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Politicizing the Condiment Wars

[ 218 ] June 12, 2017 |

Right-wingers are very sensitive that their idiot presidents love ketchup.

For the past 40-odd years, whenever ketchup is in the news, it’s because liberals are attacking the stuff. Long before Watergate, when Nixon was in the White House, I kept hearing his political enemies ridiculing him because he allegedly put ketchup on his cottage cheese.

I admit that sounds a bit off-putting to me, but who can blame someone for trying to jazz up cottage cheese, truly one of the most boring foods ever invented.

The next time ketchup made the news, it was Ronald Reagan trying to make a case for its being a vegetable. The Democrats never stopped making fun of him over that. It actually sounded like a joke when he first mentioned it. As I recall, he was trying to make a case for its being counted as a vegetable and therefore part of a balanced diet in school cafeterias.

Of course, we all know it’s not a vegetable, but a fruit, even though it apparently has some vague relationship to tomatoes. The way I can tell it’s not an actual vegetable is that ketchup tastes good.

Now it’s Donald Trump who’s caught in the crosshairs of left-wing elitists. If there’s anything that those morons hate more than a man with a plan to build a wall and cut our taxes, it’s a guy who confesses that his favorite meal is meatloaf and mashed potatoes and, worse yet, likes his steaks well-done and served with ketchup.

Well, yes, you people shouldn’t eat like children. None of the three cases this guy cites is remotely defensible. As to what Nixon was doing, I have no idea. Trump is of course the mental and emotional equivalent of a 6-year old boy so it’s hardly surprising he eats like one. As for Reagan, Democrats weren’t making fun of Reagan (or more specifically his Department of Agriculture). We were trying to ensure that kids eat healthy. That’s not “making fun.” That’s outrage for a horrible policy. I recognize that for conservatives, the only two policies that matter are a) tax cuts for millionaires and b) making liberals feel bad. So yes, Democrats were actually concerned about the health of children, a concept impossible for conservatives to understand. Meanwhile, Obama once ate Dijon mustard on his burger and the right-wing establishment went up in a collective ball of outrage smoke for his anti-American ways. The fact that Dijon mustard is objectively a better condiment than ketchup is only more evidence that like on every other position, Republicans are simply wrong on their food choices and they should be made to feel ashamed for it.

Still, at least they aren’t Canadians.

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  • CaptServo

    Mustard we continue having such juvenile distractions?

    • Denverite

      We mayo.

      • Bitter Scribe

        We relish them.

    • Warren Terra

      Lettuce note that if we get distracted by this, we risk having to play catsup.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        And then we’d find ourselves in quite the pickle.

        • cleek

          pickles are my bread and butter

    • N__B

      We have to address the dangers of militant wasabism.

      • Warren Terra

        Oddly, militant wasabism is not a threat to peas in our time. Quite the contrary!

    • Origami Isopod

      I rate this subthread A1.

      • efgoldman

        I rate this subthread A1.

        57

        • Warren Terra

          +1000 (isle)

      • Ahuitzotl

        who’s your Daddy’s ?

    • lahtiji

      You are all the wurst.

      • CaptServo

        Sorry about that. I can be a brat from time to time.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Okay, this comment is definitely the wiener.

          • Origami Isopod

            I thought it was kinda saugy.

            • lahtiji

              Knack it off.

  • Cassiodorus

    I think liberals should have finished up the War on the Middle Class and the War on Christmas before launching a third front, but that’s just me.

    • Let’s not forget the War on Football.

      • Hogan

        And the War on Christians–oh wait. Now we’re deporting Chaldaeans, so that’s a Both Sides Do It But Democrats Are Worse thing.

        • The only bad war is on White Christians. War on Brown Christians is totally fine. See also deporting Latinos.

          • Karen24

            White Opus Dei Catholics and southern Evangelicals are the only Christians that matter. Liberals and all those people with the weird pictures of Mary who talk funny, they don’t count, and they count even less when they have dark skin.

            • N__B

              It’s the fact that southern evangelicals are cozying up to opus dei catholics that killed Jack Chick.

          • Hogan

            Fair point.

          • tsam

            Wrong kind of Christians. They don’t even speak English like Jesus did.

      • Origami Isopod

        Or the War on Boys, as documented by that noted scholar C.H. Sommers.

  • ChrisS

    My British wife, the heathen, puts ketchup on her hotdog. I told her in, no uncertain terms, that there are only five approved condiments that go on a hot dog: 1) mustard, 2) relish, 3) chili, 4) kraut, and 5) onion.

    She said I was being a jerk and then continued thus ruining the venison hot dog that I had endured untold suffering to procure.

    • wjts

      Ketchup on hot dogs is fine. Ketchup on venison in any form is probably not fine, but I haven’t had enough venison to say for certain.

      • ChrisS

        It’d be similar to putting ketchup on a slightly older grassfed lamb.

