Wednesday WOLF - Ketchup


I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.

It’s summer! Time to barbecue, grill out, leave the corn on the cob and put the ketchup on, well… everything. Ketchup actually began it’s life in China, and was a mix of pickled fish and spices known as kê-chiap. British explorers eventually crossed paths with it, and thought it was pretty awesome.

But ketchup as we know it - tomato based - didn’t become a thing until the 19th century, possibly because people used to believe tomatoes were poisonous. This is possibly because the latin name - Lycopersicon esculentum - literally translates as wolfpeach, and that particular word origin may have its roots in the fact that 3rd century physician Galen used something similar to to poison wolves.

Are tomatoes poisonous to dogs? Technically a good question. The tomato plant comes from the same family as nightshade, which you totally don’t want to eat (or your dog). Also, don’t eat your dog. But actually, if your dog picks up the rest of your burger when you drop it on the lawn because you had too many beers at the barbecue, don’t worry about it. The actual danger would be in the green leaves and stems, which produce an alkaloid compound called solanine, which can be dangerous.

In the end, ketchup is no longer made of fish bits, and also isn’t poisonous. Eat it and be merry.