mushroom & banana ketchup
Mushroom ketchup is a style of ketchup (also spelled "catsup") that is prepared with mushrooms as its primary ingredient.
Originally, ketchup in the United Kingdom was prepared with mushrooms as a primary ingredient, instead of tomatoes. Historical preparations involved packing whole mushrooms into containers with salt. It is used as a condiment and may be used as an ingredient in the preparation of other sauces and other condiments.
Mushroom ketchup is a medieval British recipe. This was the ketchup recipe before refrigeration was invented and tomatoes took over the world. In the Philippines, they invented a banana ketchup during WW2 when tomatoes were scarce. This is a combination of both recipes.
Mushroom ketchup appears to be similar to my pureed mushroom base in texture and purpose, except that I made mine without any vinegar because I can refrigerate and freeze it. The traditional process pickles the pureed mushrooms, so it will keep considerably longer without refrigeration.
Because long-term preservation was not my main concern, I could afford to give it a more pleasant taste. I didn't really care for the taste of the overly-salty brined mushrooms. I tweaked the recipe until that was no longer the dominant flavor.
- I'm not going to hunt for wild mushrooms in the New Mexico desert. I used a mixture of large, firm and fresh white button mushrooms and baby Portobello mushrooms instead.
- I added the 2 plantains, because I had them sitting on the kitchen counter and no immediate other use for them.
- The plantains doubled the volume, lightened the color, pushed the mushroom flavor into the background.
- They also thickened the mixture more than I could have done with mushrooms alone.
- I reduced about 2 quarts of liquid to nothing but apple cider flavor until that completely dominated.
- I also added chipotle powder to give it a bit of a bite.
- This product is acidic enough to allow water-bath canning for long-tern storage.
The end product is a light-brown, barely pourable mixture that looks like a very thick gravy. It tastes very much 'spicy apple' but you'll never mistake it for apple sauce.
This recipe begins with minced vegetables and salt, exactly like sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is left to ferment spontaneously for several weeks, during which natural lactic acid is formed which preserves the cabbage. Not surprisingly, the same process is mentioned for mushrooms in an 1857 "camp ketchup" recipe.
Nowadays, it is easier—and safer—to add vinegar for immediate preservation.