        • wjts

          Well, I wouldn’t put ketchup on lamb. But neither would I make a hot dog out of lamb. The question is remanded to the original court and the bailiff is instructed to bring me some souvlaki.

          • H. Rumbold, Master Barber

            Is it politically correct to make like mint jelly and take it on the lamb?

          • Ahuitzotl

            wait til you meet the peril from wales .. the Lambburger

    • So I was at a party this weekend and the hot dog condiment options were limited. I put mustard on one and then tried some guacamole and diced cucumber since there wasn’t any onion. It worked reasonably well. Not sure if it was better than just mustard though.

    • kped

      Nah, your wife is right here, you are being an ass. It’s shitty quality meat, ketchup helps it.

      Hot dog elitists are pretty much the worst people on earth. It’s a fucking hot dog!

      (also, chili on a hot dog is stupid. too messy, and now i’m gonna burn the roof of my mouth on this pile of extra meat? Fuck that nonsense!)

      • Linnaeus

        Agree on ketchup, disagree on chili.

        • kped

          I won’t fight you for that opinion…again, it’s just a hot dog!

          A few years ago I went with a friend late at night to pick up his wife at a night club (she went with some friends for a birthday). As we waited, there were some drunk people spilling out onto the sidewalks, and some went to grab a late night hot dog. One woman, very very drunk, proceeded to pile on every condiment to an absurd height, and I turned to my friend and said “I don’t like the structural integrity of that ‘dog”. The moment she tried to eat it, pretty much everything fell to the ground…the lesson is, don’t pile too much on the hot dog!

      • tsam

        Oh my god I LOVE chili dogs. Diced onions and shredded cheddar…GIMME GIMME GIMME

        • Linnaeus

          A good coney dog is one of the best things ever.

          • Brad Nailer

            Cincinnati, Skyline Chili, 1969. Three little coneys for, like, fifteen cents. Knife and fork, always.

        • DonN

          OMG Tommy’s chili cheese dog, a must stop in LA. Remember to ask for xtra onions.
          DN

    • N__B

      4) kraut

      I, too, enjoy putting diced germans on my sausage.

      • tsam

        I’ll be in my bunk.

        • N__B

          Yeah, it’s what keeps my marriage fresh.

          • tsam

            Do you have trouble finding fresh Germans? My local store is really hit and miss.

            • N__B

              Most of the germans I find are quite polite, but if you turn them over and thump their undersides some turn out to be really fresh.

    • CaptainBringdown

      I don’t really care for hotdogs, but Sonoran Dogs sound somewhat intriguing.

      • Warren Terra

        Also kimchi dogs and other Kogi-style Korean/American and Korean/Mexican hybrids.

      • wjts

        I’ve also enjoyed hot dogs wrapped in fried eggs, cheese, and bacon.

        • wca
          • Warren Terra

            One of the supermarkets near me sells packages of bacon-wrapped hot dogs among the other hot dogs it sells.

        • JustRuss

          Saturday I had a dog covered in bacon and chipotle sauce. It was not horrible.

    • John Revolta

      Go to Holland. The Dutch put-yes- mayo on their hot dogs.

      Gobs.

      • tsam

        That’s catching on here in the states–I’ve personally witnessed it on at least two occasions.

      • Warren Terra

        Mayo is a vital ingredient in some lovely dishes, but if it can be noticed as a discrete thing there’s way too much of it.

      • so-in-so

        And the Belgians (I’m told) put it on their French Fries.

        I’m surprised war has not broken out!

        • Warren Terra

          This was the true cause of WWI.

          Well, this and also the Germans hoped that if they overthrew the British Empire they could seize the currywurst mines.

        • Brad Nailer

          The Germans do it, too, but then they also put orange juice in their beer. (Or beer in their orange juice, I forget which.)

          • tsam

            Shandy is good. I like it. The orange and lemon are, the watermelon, not so much.

          • Mrs Tilton

            Ummm. Not so much.

            I mean, I cannot prove that no German has ever done this, anywhere, at any time. Similarly, though, I cannot prove that no German has ever mixed ketchup into a beer.

            What Germans very often do with beer is mix what they call weiße Limonade (white lemonade) into it. (This is not remotely what Americans think of as lemonade. It’s close to Sprite or 7-Up, and even closer to Spain’s La Casera, if you know that.) It’s called a Radler (“cyclist”) most places, but up north it’s also known as Alsterwasser (water from a tributary of the Elbe that flows through Hamburg; not sure that’s really something I’d want to drink).

            What Germans sometimes do with weiße Limo is mix it with other sorts of beer. So a Hefeweizen and weiße Limo mix is a Russ (“Russian”, in Bavarian dialect).

            And what Germans sometimes do with beer is mix it with other sorts of soft drink. So a mixture of beer and cola is a dreckisches (Frankfurt dialect for “dirty”) where I live, though other places use other names.

