Culinary no-no #740


This week we’re talking ketchup.

If I never have it again I’m cool.

Ketchup on fries? Maybe, but I’m fine without.

On a hot dog? What, no other condiments available?

Ketchup to me is useless. A big fat nothing.

The red junk was the subject of the very first Culinary no-no on Father’s Day 15 years ago:

A National Restaurant Association survey shows two out of five people (40%) go out to eat on Mother’s Day. On Father’s Day, it’s one out of four (25%).

Odds are Dad is outside grilling on his day. It is, after all, summer grilling season.

In Wisconsin, that means brats. And everybody has an opinion on how to cook them, and how to eat them.

My wife, for example, likes brats one of three ways:

1) With sauerkraut
2) With sautéed or grilled onions and green peppers
3) With chopped onions, mustard and……………ketchup.


She is not alone.

In a Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel article last June, local grillers were surveyed about how to cook and eat a brat. The ketchup as a condiment question was part of the debate.

Michael Zorn, assistant production coordinator of Johnsonville Brats in Sheboygan eats brats the way my wife does: “Personally, for me, the condiments I use are the ketchup, mustard and onion. It can’t be this yellow mustard. It has to be dark mustard.”

The guy works at a place that specializes in brats, and he puts ketchup on his sausages.

Adam Siegel, executive chef at Bacchus and Lake Park Bistro said, when it comes to ketchup, “I’m not against it. I just like a more pungent flavor.”

And finally, Dick Leinenkugel, vice president of marketing for Leinenkugel Brewing Co. said, “I’m so basic. I’m a ketchup guy. People look at me kind of weirdly.”

I’ll bet.

A brat is basically a pork sausage.

We’re talking pork ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Pork.

Would you put ketchup on a pork chop?

Would you open up the Heinz and pour it on a nice thick slice of pork tenderloin?

Would you go to Saz’s and tell them you want your ribs slathered with Hunts?

Would you dunk your bacon in the red stuff?

If you said yes to any of the above questions you need psychiatric help and a support group.

In an episode of “Happy Days,” that great philosopher Fonzie was talking about ketchup and ice cream. Keep them apart, and it got a Fonzie, “Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” But put them together, it was thumbs down.

The same is true, I believe, for ketchup on a brat.

Karl Ratzsch’s dinner menu features Wurst Teller:
Bratwurst and Knackwurst served with Sauerkraut, Sautéed Spinach, Whipped Potato, and Swabian Sauce. Their lunch menu has a Usingers Bratwurst, Hungarian or Knackwurst, served on a Hoagie with Sauerkraut.

You see any mention of ketchup?

It is sacrilege to put ketchup on a brat.

Onions, yes.

Sauerkraut, yes.

Mustard, yes.

Ketchup, no.

A big fat no.

I love my wife.

On this one, I’m sorry.

She’s crazy.

— Sunday, Jun 17 2007, 05:55 PM

Fast forward to today. Got another ketchup Culinary no-no, one that sends even my lovely wife gagging.

And if you dared offer it to a kid the next phone call you’d get would be from child protective services.

Try this. A ketchup popsicle.

From the same people that bring you the dreadful yellow mustard… French’s. They teamed up with the Canadian ice pop brand Happy Pops, and put together 100 percent Canadian tomatoes and organic cane sugar.

In an attempt to market this this condiment-turned-popsicle French’s describes it as “savory tomato flavor [that] is perfectly balanced with a hint of salty sweetness.”

French’s has tried and has struck out before with such nonsense: French’s mustard ice creamFrench’s mustard beer, and French’s mustard hot dog buns.

For now this raunchiness is only available in Canada.

Let’s keep it that way.

One thought on “Culinary no-no #740

  1. Pingback: Culinary no-no #741 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s