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Brief Digression Theater: The Great Ketchup Debate of 2011

Mar 21, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT


It started, like many things do, with me mocking my mother on Twitter, but this time my followers turned the tables on me.

Every time my mom is in my house alone she takes the ketchup container off the kitchen counter and puts it in the refrigerator. Initially that seemed crazy to me, but it turns out I’m apparently in the minority by not refrigerating my ketchup. I’ve always been something of a rebel, so this isn’t that surprising.

On the ketchup container it says “for best results refrigerate after opening,” but a) that clearly implies refrigeration is not a must, and b) perhaps I prefer slightly less than peak results from my condiments. I am, after all, a rebel.

Other considerations in The Great Ketchup Debate of 2011, as it will come to be known in the history books:

1) Cold ketchup is pretty gross, especially on hot food.

2) Most restaurants don’t refrigerate ketchup, although admittedly they go through the stuff a lot quicker than one solitary fatso blogger.

3) Ketchup at ballparks sits out in the sun all day and the death toll has been relatively minimal (this isn’t so much a legitimate consideration as it is a lame attempt to incorporate some aspect of baseball into the post.)

4) I’ve posted more than 5,000 tweets on Twitter and no topic has ever generated this much response, which is either fantastic or really sad.

5) This whole thing is going to be incredibly funny when I die from some sort of ketchup-related illness later this week. I hope someone records my mom’s eulogy and sends it to me in hell.

In the meantime, though, what say you, HBT Nation? Refrigerate or not?

UPDATE: Craig has chimed in with his opinion on the topic, in picture form. However, given the presence of Gatorade in the same refrigerator I’d say his opinion can be ignored.

  1. mncubsfan - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:42 PM


  2. Jonny 5 - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Judging by Craig’s Twitter pic, I can see he wasn’t swayed by the evil upsidedown Ketchup storers. That particular Heinz bottle in his fridge garners the most upside down ketchup storing known to man. Good job Man! Just the other day I pulled the same bottle type of ketchup from my fridge and it blew it’s ketchup load all over. UNCIVILIZED!!

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:05 PM

      There’s a joke there, but it’s like low-hanging fruit—literally.

      But, in Craig’s defense—and that’s saying something after the GQ and fan loyalty posts—he does seem to be stocked with Smithwicks…so there’s that…right?

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      What’s hiding behind the Smithwicks??? He could have rearranged it with his wife’s Smithwicks in the front, and his wine coolers behind…

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:51 PM

        Or, worse yet, Mich Ultra.

  3. kinggeorge96 - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    First off, Ketchup warm or cold makes no difference to me… what does is color. If ketchup sits out, eventually it turns brown, instead of that nice, delicious tomato red.. mmmmm Ketchup was not meant to be brown, so you gotta throw it in the fridge.

    On another note, I probably use ketchup too much, it’s basically it’s own food group… burgers, fries, steak, chicken, etc… even potato chips! But eggs, as I see so many do. I may have a problem. My wife understands though, and was nice enough to bring me back a nice t-shirt from Pittsburgh when she used to go for business all the time:

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:09 PM

      Steak? STEAK?!?!? WTF? Steak’s gotta be naked or A1 or Worcestershire (look it up). That’s IT!!! Nothing else.

      • kinggeorge96 - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

        I do have to say, Peter Luger’s makes a pretty damn good steak sauce.. Maybe I’ll keep the ketchup just for my (NY) cheese steaks instead!

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        Whew…crisis averted.

        Now ketchup on cheesesteaks is a totally different animal—sometimes literally.

      • cur68 - Mar 21, 2011 at 10:03 PM

        king; righteous shirt man. Utley; beer marinated steak (I use Tsingtao) is sooooo good….

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 21, 2011 at 11:48 PM

        Seisenta y ocho, there’s a big difference between what you marinate the steak in and what you apply after it’s cooked.

        But I will say that I’ve never marinated anything in beer—my cheapassedness and allegiance to the brew makes it tough for me to do anything with it besides drinking it.

      • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 12:05 AM

        you can still drink it; I use it to make gravy. In fact a signature dish in my house is Red Stripe Prime Rib Roast with Stripey Gravy (my daughter calls it that). Soooooo good….

      • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 12:07 AM

        I forgot to mention; I put ketchup (from the fridge) in the beer marinade. mmmm…sooo good…

  4. Lukehart80 - Mar 21, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Wait, was that a slam on Gatorade tacked on at the end?! What’s wrong with Gatorade???

  5. ramblingalb - Mar 21, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    I like cold ketchup on hot foods, just like I enjoy cold mayo and cold ranch dressing.

    You don’t have to refrigerate it, but I prefer it.