            Sometimes Germans will even mix their beer with Fanta (or some other brand of Orangenlimonade), but that sort of thing is limited to a few regions. A barman in my region might agree to mix you one, if you asked for it, but it’s not on any menus and we don’t have a slang name for it.

            But orange juice and beer? Never seen it; never heard of it. And, to riff on the old Bavarian saying, “Wos der Deutsche net kennt, des säuft er net“.

            • Ahuitzotl

              also (side tip), never refer to Fanta as Nazi-juice while in Germany, no matter how strong the habit is with you.

        • Dr. Acula

          The Dutch also do this as well.

      • lahtiji

        So do Colombians and Venezuelans, often mixed with ketchup in similar proportion to “fry sauce” from the Mountain West. Delicious.

        It’s about the only way I find ketchup on a hot dog defensible.

        • rm

          Isn’t that just 1000 Island dressing? Add sauerkraut and Swiss cheese for a Reuben Dog.

          • lahtiji

            “Isn’t that just 1000 Island dressing?”

            The base for it, yes. But 1000 Island is so much more.

            If you ever make it to South Florida, skip the Cuban food and go for a Colombian hot dog. Mayonnaise optional.

      • CaptServo

        Abominable. A sandwich (yes I’m going there) should only have mayo if it also has lettuce, tuna/chicken salad as the exception.

        • The Great God Pan

          An exception must also be made for the banh mi.

        • lahtiji

          I admit I am the type to put mayonnaise on an aspirin.

    • tsam

      She said I was being a jerk and then continued thus ruining the venison hot dog that I had endured untold suffering to procure.

      She’s right. Don’t tell your wife how to eat her food. Continue the controlling behavior and she might demonstrate the true definition of untold suffering.

      • ChrisS

        Good lord, I hope you don’t think I’m serious.

        • tsam

          Oh I didn’t. Rereading my comment makes me sound way more serious than I was–sorry about that!

          • Origami Isopod

            To be fair, there are people who do this IRL. They are tiresome. They are often the same people who feel free to criticize your viewing, reading, and drinking tastes without having been asked.

            • N__B

              I’ve made a mental note to stop telling Mrs__B which pea is geometrically proper to eat next.

              • tsam

                You get stabbed with a fork enough times, you learn…

                • N__B

                  Mrs__B is a biologist who has killed hundreds using cervical dislocation. True, they were all mice, but I wouldn’t want to underestimate her grip strength.

                • tsam

                  Mrs__B understands you at a cellular level. Be nice to her.

            • tsam

              There are–and they irritate the fuck out of me. That might be why my comment sounded angrier that I meant it to, though it really wasn’t written with the animosity that came through.

    • JMP

      Ketchup is the perfect topping for hot dogs though! What else are you going to put on it, especially considering that mustard is completely disgusting and gross and should never be consumed by humans?

      • wjts

        Well, you also need relish.

        • efgoldman

          Well, you also need relish.

          Can’t believe we got all the way to the bottom of this subthread before somebody mentioned the ONLY condiment that belongs on a hot dog.
          Also, it’s getting more and more difficult to find reasonably priced dogs that don’t contain turkey and/or chicken.
          If I wanted fucking poultry, I’d eat fucking poultry.

          • N__B

            If I wanted fucking poultry, I’d eat fucking poultry.

            Close but no seegar in the chicken-fucking competition.

          • tsam

            Yeesh–at least wait until they’re done fucking. And dead. Cooked, preferably. Don’t be a monster.

      • rm

        Apparently there are two types of people in the world.

        • DAS

          There are two types of people in the world: those who categorize folks into two types of people and those who don’t.

          BTW a bonus one (seeing that I majored in math): there are three types of mathematicians — those who can count and those who can’t.

          • rm

            I was thinking mustard people and ketchup people. It seems indisputably true to me that mustard is great and ketchup kind of gross, but here are some mustard haters. I just can’t understand these folks.

    • twbb

      I love ketchup. I will slather it on just about anything. But I just can’t stand it on hot dogs for some reason. I’m not sure why.

      • tsam

        It’s the liberal hive mind, undoubtedly.

      • Brett

        I like ketchup on grilled hot dogs, but not when they’re prepared other ways. Not sure why.

        Otherwise, ketchup is great. It makes for a good contrast with otherwise mildly bland fried food (like fish and chips, french fries, etc).

        • epidemiologist

          Ketchup is one of the only ways– and the only widely available way– to fix fries that are too starchy or are under-salted, once it’s too late to get more salt to stick to the fries.

        • Dr. Acula

          If you put ketchup on the fish, all you’ll taste is the ketchup.

        • bender

          My guess is that grilling caramelizes the outer part of the meat, which changes the flavor profile.

    • Brett

      Ketchup on grilled hot dogs is great most of the time. BBQ sauce is pretty good as well, but Ketchup is my favorite.

    • pacanukeha

      You forgot 6) Ketchup. Sweet tangy savoury goodness. Also I don’t know about the rest of the country, but up here in YUL we use non-creamy coleslaw instead of sauerkraut.

