Difference Between Ketchup and Catsup

It is a favorite and versatile ingredient in all the household and kitchen. The fries, burgers, sandwiches, or even pakodas taste gets enhanced with a touch of this condiment. It is part of all the cuisines in the world and blends well among the young and old.While looking in a condiment session of a grocery store, What will you pick up? Ketchup or catsup. Ketchup and catsup are two different contrasts of the matching phrases.

Ketchup and catsup are condiments made from ripened tomatoes. The common ingredients are sugar, salt, vinegar and, spices. Both the words are derived from the Chinese pickled fish sauce Ke-tsiap. Catsup and katchup are acceptable spellings interchangeably utilized instead of ketchup. In the 1800 century Ketchup was commonly used in Britain and Catsup in America.

Ketchup vs Catsup

The main difference between Ketchup and Catsup is Ketchup is an American ingredient perfect for a splash on burgers, fries, or hotdogs. Catsup is a different interpretation of the word ketchup.

Ketchup vs Catsup

Ketchup’s chief ingredients are tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and spices. Ketchup is a perfect condiment and blends well with burgers and fries. Ketchup does not include ingredients that have minimal preservatives. Heinz Company is the recognized creator of Ketchup.

Catsup was the original name of Ketchup, and it is commonly utilized in America. There is not much difference between the ingredients used to make ketchup and catsup. Tomatoes, sugar, salt, cloves, cinnamon are to name a few. There is an additional ingredient of cayenne, vinegar, and celery seeds in catsup.

The popular TV series Mad Men featured a fictional pitch on Heinz that caught up the attention between catsup and Ketchup.

Comparison Table Between Ketchup and Catsup

Parameters of ComparisonKetchupCatsup
OriginIt originated from American English.It originated from British English.
PopularityPopular in all the countries around the World.It is famous in some parts of America, South America, and Mexico.
IngredientsThe addition of tomatoes was much later in America.The original recipe was anchovies, shallots, ginger, and walnuts.
DictionaryThe word Ketchup came into the English language dictionary in 1711.The word Catsup came into the English language dictionary in 1690.
Derived FromKetchup is derived from the Chinese word ke-tsiap, which means fish sauce.Catsup is an interpretation of the word Ketchup

What is Ketchup?

The word ketchup originates from the Chinese word ke-tsiap, meaning brine of fish. The primary ingredients are tomatoes, sugar, acetic acid, and spices. It is loved and served cold.

Journey of Ketchup:
As mentioned, ketchup originated as ke-tsiap, which means pickled fish sauce. This mixture worked as a seasoning rather than a condiment in the dish. As this fish sauce traveled to Malaysia and Vietnam, it transformed into kechap.

The travelers of the 17th century from England loved this new delicacy of seasoning and tried to replicate the dark sauce. The initial sauce is akin to the Worcestershire sauce. The main ingredients were mushrooms, walnuts, anchovies, and oysters. Ketchup was a condiment with mushroom as the primary base.

The journey to America saw many more variations to the mushroom condiment. The addition was the use of tomatoes. Squeezing the tomatoes dry, adding salt, and boiling them was the method used. The addition of spices like nutmeg, cloves, pepper, ginger, and many spices enhanced the taste.

The bottled ketchup lasted for many years due to the addition of salt. Many people enjoyed the new condiment, and the popularity rose to what we know today. A farmer Jones Yerkes was the first to sell bottled ketchup. It was after 40 years Heinz Company decided to make it and sell. Gradually the word tomato dropped off from the bottled name.

Due to the increased amount of pectin, it was thicker than the earlier version. Over the years, ketchup has evolved in packaging and, it is among the favorite condiments worldwide.

What is Catsup?

Catsup is the oldest spelling of sauce made with mushrooms, walnuts, tomatoes and utilized as a condiment. Catsup got introduced in 1690 and Heinz company started the production with the name catsup. It was the first sauce produced by Heinz in 1876.

They changed the name to Ketchup in 1880. Catsup was the common word to describe ketchup, and the key ingredients are tomatoes, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. The additional components are cayenne, white vinegar, and celery seed. In some parts of the Southern US, catsup is still popularly used.

Catsup is also famously known as tomato sauce. Originally catsup was the only word for ketchup. Everything changes after 1880, when Heinz renamed catsup to ketchup. Catsup was traditionally the sauce used with fish to season a dish. Earlier in the 17th Century, pickled fish paste along with walnuts, mushrooms, and kidney beans were the base of catsup.

Main Differences Between Ketchup and Catsup

  1. Ketchup is mostly sweet but slightly spicy. Catsup is sweet and tangy but minutely spicy.
  2. Ketchup comprises tomato, sugar, onion, salt, and cinnamon. Catsup was originally made from mushrooms, walnuts, and anchovies, and it was the original recipe for ketchup.
  3. The word ketchup originated from American English. The word catsup originated from British English.
  4. Ketchup is popular in countries all over the world. Catsup is popular in some parts of America, Latin America, and Mexico.
  5. Ketchup was morphed by Heinz in the year 1800. Catsup is the oldest spelling of sauce.


Ketchup is a staple condiment found in all our cupboards with salt and pepper. The ingredients used in ketchup and catsup are similar and reasonably tough to distinguish. Catsup is the older version of ketchup. Ketchup is a popular version famous worldwide. The farmers were the initial producers of ketchup. It was after forty years Heinz became a significant manufacturer of ketchup. Along with Heinz, Hunt’s and Del Monte are top brands. Ketchup or catsup contain the same prominent ingredients tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, spices, cloves, and cinnamon to enhance the taste of this favorite condiment. There are many different variations the manufacturers are building on, like celery, pepper, or even garlic. Both of these condiments are a lot similar.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2215980
  2. https://www.pdcnet.org/msp/content/msp_1989_0014_0084_0100
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