  6. bigtrav425 - Mar 21, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Hmmmm it really doesnt matter to me if its cold or not but i do tend to leave it in the Fridge but just sheer force of habit

  7. micker716 - Mar 21, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Let’s start with the obvious: twitter is lame, tweeting about the storage preferences of a condiment is nonsense. My God man this is supposed to be all about baseball. There are 10 days left until opening day. Let’s get the priorities straight. That being said; refrigerated. We are not animals.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 21, 2011 at 11:44 PM

      Yup…10 days left before Opening Day, but the HBT crew are like a big anonymous family—and do you always talk about the same thing with your family? I would guess that a lot of family talk time is spent on silly crap like this. What do “they” say about all work and no play?

  8. JB (the original) - Mar 22, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    You know, regardless of how you store it, at least all the pictures I’ve seen are of the “real” ketchup, y’know, Heinz, not that nasty Hunt’s stuff.

  9. Jonny 5 - Mar 22, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Alright, who else has gone to a “resturaunt” and the Heinz bottle on the table was filled with an imposter? I have, and it’s not very nice. How do you do that to paying customers? If I were the Heinz company i’d bust resturaunts for doing this and make them into commercials. GENIUS!

    • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      I can see it now; Kingeorge96 in his red Heinz shirt, you and Utley in…whatever. There’ll be brawl a la the wild west and then close with Gator dragging Craig off to jail. I’ll be drunk at the bar who sleeps through it all.

      • kinggeorge96 - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        Ah yes… Good Times.. Good Times!

        Does anyone find it strange that, at least from what I’ve seen so far, that a post about ketchup is probably one of the most commented on threads I’ve seen at HBT???

        I surmise to say that we are equally as passionate about our ketchup as baseball….

      • yankeesfanlen - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:25 AM

        Don’t tell me you missed he epic Cake v. Pie a few months ago….made the front pages of all the tabloids

      • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        Cake dammit, CAKE!

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        Jonny and I will be donning Doc jerseys. And Gator as a cop?!? More likely he’ll snap his jaws on Craig’s ankle and drag him back to the swamp.

        And…wait for it…wait for it…CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!!!!!!!!!! (That might actually get things going a mite further on here…)

      • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        Sure; Gator as himself, but only if JD Drew dives in after him. Can we have the bar girl deck chrisny3? She can use a bottle of ketchup she grabs from the fridge…

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 22, 2011 at 2:35 PM

        We all know Pie rules. Almost any pie beats any cake, hands down. Unless it’s “spears” pie. And Heinz Rules. We must not accept any cheap knockoffs from our dining establishments. For the Bar rumble over cheap ketchup can I wear my Utley jersey instead? It’s already covered by stains from beer, and stuff…..

      • kinggeorge96 - Mar 22, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        I have the urge to cause trouble..

        Always Cake before Pie… BUT brownies trump ALL!

      • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        Brownies???!! Are you sure you’re fit for the red shirt of courage? Real men don’t eat brownies, they eat cake. Cheesecake. Chocolate. A la mode. Brownies are for girls.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 22, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        No, sesenta y ocho, Brownies ARE girls.

        King George is right in this—though brownies are as good as cake, not better. Now, for an in-depth query—cake-like brownies or fudge-like brownies?

      • kinggeorge96 - Mar 22, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        I do love me some cheesecake.. but there’s nothin better then a warm chewy brownie?

        The real question is whether you like your browines chewy or cake like.. who eats pie anyways?

        We are way off topic now!

      • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        You guys are bananas but still better than the pie lovers. A man who’d rate pie ahead of cheesecake would steal chickens. I see the bar brawl spreading into the desert display & all the pie getting used for weapons; the only fit use for pie. The cake will be rescued by the pretty bar girl (played by Jessica Alba) who’ll hold it close to her comely bosom and share it with the drunk who wakes up after the fight. MMMMmmmmm…Jessica Alba and cake; there is no finer image.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:10 PM


        But, to get back on topic as the King has decreed, no ketchup on brownies. There. Now, carry on….

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        Wow…talk about off topic…

        I vote for Megan Fox.

      • kinggeorge96 - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

        I think this is important and worthy of remaining off topic… I’d like to throw Mila Kunis into the ring as well?

        with Ketchup? Yea.. I went there!

      • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

        Gentlemen; you have redeemed yourselves. I will overlook all talk of brownies. I say we compromise; Fox, Kunis & Alba all share cake with the drunk (who is me)…you guys can have all the ketchup.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        Damn you Canadians.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      It’s all a mob plot—ya know, like JFK’s assassination. Any idea how Larry Wayne stores his ketchup?

      • nps6724 - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        Inside a frozen deer carcass.

      • cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        Larry don’t use no ketchup; he uses the blood of his enemies….

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