Monday, June 18, 2007

My Ketchup Experiment

First of all, I want to say that if I die of botulism or some such thing, it's all Fab's fault.

It all started when I was reading through his archives and I noticed THIS post. He writes about the same topic HERE as well.

Fab says that it makes no sense to refrigerate ketchup. Since ketchup goes on hot foods like french fries and burgers, it shouldn't start out ice cold or it will ruin the temperature of the food, bringing it to an unpleasant tepidness before it can be enjoyed by the person who plans to eat it.
He pointed out that nowhere on the bottle does it say "Refrigerate After Opening." Other condiments have that instruction, but not ketchup.
I'd never really thought about it before reading the post, but he's right. I've looked at a lot of ketchup labels since then, and NONE of them have said that refrigeration is required. And plenty of restaurants have ketchup bottles sitting out on the tables all day long.
So, I bought a brand new bottle of Heinz ketchup last week and am going to spend the rest of the summer trying an experiment.
After I open it, I am NOT going to refrigerate it. I'll just leave it out in this godawful hot Michigan summer, with all this skanky humidity and ovenlike misery. It will be whatever the room temperature happens to be. Over the course of the summer, I will gradually consume more and more of it, until I'm dead by August.

No! Wait! What I meant to say is, until it's all gone, at which point I will have proven that it is indeed NOT necessary to refrigerate ketchup.

But, yeah, um, if I die a horrible agonizing death, blame Fab.
Stay tuned for updates!

And my apologies to Aisby and Onionboy, both of whom hate ketchup and probably got violently ill while reading this post.


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i'll wait for the report before trying it myself. thanks for doing this for all mankind janna, you are a true blue human...

smiles, bee

Mr. Fabulous said...

I don't think she's blue. You turn blue when you are really cold. I don't think it is cold where Janna is...just a hunch!

Matt-Man said...

Unless you are 12 years old or younger NEVER put ketchup on a Hot Dog.

bobbarama said...

For me, this falls under the same category as a straw. No where on a straw does it say 'Insert in drink.' But you do it anyway.

For all we know, you're just supposed to place it next to your drink, or use it for spitwads or an enema, or bang it on your table like drumsticks or ...

Well, you get my point.

By the way, I personally LOVE the cool taste of ketchup on a hot hamburger and fries. Adds to the experience.

Ketchup with you later.

Aisby said...

I'm having difficulties even responding to this post. I abhor ketchup...just seeing the red bottle makes my stomach churn. Then you open the bottle and all that crusty stuff has accumulated on the top of the's enough to send me running to the porcelain god. And if that's not enough, it then dribbles red juice before the actual abomination itself comes out of the bottle. I don't know how you people eat the stuff.

However, when I met my husband he lived in an awful little house (which had literally at one time been a slave cabin) with two other guys. They never refrigerated their ketchup (which by the way really grosses me out), but no one ever died from it. I do however attribute the lack of sickness to the copious amounts of alcohol that they drank on a regular basis.

Marilyn said...

See, It's like this. Not refrigerating the ketchup is like vaccinating yourself against minor ailments. See, ketchup has natural mellowing agents... no wait that's off the subject.

The sugar and vinegar in ketchup keep the bacteria count low enough that you don't get sick from eating the ketchup but you get just enough of the bacteria in your system that your immune system will recognize them when you run into them next winter, and you won't get sick.

This is also why kids who have Moms like me (moms that don't like to dust) have fewer allergies.

Morgen said...

Well, we never refrigerated our ketchup when I was growing up (no Kentucky cracks, Fab!) - and somehow we survived. But Lee's family must've been a cold ketchup clan, because ours has been in the fridge since we've been together.
I personally think there's enough vinegar and sodium and preservatives in Heinz that it could withstand atomic war, much less a Michigan summer at Janna's.

Morgen said...

Love the new banner & font!

I was going to come up with a "you look stony" or "stoned" reference, but I'll just say I like the wall!


Natalie said...

I like cold ketchup but also think it is fine to leave it out. Plus, it never hurts to refrigerate stuff.

metalmom said...

I never considered this--I just put it in the fridge cause mommy always did.Hmm... I wonder what else I do just cause mommy did?

Bluepaintred said...

my ketchup does indeed say refrigerate after opening. shall i email you a photo?

Steven said...

Ooooo...let's try the experiment with mayonnaise next! Oh wait, better not.

Travis said...

While it's true that the ketchup bottle does not suggest refrigeration, it also does not say that ketchup should be served at a room temp of over 100 degrees!!

Good luck!

I prefer to put my ketchup in the fridge, and remove it as I prepare my meal.

Janna said...

Bee: That's me, Janna the humanitarian.

Mr. Fab: You're right!

Matt-man: Why not?

Bobbarama: I never thought of using a straw for an enema before.... the drumstick idea is kinda cool, though.

Aisby: I wondered what you'd say! :)

Marilyn: Excellent theory!! I like it!

Morgen: Yes, I'm betting my life on the fact that there are copious preservatives in there.

Natalie: Well, it DID hurt when that 2-liter bottle fell out of the fridge and landed on my leg a couple months ago...

Metalmom: Boggles the mind, doesn't it?

Blue: Thanks for the pictures!! They're going in the next post!

Steve: Eeeeewwww! I hate mayo no matter WHAT temperature it is.

Travis: LOL! Thanks for wishing me luck. :)