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Watch: The Original Ketchup Was Made With Fish Guts

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The all-American condiment actually originated in China

When it comes to condiments, ketchup is about as all-American as it gets (okay, except for maybe ranch dressing). The sweet, tomato-y sauce is practically a requirement for hot dogs, fries, and burgers, but its origins are decidedly foreign: As this video from Great Big Story explains, ketchup was invented in China about a thousand years ago — and the original recipe included fish guts rather than tomatoes.

To make this early version of the sauce we hold so dearly, salt was added to fish offal and the mixture was left to sun-bake for 20 days. European settlers took a liking to the sauce and spread it to other regions of the world, putting their own twists on it by adding a host of other strange ingredients from oysters to strawberries. This so-called ketchup eventually made its way to the U.S., where a Philadelphia horticulturist dreamt up a tomato-based recipe that stuck.

These days, ketchup brand loyalties are fierce: One feisty Trump opponent has created yard signs that allege the controversial candidate prefers Hunt's brand ketchup (gasp), which many believe to be vastly inferior to reigning ketchup king Heinz.

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