Ketchup & Mustard

Is it me or did Cecil mix up what he tried to say relating to the mouths of ketchup & mustard bottles? He said a wide mouthed ketchup bottle bombed and that some resteraunts have narrow mouthed mustard bottles. Well, I’ve never seen either one any other way.:wally

I recall the wide-mouthed ketchup bottles, and they didn’t last long. The only narrow mustard containers I’ve seen have been the squeezable ones, if that counts.

The column being referenced is: Why are ketchup bottles tall and thin while mustard bottles are short and fat? (06-May-1983).

First off, I used to go to a brewpub-type restaurant that provided you with a condiment tray when you ordered a burger. The tray would have, among other things, a bowl of onions, some sliced pickles in brine, a ketchup bottle, and a wide-mouth jar of Grey Poupon. So, although I agree that narrow-mouthed mustard bottles are in the majority at restaurants, it isn’t necessarily universal. Too, note that Cecil’s column dates from ‘83. I imagine th’ old folks can spin a yarn or two about how wide mustard jars were back in the day.

And…restaurants in Illinois have wide-mouthed ketchup jars? I disbelieve.

On preview: MLS: I see, all the time, restaurant mustard in glass bottles a little shorter than, but resembling in shape, the classic Heinz ketchup bottle.

Well, I hate to be picky, but a jar and a bottle are two different things. I have seen ketchup jars and mustard jars (pardon me, do you have any grey pupon?).

My mustard comes in a tube, so there!

I’ve seen plenty of narrow-mouth, tall bottles. Can’t recall if they had Heinz or French’s mustard in them.

And, I’ve seen short wide-mouth ketchup bottles in Reno.

all this arguing over semantics and everyone has overlooked the original question. the answer lies in competition. ketchup manufacturers realised that you cannot use ketchup if you cannot see the bottle. equally as astute, the mustard manufactures observed the same, leading them to the conclusion that if one is tall and thin, it wont obstruct the other that is short and fat; thus solving the problem.
true. :dubious:

Actually I recall the wide-mouthed ketchup bottle thing being discussed in a marketing class from the sixties. As I recall - and remember, this was from the sixties - the whole issue with the shape of ketchup bottles had nothing to do with recepies. Wide mouth ketchup bottles were introduced because people didn’t like having to violently shake them to get the stuff out. Wide mouthed bottles solved that. You would think that consumers would appreciate the manufacturers’ efforts, but nooooo. They noticed that the improved flow of the ketchup, but simply perceived that that was because the ketchup was now runnier than before. So back to the narrow-mouthed bottles.

Hold the nostalgia talk–

WIDE-MOUTH Ketchep is back!

There’s an ad w/ coupons in today’s paper.

And here’s the narrow mouth mustard bottle
Selling now
PRICE $10.21 case ITEM NUM: OT342468
Heinz Pourable Mustard 12 Case, 8 Ounce bottles

Did anyone else notice that Unca Cece edited this item? In the original (as published in the first book), he said “mustard is a highly pungent substance that can induce convulsions or death if used to excess, while ketchup is more benign.”

In the current posting, it’s “a pungent substance that will burn holes in the roof of your mouth if used to excess, thereby giving us the thrill of living on the edge of danger that is so lacking in contemporary life. Ketchup, in contrast, is bland. (Cecil does not use a lot of ketchup.)”

Hmm. Was Cecil wrong the first time, believing that mustard is a convulsant and toxin, or was he just being funny, or was he bought off and/or threatened by the American Mustard Defense Fund?

Science You Can Use Department: There is no need for a special wide-mouth bottle to make ketchup pour more easily. Ketchup is thixotropic, meaning it becomes more fluid when disturbed. Shake the bottle and hey presto! Easy-pour ketchup, and happy little munchkins at the supper table.

(This works at least with the One True Ketchup, the original invention of H.J. Heinz. If you insist on using an inferior ketchup, there are no guarantees.)

Borjemoi! A thixotropic substance is being openly sold for consumption by children?

No Cecil or Ed to answer JamesGifford?

Many of the columns have been edited between versions printed in the newspaper vs. the books. In this case, Cecil was being funny with the toxic line, but appears to have edited it to increase the humor by adding the “living on the edge” line. It’s hard to live on the edge by actually dying, whereas burning holes in the mouth is still technically alive. I believe that explains the alteration.