      Now – was it a venison hotdog (mmm, deer lips) or was it a venison sausage? There’s a world o’ difference.

      • bender

        I don’t know any hunters so I never get to eat venison. I would not knowingly eat venison from deer raised behind fences on a game farm, but if someone knows a source of venison hot dogs from wild game, I would be interested.

        For various reasons i don’t eat farmed mammals very often, and poultry sausage isn’t very good.

    • epidemiologist

      I am an adult Chicagoan and I still like them this way. Somehow I survived to adulthood before learning that this Isn’t Done.

      I blame my parents for letting me develop a taste for this delicious abomination as a child. For Christ’s sake, they let me do it in public at Portillo’s and they never warned me. Now I’m 30 and I am what I am.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      Drag mine through the garden.

  • Warren Terra

    The next time ketchup made the news, it was Ronald Reagan trying to make a case for its being a vegetable. The Democrats never stopped making fun of him over that. It actually sounded like a joke when he first mentioned it. As I recall, he was trying to make a case for its being counted as a vegetable and therefore part of a balanced diet in school cafeterias.

    Literally everyone understood this. That this was a horrible dishonest move intended to substitute corn syrup for vegetables in school meals was exactly the cause of the outrage. No-one cared what they called Ketchup – they could have called it Trevor for all anyone cared – but when they insisted it was a vital source of nutrition people wouldn’t stomach it.

    • Lurking Canadian

      This. I find examples (1) and (3) kind of petty. I mean, I get that some people care about such things, but I’ve never understood why.
      Trump can put whatever he wants on his dinner. At most he’s hurting himself.

      What the Reagan people were trying to do was degrade the health of schoolchildren. That’s a little different than making fun of a guy who wants to put ketchup on cottage cheese.

      • Dilan Esper

        +1

    • bender

      Tomato paste counts as a vegetable on the Weight Watchers diet, which makes sense because tomato paste is concentrated tomatoes. It’s nutrient dense but lacks the fiber you would consume if you ate as many cooked tomatoes as would go into that amount of paste.

      Ketchup is slightly diluted tomato paste with added sugar. It has some nutritional value. If you are trying to get picky eaters to consume vegetables, offering them ketchup is not ideal but no worse than offering them a baked vegetable drenched in butter or cheese sauce. My objection to counting ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches was that it was a move to replace a fresh vegetable with a highly processed one in order to save money. This was part of a larger ongoing project to replace the cafeteria style school lunches of the Fifties with fast food that required no preparation beyond heating up.

      I class “Ketchup is a vegetable,” with “You’ve seen one redwood tree, you’ve seen them all,” as Reagan statements that outraged liberals but have some basis in fact.

      • Warren Terra

        You do understand that “You’ve seen one redwood tree, you’ve seen them all” is step one to wiping out the redwoods, right?

        Also, that ketchup is far more corn syrup than it is tomato paste?

        • Vance Maverick

          We just need to establish the lemma that the value of a redwood tree is in being seen by a person.

        • bender

          Um, I’m a life member of the Sierra Club, donated to Save the Redwoods, donate now to Forests Forever and used to camp every year in a second growth coast redwood forest called the Mendocino Woodlands. Which I now find a rather unpleasant place because the trees have gotten so much taller over the last twenty-two years that it’s very dark and at night the woods are dead silent.

          Sequoias have virtues, but for individuality I’ll take an oak.

          • bender

            And furthermore, Terra and Maverick, I stopped buying clothes at the Gap because Donald Fisher purchased Pacific Lumber in a hostile takeover which loaded it with debt and was cutting down old growth redwoods as fast as he could to retire the debt, until the State of California scraped together enough money to buy some of the forest and make a park of it. I may have sent Mr. Fisher a letter saying that he was a bad Jew. I have not spent a nickel at the Gap or Old Navy in decades.

            More recently, when our condominium association needed to replace some fences, I tried to persuade them to spend the extra money to get Forest Certified lumber. I never buy new planters made of redwood, though I will reuse existing ones.

            Should trees have standing? Certainly.

            See one redwood tree, you’ve seen ’em all.

          • GeoX

            I can’t help but noting that you’re not remotely addressing the point.

      • Origami Isopod

        Weight Watchers is not and should not be a guide to child nutrition.

      • Bloix

        John Heinz, who knew about these things, said that ketchup is no vegetable:

        “And yesterday, even a Republican, Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania, whose family owns the H.J. Heinz Co., said, “Ketchup is a condiment. This is one of the most ridiculous regulations I ever heard of.””

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1981/09/26/us-holds-the-ketchup-in-schools/9ffd029a-17f5-4e8c-ab91-1348a44773ee/?utm_term=.ffa7da67e8cd

        • bender

          That settles it.

  • Hogan

    Say rather that they are condimentizing the political wars.

