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French Ban Ketchup? This Means War! Again…

This entry is part of a series, Follies 2011»


A disturbing new trend in Europe these days; specifically, in French school cafeterias. Ketchup has been banned from the kitchen and tables there! And this is a direct slap at the condiment that Americans use the most. Never mind that ketchup was invented in the 17th century in China. (It didn’t have tomatoes in it back then; just pickled fish, spices and the brine from the fish.) This “ketsiap” made its way to Europe via Dutch and English traders. The first published ketchup recipe, in 1727, called for anchovies, shallots, vinegar, white wine, spices, pepper and lemon peel. (I’m not sure quite what that would taste like.) It wasn’t until the early 1800s that ketchup gained its savory tomato base. (The Brits were big on mushroom varieties.)

The current hullabaloo seems to stem from the French being worried that their schoolkids are going the way of ours: overweight and poorly fed. Something about salt, fat and calories. (The story’s in a video here.) Shoot, back in the Ronnie Reagan era, ketchup was considered a vegetable serving! I guess the French never got that memo.

I think it’s a direct response, although a bit delayed, to our attempts to change the name of French fries to Freedom fries. (That’s nearly a decade ago anyway. Besides, the French don’t eat French fries; we do.) Although the name didn’t stick, the French are known to hold a grudge.

So now, to put a stick in the eye of ketchup-loving Americans everywhere, the French have banned the red menace. (No, not THAT Red Menace. That’s history.) And while this may have a negative effect on tomato futures contracts, it may also promise an opportunity for some young, entrepreneurial types who wish to make a fortune. Just repackage the sauce into small, disposable pouches labeled “Freedom Relish” (in French, of course, so it sounds like it’s good for you) and smuggle market directly to schoolkids. You’ll get rich, the kids will get what they want, and there still won’t be any ketchup in the French school system.

Then we simply sit back and see how the quiche-eaters respond…

Enjoy the (Red Mud Slinging) Heat!

Entries in this series:
  1. Friday Follies: Weirdest Snacks, Dumb (and Hungry) Burglars, and Why Google is Like Bananas
  2. Friday Follies: Cakes That Make You Laugh (Maybe), and Which Food Best Represents Your State
  3. Friday Follies: Green Bugs to Replace Red Meat On Your Plate?
  4. Friday Follies: How to Pour a Beer Every Second (Almost)
  5. How Beer Saved the World (and, You Heard It Here First!)
  6. Friday Follies: Become a Professional Beer Expert (And You Thought All You Had to Do Was Drink)
  7. What's for Dinner Gets Automated, In a Weird Sort of Way
  8. Follies Extra: Is That a Chile Pepper On Your Plate, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
  9. Friday Follies: Oh, You Wanted the Mayo On the Side, Eh?
  10. Friday Follies: Eating Like a Monk During Lent
  11. Friday Follies: O No, You Got a Spork in the Salad Shooter!
  12. Friday Follies: Food Network Now Wants to Play Ball
  13. Friday Follies: Chile Underground Voted Number One Food Blog
  14. Friday Follies: Beer, It's What's for Breakfast
  15. Friday Follies: The End of the World is Nigh, and Bacon is to Blame
  16. Virtual Reality Gives “Cookie Monster” a Whole New Meaning
  17. Friday Follies: Do-It-Yourself Egg Art, and That’s No Yolk
  18. Burger Follies: A Fight Over Killer Burgers, In-N-Out in Texas, and Burger America Goes Second Edition
  19. Friday Follies: Once I Saw These, I Didn’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance…
  20. Friday Follies: Peppers Help Preggers to Pop
  21. Follies: Barbeque That Goes Where You Go, All Day Long
  22. Follies: How to Carry Your Liquor, and Don’t Do’s at the Bar
  23. Going to China for the Aquatics Championships? Don’t Eat the Pork…
  24. Zesty Chili Doesn’t Make Lingerie More Exciting for One Woman
  25. Follies: Edible Clay, Eu de Play-Doh, and a Website You Can’t Live Without
  26. Important News Concerning Two Essential Food Groups: Beer and Hamburgers
  27. Follies Extra: A Multitude of Uses for Beer (Besides Drinking)
  28. Chocolate’s Better’n Carrots, But Is Miracle Whip Really Good for Your Love Life?
  29. Who Says Lutherans Don’t Know How to Party? Watch This…
  30. There’s Something Big Stirring at UMass…
  31. Salsa Proves Too Hot for Owner; He’s Smoked…
  32. Would You Like Some Al Yankovic With That Veal Cordon Bleu? And Other Food-Music News
  33. A Salmagundi of Savory Silliness
  34. Doritos Situation Grave, and (Lust for) Alcohol Makes You Stupid
  35. “A Bear Walked Into a Grocery…” And It’s No Joke…
  36. French Ban Ketchup? This Means War! Again…
  37. Armadillo as Weapon, Bar Fun With Guns, and Another Humongous Burger
  38. Pizza as Vegetable? Okay; Why Not Chocolate, or Cheez Whiz, or Kool Whip, or …
  39. A Meal That Makes You Glad You Have Leftovers From Thanksgiving
  40. Why This May Be the Last Christmas Ever
  41. If You’re Going Out Into the Snow, Take Your Beer Along (Lots of It)
  42. No Eat Strong Pig, Eat Monster Gummy Bear Instead
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