Difference Between Sauce and Ketchup

Both sauce and ketchup are often used as condiments. Both are widely appreciated thanks to their texture and flavor, also due to the fact that they can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes. However, it is good to know that in most countries (excepting some cases) these two words describe different condiments.

To understand a little better what the difference is between ketchup and sauce, it is important to take a look at the original meaning of each term and the historical facts related to them. Therefore, if you have doubts about it or are simply looking for a little more information to complement what you already know, then continue reading, because below we explain everything you need to know about this interesting topic.

SAUCE Difference Between Sauce and Ketchup

The term sauce derives from the Latin “salsas” which means ” salty “. It is believed that there were many reasons why it was invented and many types of dishes in which it was used as a condiment. Throughout history, sauce has been seen as an excellent condiment to tenderize meat and enhance the flavor of food.

The composition, the ingredients and the way of preparation of the sauce depends to a great extent on the culture and the region; even of the person. There is no exact methodology to prepare it. For example, there are garlic, tomato, soy sauce … And depending on the type, they can be used hot or cold.

Although many people prepare their sauces at home, there is a good demand in the market for them. In the same way that they vary in ingredients and in the way of preparation, they also vary in viscosity depending on the tastes of each one.


On the other hand, the word ketchup is believed to be of Chinese origin: ‘koechiap’, which means ‘fish brine’. It is supposed to have originated in the 17th century and is linked to the type of sauce that contains fish brine, herbs and spices as the main ingredients.

In the next two centuries, this word came to refer to sauces that contained vinegar among their ingredients. Later it would be associated with tomato juice, until the term became popular, describing the tomato sauce we know today.

Finally, ketchup could also refer to a type of hot sauce that includes tomatoes and vinegar and is usually served cold. It can then be said that ketchup is a type of sauce and the concept of sauce is broader and more encompassing.

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