    • DocAmazing

      With a kulturkampf garnish.

  • Bitter Scribe

    As I recall, he was trying to make a case for its being counted as a vegetable and therefore part of a balanced diet in school cafeterias.

    Actually, it was some Cabinet-level (or below) doofus who came up with that policy, and he was trying to cut the cost of school lunches by allowing the lunch suppliers to get by with one less vegetable (while still getting the same prices) . The “joke” was that the Reagan administration was so flint-hearted that it would literally take nutritious food out of the mouths of schoolchildren to increase some company’s profits. It wasn’t funny.

    • Right, it was someone within the USDA, although obviously was deeply part of the Reagan agenda of screwing over the poor.

      • muddy

        Well, the song lyrics still fit today.

        The man in the White House who just don’t care
        He starves little kids and he dyes his hair
        Now what could make him think that way?
        What could make him act that way?

        He’s just a right-wing pigeon from outer space
        Sent here to destroy the human race
        He don’t give a damn about you or me
        He just buys guns and watches TV, go!

        • MyNameIsZweig

          There’s a town in Georgia with a law on the books /
          Says if we all got guns, then we wont have crooks.

  • kped

    Remember when conservatives mocked out of touch Obama for mentioning Arugula lettuce to…Arugula farmers?

    I’m not a ketchup elitist, I personally like it on fries, burgers and hot dogs. And my main problem is the well done steak here, not the ketchup on it – which I wouldn’t do, because steak is awesome. Salt, pepper, cooked in olive oil and butter with some garlic…and maybe some butter brushed on top after. That’s a fucking steak!

    • If it is a good steak, just eating it with nothing is perfect. Although your choices are also completely acceptable. I have an extremely rare trip to a steakhouse coming later this week and I will be engaging in this glory.

      • kped

        I usually just pan fry it in a little olive oil, and salt and pepper for taste. That’s it, and it’s almost always enough. The steak with the proper amount of fat is more than enough. The rest is just when you want to get fancy and pretend you are eating out.

      • ChrisS

        Yes, the reason certain cuts are more expensive than others are that they don’t need a lot of fooling around with and are tender without long slow cooking.

        Cooking a ribeye welldone and putting ketchup on it is pointless. Just order chuck.

        • efgoldman

          Just order chuck.

          I tried. Chuck doesn’t work on Sunday nights.

        • tsam

          Or meatloaf…

          • Origami Isopod

            You took the words right outta my mouth.

            • tsam

              MY MEATLOAF. GET YOUR OWN!

        • so-in-so

          Cooking a good cut of meat to well done and slathering it with ketchup, in Little Donnie’s case just proves you have more money than taste. Come to think of it, practically everything D Dump has done in his life serves to prove that.

    • Bitter Scribe

      I had that last night, except for the butter brushed on top after. I just deglazed the pan with red wine while the steak rested on a heated plate. It’s great if you can time the wine reduction properly (with me it’s hit or miss).

      • kped

        The butter thing is done by most restaurants. It’s one of their secrets.

        • Bitter Scribe

          I tried to follow a suggestion of mixing butter with the red wine glaze, but I could never get that to come out right. Finally I just gave up and used the wine by itself. It’s probably healthier that way anyway.

          • kped

            honestly, i just pour the pan drippings on my steak when i plate it…easy and it’s just a combo of olive oil and steak fat….soooooo good.

    • Karen24

      I have an unreasonable love for chimichurri sauce, but mostly steak should have as few additions as possible. Your method sounds delicious.

      • ChrisS

        I like chimichurri, too. I usually have way too much oregano in the garden.

      • Katya

        I also love sauce chien (yep, dog sauce). It really goes with any kind of meat.

    • Cassiodorus

      That was to arugula farmers? That’s a pretty huge detail of that story I’ve never heard (not that I’m surprised).

      • kped

        I think it was either that, or to farmers in general in Iowa, and they do in fact grow arugula in Iowa, so acting like that is elitist is quite stupid. All the fancy foods elitists love are grown by farmers somewhere, so it’s a bit elitist to pretend these people don’t know anything about them or their prices, or use them in their cooking.

        It’s like acting like eating kale is this hipster white person thing, without mentioning that it’s a huge staple of southern black cuisine. Very condescending.

        • Colin Day

          But wouldn’t arugula farmers want the price of arugula to be high?

    • DAS

      If Obama called arugula a kind of lettuce, he did deserve to be mocked (I was also a bio major). But that’s not why conservatives were mocking him.

      • Tsotate

        If one is speaking biologically, it is of course not lettuce.

        If one is speaking gastronomically, lettuce is “the part of a salad that holds the interesting bits apart, and adds roughage” and occasionally “the green thing on a burger which is not a pickle”. In those senses, arugula is lettuce.

  • Fighting Words

    Wait a minute, in 2004, didn’t several conservatives boycott Heinz ketchup because Theresa Heinz Kerry was married to John Kerry, in which they also promoted their own “W” ketchup?

