Clash of the Titans XLVII: Ketchup and Mustard

September 4, 2007, 5:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Connie, Debate, MC-B  | 11 Comments

In this corner, on the side of mustard, is Connie!

And in this corner, backing ketchup, is MC-B!

I married into a ketchup family 30 years ago, and though I’ve raised six ketchup-loving children, some of them like mustard as well. So as the leader of a successful multi-condiment family, I think I’m well-qualified to take up this challenge.

I could easily live without ketchup, but I have always loved mustard — its bite and sassiness, its lack of sweetness, and, quite frankly, its low, low price. When you buy ketchup it’ll set you back at least 2 bucks, but not so my little yellow-bottled bargain. You may even get change from your “Where’s George” bill if there’s a sale on.

More importantly, it has NO calories. That’s right. None. Squeeze to your heart’s content, folks. If you can take the zing, it will deliver it fat and calorie-free. Mustard stains come out easier than ketchup too. Trust me. Plus, mustard has a happy color — the same as the little smiley face. As a matter of fact, the first smiley face may have been made out of mustard! Ketchup, however, is the color of death, and has been used to simulate BLOOD in low budget B-movies. Another plus of mustard is that it won’t kill you if you leave it out in the sun all day at a picnic. Ketchup goes rancid and mayo can fill an emergency room, but it’s just plain hard to kill mustard. I’ve seen bottles last a whole year.

This leads me to its crowning point — versatility. Ketchup comes in one form, sickly sweet red (except those weird colors that packed the Dollar Store shelves a few years ago — what was that, Heinz?). Mustard, on the other hand, can be bold, tart, spicy or sweet, to suit whatever strikes your fancy, and it comes in yellow, brown, spicy, spicy brown, horseradish, German, Dijon, and honey (which even my ketchup-loving husband loves!). It works on and in hot dogs, chicken, sausages, burgers, egg salad, grilled cheese, salad dressing, wings, deviled eggs, and especially chili (it’s the secret ingredient in mine!) — to name just a few.

In conclusion, I’ll point out that mustard (seed) is the only condiment mentioned in the Bible, while ketchup has barely recovered from its 1980s scandal, when President Reagan declared it to be a “vegetable.” Ketchup is made from tomatoes, which in their overripe state are mainly used to attack bad entertainment: those B movies, NASCAR, or anything with Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton in it.

Face it, rotten tomatoes just cannot compete with mountain-moving taste, even when those tomatoes are aimed at filthy rich drama queen divas. Now please vote for me and admit that as good as ketchup is, it’s just too one-dimensional. It cannot cut the mustard.

Mustard? Please. Ketchup is king of the condiments. Always has been, always will be. Well, except for during biblical times. We’ve come a long way.

First, we’ll deal with the mustard issue. My main problem with most of mustard’s “strong suits” is that I just don’t like mustard’s flavor, to the point where not using any condiments at all would make even more sense than preferring mustard.

If I wanted to save money, I wouldn’t buy ketchup or mustard. If I were incredibly desperate to save calories, neither would end up on my lean turkey dog. (Incidentally, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, some prepared mustard actually has 3 calories in every packet to ketchup’s 6. Not quite calorie-free; be wary, dieters!)

Also, while we’re pretending that we eat condiments for nutrition, ketchup has a bunch more potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C than mustard does.

Don’t even get me started on lycopene.

I also want to address the issue of ketchup’s lack of variety. A fine point, but only if you are able to improve on perfection. Mustard simply isn’t appealing enough in only one form, so it has several varieties in a desperate attempt to appeal to SOMEONE.

Ketchup, on the other hand, is just fine as is; you take it as it comes to you and don’t have to ruin it by adding honey or extra spice to it.

The bottom line is, ketchup is simply delicious.

This clash is totally a matter of opinion, but I submit to hypothesis that, generally, when one looks for a condiment, they aren’t overly concerned with price, calorie content (mayonnaise, anyone?), which one has more varieties, or which has better real-world connotations (mad props, though, to my man Ronald Reagan for declaring it a vegetable; try getting anyone to do that with mustard!).

You look for deliciousness, an arena in which ketchup simply can’t be beat. It’s welcome on my food anytime.



11 Comments to “Clash of the Titans XLVII: Ketchup and Mustard”

  1. Connie on September 4th, 2007 10:58 pm

    Excellent rebuttal C-B. One wonders what you would have come up with had you not had the advantage of reading my article first however. I must try to hold back my enthusiam in the future. Of course that might have put the clash into another day…

  2. on September 5th, 2007 8:02 am

    I despise ketchup, especially on hot dogs. A famous Maine hot dog stand owner once said that if you’re over 12 years old, you shouldn’t be putting ketchup on a hot dog (or anything else). So ketchup was not one of the condiments she offered to adults without a look of utter disdain.

    All that said, if Jesus likes mustard, who are we to question His judgement. After all, you saw what he did to figs.

  3. MC-B on September 5th, 2007 8:15 am

    I don’t think seeing your clash helped as much as you might think, though that’s only because you had already mentioned a number of the points that you were going to hit on when we decided on doing this clash before I left for college.

  4. Tom on September 5th, 2007 9:06 am

    Mike, why would you want to advertise that ketchup contains the stuff that turns people into werewolves? That’s just poor planning on your part.

  5. MC-B on September 5th, 2007 9:24 am

    I fear for the future of science if you’ve really received a degree from any institution of higher education.

    Also, werewolves are awesome.

  6. Mom on September 5th, 2007 9:35 am

    You know come to think of it, Michael kind of resembles a werewolf between haircuts. Could it be the ketchup?

  7. Rose on September 5th, 2007 11:11 am

    Watch it, missy. My boyfriend resembles no such thing.

  8. Steve on September 5th, 2007 11:31 am

    Note to self: no more Connie v MC-B clashes.

  9. Mom on September 5th, 2007 12:51 pm

    I wuv you Michael.

  10. David on September 5th, 2007 7:16 pm

    Go mustard.

  11. Ray on November 20th, 2008 1:10 pm

    I love Ketchup but sorry, Connie has a good point!

    K: 0

    M: 1

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