How Banana Ketchup is Relevant To Filipinos’ Lives

Written by: Alliah Rayne Mingcay | 9 months ago

Photo by Ries Bosch on Unsplash


In the Philippines, there are currently two types of ketchup Filipinos are using: tomato and banana ketchup. Ketchup was introduced to the world in 1812. It was made by James Mease, who, according to National Geographic, referred to his love for tomatoes as "love apples." Since then, ketchup has been used in various foods. 

Americans were the ones who introduced ketchup to Filipinos back in 1898. It was one of the foods they brought when they colonized our country back then. Because of this, Filipinos have been reliant on food imports like tomato ketchup. It was expensive, and we couldn't supply tomatoes because of the Philippines’ climate. Moving forward to 1942, there was a shortage of food due to World War II. So then, a Filipino chemist and innovator, Maria Orosa, made a version of Filipino ketchup, also known as banana ketchup.

Banana ketchup has a very similar taste to tomato ketchup, the only noticeable difference is that banana ketchup is sweeter than tomatoes. Because of its extraordinarily sweet taste, it divides people's opinions into two. A lot of people, especially Filipinos, liked its taste, and even up until now, banana ketchup has been used in different kinds of dishes. Whereas other people, who are not used to its sweet taste, prefer tomato ketchup, which has a much more sour taste. 

Even so, banana ketchup is thriving and is being imported to other countries too. Banana ketchup perfectly combines with hotdogs, tortang talong, burgers, and even in dishes like spaghetti and ihaw-ihaw (grilled). Even foreigners are also trying banana ketchup out of curiosity. Despite divided opinions about banana ketchup, it is still undeniably popular and helps the Philippines' economy increase. After all, the Philippines is the second-largest exporter in the world. There is no doubt Filipinos are going to make the most of it.