    • wjts

      Beat me to it.

  • Avocados are a fruit, too, apparently.

    • John Revolta

      Seed on the inside. Ipso fatso.

      • tsam

        Then what’s a strawberry? (as opposed to a huckleberry or blueberry?)

        • wjts

          Strawberries are technically monotremes.

          • tsam

            I KNEW IT

            • wjts

              And blueberries are actually grasses, huckleberries are fungi, and raspberries are Crown dependencies. The only “true berries” (in a biological sense) are Jerusalem artichokes and crunchberries.

              • And they’re all damn tasty, too.

              • econoclast

                wjts, this may be the greatest quote of all time. Shakespeare can suck it.

              • DAS

                I could never keep all that fertilizer straight. That’s why I only graduated cum laude in bio.

          • BigHank53

            Well, that finally explains the poisonous spurs.

          • efgoldman

            Strawberries are technically monotremes.

            Where’s Helmut?

            • tsam

              Hiding from shortcake and whipped cream.

    • Lurking Canadian

      So are cucumbers, squash and eggplant.

      The real problem with the old “tomato: fruit or vegetable” joke is that the answer is “yes”.

      In the world of botany, tomatoes are fruits. But in the world of botany, the question is ill-posed because there is no such thing as a vegetable. There are roots and legumes and pulses and so on, but there are no “vegetables”.

      We don’t eat in the world of botany, we eat in the world of food. And in the world of food, tomatoes are vegetables.

      • Bitter Scribe

        There was a court case early in the 20th century that turned on that very question. At issue was an import tariff that was higher for vegetables than for fruits. Some tomato importer tried to have tomatoes brought under the lower fruit tariff on the grounds that tomatoes are botanically fruit. The court ruled, botany schmotany, if you eat it as a side dish or in your salad, it’s a vegetable.

      • tsam

        Well, yeah, if you want to get all like technical about it.

  • kped

    Lol, i literally just noticed the bottle of ketchup in the blog logo. Well played!

  • wjts

    For the past 40-odd years, whenever ketchup is in the news, it’s because liberals are attacking the stuff.

    Jesus Heinz Christ, where do they find these morons? 13 years ago these same people were arguing that Heinz ketchup was un-American.

    And bonus points for the “edgy” and “original” “joke” that vegetables taste yucky, hur hur hur.

    • Hogan

      Not only do they know that, they’re doing it again in the comments to the linked article.

      “Stupid? I don’t know the meaning of the word!”

    • howard

      I looked not only at the ridiculous comments on ketchup but also at the awful post that followed that was complete moronic drivel about Obama’s “apology tour” as compared to trump’s brilliant foreign adventure, and all I could say was “where do they find these idiots.”

  • Karen24

    God help us when we finally elect a President who likes salsa. The mess from all those heads exploding will require an emergency appropriations and completely overwhelm FEMA and the EPA.

    • God help us when we finally elect a President who likes salsa

      Basically, it’s the Reconquista.

      • Rob in CT

        It’s a La Raza plot, no doubt.

      • Warren Terra

        Truly the accession of salsa will be La Victoria.

    • bender

      There is a series of books with a female detective whose default meal is cottage cheese with salsa. Since I like cottage cheese and I like salsa, I tried this and it’s not bad. My mother ate cottage cheese on a tossed green salad and I like that, but you have to make the salad first.

      Slightly related; JFK smoked cigars but took care not to be photographed with one. Same issue.

      • Warren Terra

        And Obama smoked cigarettes but took care not to be photographed with one.

      • JustRuss

        I’ll put cottage cheese and salsa a baked potato, it’s pretty good. Although last night I went for butter and crumbled meatloaf….heaven in a potato skin.

        • Bloix

          I grew up believing that spaghetti was pasta with cottage cheese and ketchup.

  • Quaker in a Basement

    For the past 40-odd years, whenever ketchup is in the news, it’s because liberals are attacking the stuff.

    OK, but conservatives don’t listen to Prarie Home Companion and its ketchup council commercials.

    • rm

      If conservatives heard a Ketchup Advisory Board commercial, they would think it was an attack on conservatism. They are a little uptight and paranoid that way. Almost as if they aren’t getting enough ketchup.

  • JMP

    “Left-wing elitists” has got to be one of the biggest oxymorons I’ve ever heard.

    • Colin Day

      The people who say “Left-wing elitists” has have got to be one some of the biggest oxymorons I’ve ever heard

      FTFY.

  • Ender Wiggin

    Related: Smirnoff Vodka has a new ad campaign making clear that it’s made in America, but is totally open about discussing its Russia connection. So I got curious and went to Wikipedia. It turns it out it was brought to America by a refugee from the Russian Revolution, and then acquired by the company that made A1 Steak Sauce (which has since been bought a number of times). Smirnoff was also one of the first American brands to expand to post-Soviet Russia, and distribution there is apparently controlled by a corrupt Greek oligarch.

