French fries and ketchup are an irresistible combination of salty and sweet flavors. How did they come to be partners? Here is the history of the relationship between French fries and ketchup…
The story dates back to 8000 BC when the potato was first domesticated in modern day Peru and Bolivia. The potato would be on it’s own for the next handful of centuries until tomato cultivation began in 500 BC in Mexico.
In 544 AD a primitive ketchup was made using the stomach, intestine, and bladder of a yellow fish. We have written evidence of this creation, and while it might not be the tastiest kethcup recipe, it is our first recorded attempt at making this delicious condiment.
Things really kicked into high gear in the late 1700’s when King Louis XIV holds a potato only feast. This brings the potato interest and it begins to rise in popularity amongst the European population at the time.
Ketchup was not always the way we think of it today. “Ketchup” used to be a term for all savory and fermented sauces. You would often see mushroom, walnut, and even oyster ketchups in cookbooks from the 1700’s and 1800’s.
In 1860 the first chips are fried in Britain. No one knows it at the time, but this would be the start of humans love affair with fried potatoes.
The name “French fried potatoes” is shortened to “French fries” in 1930 in America with the rise of fast food restaurants.
From the mid to late 20th century French fries and ketchup were seen paired together at most fast food restaurants which became an increasingly large part of the American diet. In the year 2000 nearly 30% of all potatoes would be turned into French fries to meet the growing demand by American consumers.
French fries and ketchup took a long time to finally meet each other, but once they did the combination has been loved by people across the world ever since.