Ketchup vs. Mustard

ketchup, mustard, Eyewire, citizen science

It’s the dog days of summer here at HQ, and there seems to be some disagreement about what’s the right thing to put on hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, and more: ketchup, or mustard? Which is superior? In ballparks across the United States, for instance, this question can be a matter of life and death.

Ketchup (or, if you insist, catsup): Zesty yet sweet, tomatoey but nothing like pomodoro sauce, ketchup gets its name from an Indonesian/Malay word for a popular table sauce that got picked up by Westerners in the 18th century. That sauce had fish in it, and the earliest ketchup recipes usually used anchovies; nowadays, not so much!

Mustard: For the hardcore mustard enthusiasts, you can get hot flavors that blast out your sinuses just like horseradish.  The Romans were probably the first people to not only grow mustard seed but also to blend it with unfermented grape juice (“must”) for culinary purposes. Surprisingly, most modern mustard gets its bright yellow colour from turmeric.

So what’s your favorite? Choose a side and the competition will start at 11 AM EDT on 7/27, running for 24 hours.

The usual bonuses

Earn 5,000 points – 2,500 bonus
Earn 15,000 points – 5,000 bonus
Earn 25,000 points – 10,000 bonus
For every 25,000 points above 25,000 – 5,000 bonus
Member of winning team (if you’ve scored at least 2,500 points) – 10,000 bonus
Highest scorer on each team – 5,000 bonus
Player with #1 overall score – 10,000 bonus
Player with #2 overall score – 5,000 bonus
Player with #3 overall score – 2,500 bonus

For science! And for hot dogs.

Artwork by Minjeong Kim