    So crappy steak condiments made mass-produced anti-communist Vodka a thing.

  • rm

    Last time I was in Canada the national condiment was salt & vinegar. Has been all my life. What went wrong? I blame Stephen Harper.

    • Colin Day

      John Oliver mentioned that the British love salt and vinegar.

    • Warren Terra

      There’s also Brown Sauce?

      • Dr. Acula

        HP Sauce is great on certain things, like British sausages and colcannon, for instance.

        • DAS

          The trick to colcannon is giving it a (South) Indian touch by using coconut milk and mustard oil.

  • Matty

    I just wanted to pop in here to defend cottage cheese from the vile slander of being “truly one of the most boring foods ever invented.” Cottage cheese is a prince among dairy products, and needs no adornment before being eaten right out of the tub, back against the refrigerator.

    • N__B

      Cottage cheese is a prince among dairy products, and needs no adornment before being eaten right out of the tub, back against the refrigerator.

      You misspelled ice cream.

      • Bitter Scribe

        You misspelled freezer.

        • N__B

          The freezer is the top of our refrigerator. For me to stand with my back against the freezer I’d need to be about 8 feet tall.

          • Warren Terra

            Assuming normal height distribution, this sounds like a cunning scheme to make your wife (not to mention kid) dependent on you for access to ice cream.

            Tho, stepladders.

            • N__B

              I am 13 inches taller than Mrs__B. One of our wedding presents was one of those rolling cylindrical step stools.

              • Warren Terra

                So eventually instead of N__B, Mrs__B, and Mini__B the household will be N__B, Mini__B, and Jr__B.

                • N__B

                  Sometimes when I’m sorting laundry, I’ll pick up a tee shirt and I’m not sure if it’s hers or his. He’s six and he’s about nine inches shorter than her.

                • Denverite

                  Sometimes when I’m sorting laundry, I’ll pick up a tee shirt and I’m not sure if it’s hers or his. He’s six and he’s about nine inches shorter than her.

                  My eldest (10.5) has now blown past my spouse in terms of shoe size and is rapidly gaining on her in pant and shirt size. (She’s about 2.5 inches shorter, but again, at 10.5, she still has 2-3 years of growing left, probably including one more big growth spurt.)

                • tsam

                  I had three teen daughters, a sort-of step daughter all in one house with my ex who was about the size of those four teen girls.

                  I washed and dried laundry, but that’s as far as I could go.

      • Matty

        Really, I think most semi-solid dairy probably tastes best this way. BRB, off to the cheese counter at the fancy grocery to test out this theory.

        • N__B

          Getting curds and whey?

  • umopepisdn

    “The way I can tell it’s not an actual vegetable is that ketchup tastes good.”

    Spoken like someone who’s never had a garden-grown tomato. Those things are dizzyingly good.

    • wjts

      I like ketchup and various tomato-based sauces, but I don’t really care for raw tomatoes. I started eating them on gyros a few years ago and have recently come around to tolerating them on things like Italian subs, but for the most part: nope. For some reason, I find them particularly objectionable on burgers.

      • Denverite

        That’s because Ribs and Bibs refused to put anything on their burgers except American cheese-food and BBQ sauce.

        • wjts

          How much was a burger and fries there? Like $2.50 or something? Also, Jimmy’s burgers were tomato-free, but you could get a giant slice of onion on them. That’s the stuff.

          • Denverite

            I dunno about the burger ($2 sounds about right), but one of our friends lived next door to them and would get an order of extra crispy fries every day for lunch for $0.25. Funny thing is that the ribs weren’t that cheap IIRC.

            I was never a fan of Jimmy’s burgers (even though you could get ’em with Swiss). I liked their hot dogs — mustard, raw onion and pickle on a big crusty roll. In fact, to this day, we call a hot dog with mustard, raw onion and pickle a “Jimmy’s-style dog.”

            Btw, we were back in HP a couple of weeks ago; Snail is as good as ever, and the Med is still the Med. There’s a great new (to us) Jamaican place in the new Harper Court though (Ja’ Grill). Much better than Calypso ever was.

            • wjts

              I was never a fan of Jimmy’s burgers…

              Always breaking new ground in the search for indefensible culinary opinions.

              I think I ate at Calypso… once? Maybe twice? I don’t remember it being particularly notable, good or bad. The last time I was back was a little over a year ago – I was kind of taken aback by how much 53rd has changed, particularly between Kimbark Plaza and the Metra.

              • Denverite

                I think the problem with Jimmy’s burgers was twofold. First, they were too small for a meal and two big for a snack. Second, I *like* lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles on my burgers.

                • wjts

                  Well, that’s why you buy two of them. But, yes, burgers should generally have some vegetables on them for maximal tastiness (lettuce and raw onion are my preferences). However, delicious pucks of salty greasiness with cheese and raw onion on them are pretty fucking good.

