Dealing with a Tomato Ketchup Shortage Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Dealing with a Tomato Ketchup Shortage

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We all have run out of ketchup when it is most needed. We have our warm french fries or eggs on the table, and we crave the flavour of ketchup only to find that there is none left. We normally end up eating our meal plain, while in our heads we wish we had remembered to buy some. We do not have to suffer through this predicament any longer, though, because there follows a quick and easy recipe for making it yourself.

The first thing to be done is to find the main ingredients. In order to get an idea, simply look at the ingredients on the back of the empty ketchup bottle. Some of the required ingredients are not frequently found in every kitchen, but you can skip some of these and concentrate on the main ones.


  • 1 can (227g or 8oz) of concentrated tomato sauce (also known as tomato purée)
  • 1/2 a can (170g or 6oz) of tomato paste
  • A cupful of grape wine vinegar, apple vinegar or distilled vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sugar


  1. Take a small bowl (about the size of a cereal bowl) and pour the can of tomato sauce into it.

  2. Pour in less than half of the tomato paste can. It is important that you follow this rule; otherwise, the resulting ketchup will be extremely thick.

  3. Mix the tomato paste and sauce.

  4. Do not be afraid to pour in a decent amount of vinegar. In the end, you should pour around a quarter of a cup. However, start by pouring less than this amount so that you can adjust the flavour to your personal preference.

  5. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of sugar.

  6. Mix the ingredients and taste.

  7. If it tastes too sugary, you should add some more salt. If it tastes too salty, you should pour in more vinegar and some more sugar may be needed.

Now you no longer need worry about what to do when you run out of ketchup. You may even find that your home-made ketchup is much better than the bottled kind.

Using Store-bought Ketchup

If you decide to run out and buy a new bottle of ketchup (non-squeeze type), the following tip should be a good one to remember.

Let's say that you finally made it back home from the food store and your food is cold. Now you just want to pour the ketchup and eat, but when you try to pour it, it will not come out. This usually happens when one uses a brand new bottle of ketchup.

You should hold the bottle at an approximately 45° angle. Then proceed to firmly move the bottle in a forward and back motion1. It is important not to do it too hard, otherwise too much ketchup will come out.

When you buy a bottle of ketchup of the squeeze type, it is important to squeeze it at first in your kitchen's sink2. The reason behind this is that there is usually a watery residue in the bottle. This also applies to squeeze-type mustard bottles.

1You may envision this as the motion employed when an American football is thrown, but do not let go of the bottle.2Some people prefer to shake the bottle instead. This could be done if the person is extremely hungry.

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