by Gino De Blasio | 4 Minute Read
ASDA clearly knew what it was doing. It is not the first time that the debate surrounding ketchup and how it should be stored would cause uproar. A simple google search would point to a Boris Johnson Reddit thread from 2014, it’s hard to miss, it’s the number one result. He caused widespread condemnation from half of his audience (it wouldn’t be the last time) by revealing that he was the kind of man that stored his ketchup in a cupboard. Fast forward two years, and a supermarket chain is rehashing old news in the guise of current opinionated debate.
In a world of fake news & alternative fact, the hodgepodge of culturally irrelevant news topics takes a weird twist when the second biggest reported story on a cold February morning is that of “how should ketchup be stored?” That is what the fake news, post truth, post brexit and Trump triumphalism has given the world, me and millions of others questioning if a story about ketchup could even be a real thing. Surely we should all be giving more of a flying fu*k about Beyonce (1) pregnant with twins and the mystery that involves Adele (2) not getting over a breakup some 10 years ago…
Twitter being twitter it wasn’t going to let this one go. We had the feminist march, a point was made. We had Brexit, everyone was confused. Trump, well he provides daily doses of ridicule and shock – the countdown to a post apocalyptic Hunger Games is the first thing I personally check for every morning.
Social media has its comedians, and the witty banter brigade were out in force. Ketchup mockery made sense in a nonsensical news cycle where Muslims are banned from travelling into the United States (purposely splitting hairs here) and Tom Brady was being crowned king of the universe, or whatever it is that the Super Bowl is actually crowning. But when it comes down to it, we’re talking about a condiment.
Not even in all of the hundreds of reviews Jay Rayner (@jayrayner1) has done of restaurants, never has ketchup been a precursor to culinary brilliance. It doesn’t offset the ambience, open magical doorways to good taste and flavour and the food isn’t spoilt with or without it, it is thus so inadequate that food professionals aren’t even considering it.
The one time that Jay Rayner does review the restaurant made tomato ketchup it seems they shouldn’t have bothered, “a gummy condiment full of machismo and casual violence”. Not the kind of thing you’d find from the bottled variety, be it in your fridge or pantry door.
There used to be a time that ketchup was less divisive. Sure, we could judge someone using ketchup instead of brown sauce on a bacon sandwich, but that is fine (3). Mustard has never caused wars, but the thought that one should use the Dijon variety at a barbecue in England can cause a typical English ‘tut’ to satiate the proud flag wavers. The same flag wavers that voted for #Brexit based on the straightness of a banana, perhaps.
Now however, there are no topics which aren’t taken with a pinch of salt. We have become slaves to our mobile devices, a false truth that is vacuously spread through the ether and reported as some sort of fact shaming mission which is then, false, plunges us into more despair. We’re left making one bad decision after another, and thankfully we’re now all the better for knowing that ketchup goes in the fridge, thanks to the 53% who said so in the survey. If you’re the 47% (4), you have no voice, in the fridge it must be.
thankfully we’re now all the better for knowing that ketchup goes in the fridge, thanks to the 53% who said so in the survey. If you’re the 47% (3), you have no voice, in the fridge it must be.
Heniz was a pioneer of advertising. It never had to worry about such triviality. It would print storage instructions after opening. Low and behold, it still does. From Matt LeBlanc famously preparing a hotdog with the sauce dripping from a rooftop, to a halftime Super Bowl ad pleading with the government to give tired viewers the Monday off. Heinz, or ketchup moreover, knows what matters… no PR, no spin, no ‘FAKE NEWS’. Just good old condiment.
And maybe that’s the thing with this fake news world that we live in today. Maybe the trivial stories will get more notoriety, because we honestly don’t know who, or what the fu*k to trust anymore. Apparently, less of our mainstream press, more our leaders, and spurious PR posts.
Let’s stop questioning and let’s start obeying, because no-one saw this happen, not even the ones that used to love putting their tomato ketchup in their cupboard. Poor sods.
1) Beyonce is a singer. Apparently we should fall at her feet for her musical brilliance.
2) Adele is a singer. Apparently we should be happy to hear songs from a 25 year old about heartbreak. She has since married and had a child after the heartbreak, 10 years ago.
3) Brown sauce could be Fake News, fear not, it isn’t. It is a real thing and tastes like burnt toast doused in vinegar. It sounds sh*t, it isn’t. It’s great on sausage sandwiches not bacon sandwiches. FACT.
4) The UK’s referendum to leave the EU was won 52:48. Like tomato ketchup polls, the losing side must all assimilate.