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It was actually thin, dark, fermented fish sauce, with nary a tomato to be found (via National Geographic). Tomatoes were taboo, yes. In 1834, the tomato got a makeover. Back in the 1800’s ketchup was once considered a medicine. However, it wasn't because of the tomatoes — it was the pewter. Copycats selling laxatives as tomato pills eventually discredited the medicine. Don't laugh yet. “Ketchup was sold as medicine in the 1830’s.” Okay. Just ask Food52's forum, where people go wild over bananas and ketchup, cottage cheese and ketchup, Greek yogurt and ketchup, and grapes and ketchup. Skin a little yellow? In 1834, ketchup was sold as a cure for indigestion by an Ohio physician named John Cook. The surprising way ketchup was used in the 1800s, Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. In 1834, the tomato got a makeover. Ketchup was used as medicine. In the 19th century, the British introduced tomatoes in the ketchup. In 1834, Dr John Cooke Bennett added tomatoes to ketchup and claimed that it could cure the above-mentioned diseases. Got diarrhea? The long and short of it is that rich people, who imported tomatoes from South America, were getting sick and dying after eating these delicacies off of their expensive, pewter plates. In 1834, an Ohio physician named Dr. John Cook Bennett declared tomatoes to be a universal panacea that could be used to treat diarrhea, violent bilious attacks, and indigestion. He claimed his recipe could cure: Diarrhea; Indigestion; Jaundice; Rheumatism But in the mid-1800s, ketchup was the medicine. The long history of ketchup in the Western world extends back to the early 16th century, when British settlers in Fuji were introduced to a sauce used by Chinese sailors called ke-tchup Bennet may have been on to something, after all. Different varieties of ketchup were made of berries, grapes, mushrooms, and other foods. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on your website. The popularization of tomato ketchup didn’t happen in America until 1834. James Mease, a Philadelphia scientist, is credited with developing the recipe. That’s why ketchup didn’t contain tomatoes back in those days. In 1834, Dr John Cooke Bennett added tomatoes to ketchup and claimed that it could cure the above-mentioned diseases. But it was in 1834, in the hands of Dr. John Cook Bennet, that tomato ketchup caught its big break (via Ripley's). That’s why ketchup didn’t contain tomatoes back in those days. French fries are for novices. Pretty soon, Bennett was publishing recipes for tomato ketchup, which were then concentrated into pill form and sold as a patent medicine across the country. Up until late 1800s, tomato was considered poisonous and ketchup was made of a variety of ingredients like grapes, mushrooms and berries – but no tomato. According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, eating tomatoes can decrease your risk of osteoporosis, and lung, prostate, stomach, cervical, breast, oral, colorectal, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers. Tomato-based ketchup wasn't always a must-have, though. “Ketchup was sold as medicine in the 1830’s.” Okay. A little investigating shows that up until around 1800, North Americans widely regarded tomatoes as poisonous. Don't sweat it — ketchup's got your back (via Mental Floss). The history of ketchup goes way back to the early 16th century. Tomato-based ketchup slowly became the ubiquitous form of the condiment in the U.S. and Europe. By Esther Crain. In the early 1800s, ketchup was touted as a medicinal miracle. Originally a cowboy, Stanley claimed to have studied with a Hopi medicine man who turned him on to the healing powers of snake oil. The freaky and not-always-healthy backstory behind some of your favorite eats. Later, Dr. John Cook Bennett published recipes for tomato ketchup as a … Got indigestion? Unfortunately for him, ketchup pills were a relatively short-lived phenomenon. Different varieties of ketchup were made of berries, grapes, mushrooms, and other foods. According to Ripley's, by the 1850s, Bennet had gone out of business. By 1876, tomatoes had undergone a remarkable turnaround in the court of public opinion. However, in 1834, tomatoes were declared helpful to treat diarrhea, dyspepsia, and other digestive ailments. Tomatoes equal to ketchup. In the early 1800s, ketchup was touted as a medicinal miracle. Yes, that’s right, tomato ketchup was once believed to have medicinal properties and was used as a form of medication to cure diarrhoea, indigestion, rheumatism and jaundice.

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