup bot showed the potential for ultimate efficiency, as it had the ability to dress multiple hot dogs in a matter of seconds.

However, its accuracy could have used a little work.

You can’t help but wonder what could have been.

And then…

And for good measure…


Today I Learned: The Word ‘Ketchup’ Actually Means Preserved Fish Sauce


You’d be hard pressed to find a condiment more “American” than ketchup, but it seems that, just like everything else in this great nation of ours, we stole that from someone else too.

Last week, NPR took a look at Stanford linguist’s Dan Jurafsky’s book The Language of Food, to puzzle out a few interesting etymological factoids — including, yes, the history of ketchup.

According to Jurafsky, our favorite tomato-based hot dog topping actually started as a kind of preserved Chinese fish sauce in the 5th century. The process for its creation involved “‘layering local fish in jars with cooked rice and salt, covered with bamboo leaves, and left to ferment.'” The result was pickled fish, and a leftover salty, fish-flavored sauce called ketchup — “tchup” being a word for sauce in Chinese and “ke” meaning “preserved fish.”

In the 19th century, British sailors who had traveled to Asia added tomatoes to the mix, and not too long after that, the fish was eventually ditched and Americans added sugar. The name ketchup, however, stuck.

How’s that for watercooler fodder?


This Chicken Sandwich Puts the Whole World in Your Mouth


PicThx hamakei


Hamburger Crocs Are GQ-Worthy Food Swag


It takes a strong individual to be willing to wear Crocs in public. For the shameless food lover who couldn’t give a rat’s derriere what people think, Japan just launched a collection of hamburger-styled rubber sandals that really do manage to be more garish than the original.

With a light brown rubber upper and two wavy layers of red “ketchup,”  green “lettuce,” and dark brown “beef” inner and midsoles, the Crocband Hamburger Clogs will be available starting tomorrow from the Crocs Japan online store. There are even special mini burger, french fry, and soda Jibbitz to help you really up the something-something ante.


$49 buys yours. Fries and soda, sadly extra.

H/T + PicThx Nerdalicious


A Beautiful Look At BBQ From 9 Different Countries Around The World


A typical American backyard barbecue goes something like this: grill meat, eat meat, repeat ad food coma-em. Incidentally, the case is pretty much the same in the rest of the world. Whether it’s biltong strips at a South African braai, or galbi at All-You-Can-Eat Korean Barbecue, few things bring people the world over together quite as well as smoke, hot stones or metal, and a nice, heaping hunk of protein.

And we don’t just mean your average meat on a stick on a grill (which appears in so many cultures, and of course is delicious) — but also tandoori chicken from India (cooked in a clay oven), and Hawaiian kalua pork (cooked in a hole in the ground). With help from our friends at ConAgra Foods, we’ve recreated a few of the more iconic spreads from across the globe to celebrate the beauty that is international barbecue. Goodbye long, dreary winter. It’s grilling time.


Asado / Argentina




On the Argentinian “asado” menu are huge slabs of meat, sometimes whole animals, stretched out and smoked over an open fire pit, along with sides of chimichurri for dipping, simple salads, and grilled vegetables. The spirits at these hourlong affairs are often free-flowing, perfect for swapping stories with friends and family beneath the setting sun.



Braai / South Africa




Both the name for the meats and the custom of outdoor grilling, South African braais are so beloved, they even have a “National Braai Day” (fittingly, celebrated the same date as National Heritage Day). Here you can find pork and beef sausages (called boerewors), chicken or lamb skewers (sosaties), and various jerky meats known as biltong, which supposedly pair extremely well with many South African wines.



Hawaiian Luau / USA




Hawaiian luaus have been copied and parodied six ways to Sunday, usually with some manner of tropical themed shirt and tiki torch. But when it comes to the traditional feast, a few things remain constant: the kalua pig, buried deep in a sand pit and cooked for hours at a time, taro-based dishes like poi and leaf-wrapped laulau, pineapples, live music, and dance. Party hardy.



Lechon / Philippines



Get your whole roasted pig fix here. Borrowed from Spain, a lechon (also called lechon baboy) is the capstone of any Filipino celebration, from birthdays to 50th wedding anniversaries. Pictured here is its simpler, pan-fried cousin called lechon kawali, because suckling pigs are big and expensive, and we were on deadline. Enjoy either version with a couple meat skewers, sides of noodles and rice, a cold Sarsi soda, and of course, a cool dollop of that sweet Filipino gravy, Mang Tomas.



Gogigui / Korea




Now a mainstay of most grease-friendly college diets, Korean barbecue is one of themore delicious ways to ensure a slow and steady death. Served with endless small side dishes, marinated meats like bulgogi (beef sirloin) or galbi (beef short ribs) are thinly sliced and cooked on a small tabletop grill. Wash everything down with a scoop of ice cream or shot of soju (Korean rice liquor).



Mezze / Lebanon





At Lebanese barbecues, mixed nuts are staple. They’re out the second guests are over, and remain on the table even through dessert. Meat kebabs are served along grilled pitas and hummus, while pinchfuls of tabouleh salad get paired with a clear, anise-flavored liquor called arak.

(H/T Elie)


Tandoor / India




In India, the grilling is done a little more neatly, not over an open fire pit, but inside a buried clay oven called a tandoor. Tandoori chicken, one of India’s more prominent dishes, comes with sides like naan bread, cucumber raita sauce, and basmati rice.



Sausage Sizzle / Australia



If you’d notice, no, Australian barbecue isn’t “shrimp on the barbie” (they call them prawns there). But their “sausage sizzle” is 100% authentic. At fundraisers and community events, Aussies strip barbecue down to its bare essentials, which down under is nothing more than a sausage and grilled onions and mustard on a bread roll or slice of white toast. In other words, simply too good to be true.