      • tsam

        Taste? Texture? Bad association? All?

        • wjts

          Taste and texture, I guess. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Like I say, I love tomato-based sauces of almost every variety. For raw tomatoes, I’ll eat them on gyros, some kinds of sandwiches (Italian subs and there’s a deli in my neighborhood that does a sandwich that’s basically a mountain of roast beef with provolone, lettuce, giardiniera peppers and tomatoes), and grudgingly in salads with enough dressing. Hate them on burgers, BLTs, just plain, and probably most other contexts I can think of.

          • tsam

            I don’t think that’s all that unusual–a buddy of mine is pretty much the same way. I’m the same way with milk. I’ll have it in cereal, on oatmeal, but I can’t pour it in a glass and drink it.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

            That’s a bad association to drinking some spoiled milk about 40 years ago.

            • wjts

              I used to drink glasses of milk reasonably regularly, but have stopped in the last few years. These days, it’s only in tea. Which is another change – I used to take it black with a lot of sugar. Now it’s always with milk and (admittedly) still a fair amount of sugar. I also take more cream in my coffee than I used to.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      A good tomato is proof that there is a deity out there somewhere, and she loves us.

      • tsam

        What’s shocking to me is the difference between store-bought tomatoes and home grown or farm to market (Saturday morning farmer’s market fresh). The fresh ones are just incredible. Like slice, pick up, eat incredible.

        • Store-bought tomatoes are bred to survive transport and look good on the shelf. That’s about it. They have about as much flavor as the box they came in.

          • tsam

            Yeah–and I’ll just bet I don’t even want to know what they do to them to give them that appearance and longevity. I still eat them, and consider a garden tomato a treat.

    • Origami Isopod

      Sounds like someone who still lives in 1962, culinary-wise. All vegetables either come out of a can or are boiled to death. But vegetables are chick food anyway.

      • so-in-so

        But vegetables are chick food anyway.

        Ha! In my house, I’m the one who always asks for the veggies, my wife could mostly take or leave them. She rarely eats salad, but only likes carrots raw.

        I like some canned veggies, but generally consider them a totally different thing from the fresh or even frozen variety.

  • Randy

    As a budding left-wing elitist back in high school, I made some reference to cottage cheese with ketchup being Nixon’s favorite food. I was informed, with no small amount of indignation, that it was not his favorite food. He was eating it only to watch his weight.

    If all you’re allowed to eat is cottage cheese and ketchup, skipping meals does not seem like such a burden.

    • As a budding left-wing elitist

      So that’s how they reproduce!

  • zoomar

    Republicans got in some ketchup hate indirectly by insulting Teresa Heinz in 2003. Apparently an immigrant first lady with a foreign accent was crossing the line of propriety for them at the time.

    • Lurking Canadian

      Her mistake was failing to pose nude. That takes the curse off the rest.

  • ThresherK

    There’s something pathetic about the way a right-wing hack needs to reeeeeeeeeach to conflate “meatloaf” and “well-done steak with ketchup”.

  • thicket creeper

    At the Pasty Fest in Calumet, Michigan, the team that loses the tug-of-war has to dive into a kiddy pool full of ketchup.

    • rm

      So that’s what the Calumet Massacre was.

  • Colin Day

    So no trying to borrow Grey Poupon from Trump?

  • wengler

    likes his steaks well-done and served with ketchup.

    I’m so old I can remember when conservatives thought that steaks should be as rare as possible, because fuck your government rules against raw meat.

  • Gwen

    Some of the first things I remember hearing as a kid about President Reagan were:

    1. “He’s a boob” (grandmother).

    2. “He thinks ketchup is a vegetable” (my mother).

    With that said I was still very sad that I didn’t get to meet Ronald Reagan when he visited Washington when I was 6 years old. I had very important things to tell him about Voltron and the Care Bears, and I believe the decline of the American middle class since 1988 was largely caused by this parental oversight.

    • rm

      Well, he did promote a Voltron-based missile defense program.

    • Hogan

      I’ll always remember that weekend war broke out. I was at a house party at Cliveden with the Astors and we sat around listening o the moving broadcast by Mr. Churchill, or Mr. Chamberlain as he then was. I remember turning to my husband and saying, “Squiffy, où sont les neiges d’antan?” but I did not feel then that all was quite lost and immediately afterwards I got on the telephone to Berlin to try to speak to Herr Hitler, who had been so kind to us on our last visit to Germany that summer. Unfortunately the line was engaged. There was nothing I could do to avert the carnage of the next six years.

      • Neddie Jingo

        It never fails to astonish me that the producer of the “Beyond the Fringe” live record was a barely pre-Beatle George Martin. His experience in comedy records was what made Martin acceptable to the Fabs. This obscure fact makes me rather ineffably happy.

        “Lo, my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man…”

        • Hogan

          For the band that made A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, that makes a certain amount of sense.