'Bloody' Christians

My wife asked an interesting question at lunch today; A question that the nerd in me could not resist researching:
What is ketchup? And why is it sometimes called "catsup"?
Ok, that was 2 questions, but interesting nonetheless. As soon as time freed up at the library, I pulled out reference books on food history and dug until my curiosity was satisfied. What I found was the history of this famous condiment was convoluted by its own definition.  Ketchup is “a general name for a range of salty, spicy, rather liquid condiments.” The ingredients vary by country, region, and local culture, ranging from pickles, mushrooms, soy and the form you are most familiar with, tomato ketchup.

What about the name?
Honestly, it is just a naming convention that was “lost in translation.” Dutch traders are said to have brought the oriental sauce to Europe and in the process, consumers varied the spelling as a by-product of poor annunciation.  The roughest translation of the word dates back the Chinese word for a fermented fish sauce by the name of “k√™tsiap”.

What does this have to do with Christianity?
My research reminded me of the roots of my own faith. The term "Christian" is world-wide and the definitions vary as much as the grains of sands on a beach.  It has been prostituted by culture and reworked into a mold of beliefs that are redefined by each individual believer.

That being said, there is a core set of beliefs and an authentic history behind the term that outlives the notorious misuse of the label. Christians were first such in Antioch according to Acts 11:26:
"And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians."
It was actually a derogatory term used by society to poke fun at the "little Christs" who actually believed in this whole "Jesus Guy". It is the equivalent of calling others “Bible Thumping Fundies”. Back then, the first believers wore it with pride. It meant that their beliefs and practices were demonstrated in such a fashion that their neighbors associated them with Christ.

Mary Randolph’s Tomato Catsup

I couldn’t resist posting this recipe dating back to 1831:
Gather a peck of tomatos, pick out the stems, and wash them; put them on the fire without water, sprinkle on a few spoonsful of salt, let them boil steadily an hour, stirring them frequently; strain them through a colander, and then through a sieve; put the liquid on the fire with half a pint of chopped onions, half a quarter of an ounce of mace broke in small pieces; and if not sufficiently salty, add a little more – one table-spoonful of whole black pepper; boil all together until just enough to fill two bottles; cork it tight. Make it in August, in dry weather. – The Virginia Housewife 1831.

*Davidson, Alan, and Alan Davidson. The Penguin Companion to Food. New York: Penguin Reference, 2002. Print.

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