Backyard Barbecue / USA




Burgers are very American, as are hot dogs and potato chips and soda and beer and eating not until you’re full, but until you hate yourself. The quintessential backyard barbecue combines all these things in the most glorious ways possible, and in almost every way possible. You can put cheese in your beef patty, toast buns on the grill, even make turkey burgers if you’re so inclined. Just remember to kiss the chef.


Ketchup Labeled ‘Fancy’ Means It’s Thicker than Standard Ketchup


When it comes to condiments, ketchup rules the roost. Although this topic is highly debatable, the spread is simply applicable in so many situations, whether it be romantic, holiday-related or just as a tasty burger topper. If you’re a fellow ketchup fan, chances are you stick to a specific brand. But have you ever seen the “fancy” kind?

Apparently, “fancy” is a USDA grade that pertains to specific gravity. Basically, this variety of ketchup has the highest tomato solid concentration, making it thicker and, well, fancier. It’s like the foie gras of the ketchup world. Sort of.

So the next time you have a choice between normal and fancy ketchup, reach for the latter. Now you know that sh*t is high class.

H/T Wiki

Fast Food

Get Your Girlfriend This Whataburger Ketchup Bundle For Valentines Day If You Want To Break Up

Whataburger Ketchup Bundle Valentines DayGents, just in case you need any last minute gift ideas for Valentines Day, this post shouldn’t help at all. Whataburger, the Texas-headquartered hamburger chain with 750 locations in 10 states, announced that the Whataburger Ketchup Lover’s Bundle is available for purchase though its website and includes a 20-ounce bottle of Whataburger Fancy Ketchup, Ketchup Blanket, Ketchup T-Shirt, Ketchup Mouse Pad and a Ketchup Reusable Grocery Bag. I’m not only impressed by the sheer amount of ketchup items in one bag (who knew?), but more importantly the fact that I was able to use Ketchup in a sentence six times. Personal record. Here are the pros and cons of getting this for your significant other.


CON: Everything is Based on A CONdiment

What’s the best way to say I love you? By telling your girlfriend that you know how much she likes to eat. And specifically that she likes to eat so much she’s willing to sport it on five everyday items. Either she’s going to break up with you or keep you abstinent for years.

CON: Not Boys II Men or Brian McKnight CONcert Tickets

Hopefully you don’t have a girlfriend that’s expecting chocolate, roses, a $$$$ Yelp dinner, and a Boys II Men concert opened by Brian McKnight. But just in case you do, this lover’s bundle probably shouldn’t be the gift opening OR closing your night. As much as I’ve dreamed about wearing my Whataburger Fancy Ketchup T-Shirt while singing Although we’ve come, to the END OF THE ROAD, I realize I may be in the minority. But still I can’t let go. It’s unnatural. You belong to me Ketchup. And I will always belong to you.

PRO & CON: Ketchup Stain-PROof Products

Why is the blanket, t-shirt and mouse pad red? For Valentines Day? NOPE. Because it matches the Ketchup Bottle?! Probably, but here’s the best reason: because you can spill ketchup all over these items and they look better. Eating the six french fries at your desk because you ate the rest on the car ride? That mouse pad sure looks like a good place to place to squeeze your ketchup. You’ll be able to eat fries and greasify your keyboard without leaving your desk. And if your girlfriend wasn’t completely offended by the initial surprise of this ketchup lover’s bundle, she might be when she figures out you gave her the ketchup-slob-proof t-shirt and blanket.

PRO: Not A PROmise Ring

You’ve seen the gleam in her eye. But you’re unsure if the gleam was from the reflection of diamonds from the jewelry store window or if it was the portal to her soul hoping for an eternal future with you. Sure, you tried to lure her away from the window by offering to purchase a chocolate-covered candy apple. But it didn’t work. And now you have to get her something. I’m sure this Ketchup Bundle will almost mean as much. And Whataburger offers free ground shipping? Where do you sign?

PRO: Keeps Her Standards Low, PRObably

She already knows that you’re nothing like the guys from the movies. But with this gift you can ensure that all you’ll need for the next Valentines Day is a package of mustard related products. Rotating condiment gifts? A lot cheaper than jewelry. Bonus: your fridge will be stocked.




Mayonnaise Dethrones Ketchup as Most Popular Condiment



Think ketchup reigns supreme when it comes to America’s favorite condiment? Well, time to shatter your reality. Pulling data from Euromonitor, Quartz graphed the growth of ketchup, mayonnaise, soy sauce , barbecue sauce, mustard and steak sauce markets from 2000 to 2013.

The verdict: The US consumes $2 billion worth of mayo each year, while the ketchup market is worth around $800 million — less than half of mayo’s. Soy sauce follows close behind ketchup at $725 million last year, with barbecue sauce coming in at $660 million. Mustard’s market, on the other hand, has been shrinking since 2009 and falls slightly under $450 million.


It’s worth it to note that while hot sauce is valued at $550 million, it’s grown by 150 percent since 2000 — more than ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and mustard combined. As Quartz points out, “Hot sauce is having more than just a moment; it’s having a decade.”

A lot of the love is due to America’s rising immigrant population. The influx of Asians and Latinos has made spicy dishes more commonplace and has helped fuel the US’ current obsession with sauces like Sriracha and Tabasco (please refer to the great Tabasco vs Sriracha debate).


Naturally, the rising popularity of hot wings have also played a big part: Americans consume a whopping 25 billion chicken wings per year. “Sriracha, Tabasco, and Frank’s Red Hot, in particular, have really benefited from that,” Matt Hudak, Euromonitor’s US food industry expert, explained.

Charts via Quartz