Nicola here. There’s something about this time of year that makes me think about food even more than I usually do. Perhaps it’s the run up to the festive season when I’m not only thinking of the dishes I’d like to cook, or more accurately, I’d like the DH to cook for me as he’s a much better chef than I am, but somehow the dark evenings, short days and cold weather make me long to turn to food for both comfort and warmth.
I’m reasonably okay about trying new dishes but when I came across a recipe that mentioned elderberry ketchup I did wince a little. My memories of ketchup, which I haven’t tried in decades, mainly consist of eating fish fingers with tomato ketchup as a child. Anyway, the dictionary definition of ketchup I found is “a spicy sauce made chiefly from tomatoes and vinegar, used as relish.” Historically, ketchup recipes began to appear in British and American cookbooks in the 18th century. In the UK it was in fact mushrooms rather than tomatoes that first became a staple ingredient, along with shallots and sometimes walnuts. The tomato version only came along 100 years later.