You Won’t Believe What Ketchup in the Philippines Is Made Of

It’s definitely not tomatoes

Ketchup in the Philippines isn't like ketchup in the United States.

Ketchup is a staple condiment in American cuisine — hot dogs, burgers, and fries just wouldn’t be the same without it. 94 percent of American households use ketchup; Heinz was by far the most popular brand for those households. But in the Philippines, another staple condiment is widely known with the same name. It’s known as banana ketchup, or, more officially, banana sauce, because it’s banana-based and dyed red with food coloring. Other than bananas, the sauce is made with vinegar and sugar.

According to Food Republic, the origins of the popular Filipino condiment are rooted in folklore, which suggests it came about after the United States came to the Philippines and introduced the country to ketchup and canned goods. Since the country didn’t have access to many tomatoes, they worked with what they had to come up with the sweet condiment: bananas. The sauce is used on many different fried foods, like chicken wings, as a sweet addition to a salty, savory meal. Banana ketchup is also incorporated into Filipino spaghetti, which otherwise consists of sliced hot dogs and spaghetti.