Did You Know You’ve Been Likely Using Ketchup Cups Wrong All These Years?

Updated August 16, 2017

Most of us probably think the same thing about the standard ketchup cup. You know the ones I’m talking about: the circular white paper cups at the drink counter that everyone uses for condiments (namely ketchup). They are available at pretty much every fast-food joint around the country, and are usually used by the dozen by hungry folks like me who love their french fries drenched in ketchup.

So what do most Americans think about ketchup cups? They are obviously way too small, and it’s really annoying. Seriously, it’s like they are made for kids or something (but even then kids like a lot of ketchup on their fries, so it makes no sense!). A single cup will not hold enough ketchup for a small fry from McDonald’s, and this leads many a customer down a messy and frustrating road.

At least that’s how it goes for me. Every time I eat at McDonalds I end up taking 3 or 4 of these paper cups with me on a tray and balancing it all the way to a table. Sometimes one of the cups falls off my tray and splats all over the ground. Embarrassing. But that’s only the start of it. When I finally make it to a table and start to dig in, that’s when the real mess happens. Let’s just say my shirt looks a little bloody after eating McDonalds fries because I always end up squeezing each cup to get to the layer of ketchup at the bottom that my fries can’t reach. It’s beyond annoying, it’s ridiculous! I always walk out with sticky hands from all the ketchup that has dripped out of the cup and onto my fingers. Let me tell you it’s not a pleasant feeling to have ketchup smeared all over your hands after lunch. Even a couple rinses of soup will not get the smell of ketchup off the skin until the next day, and so I am left with the reminder of how annoying those ketchup cups are every time I eat fast-food.

Why would they make such small ketchup cups? If they are trying to save paper then they are going about it the wrong way because people just take more of them every time.

I thought it was ridiculous until someone showed me this pro tip from our favorite Russian Hacker (and Snack Tip Enthusiast!). In this little Youtube tutorial he shows us what we all did not understand about ketchup cups: they are expandable to 3 times the size! It turns out I was wrong to question the ingenuity of the paper cup manufacturers. Remember this trick the next time you use ketchup cups, and take pleasure in saving yourself from another sticky finger ketchup mess.
These kind of realizations make life so exciting. You never know when something like this will come along and make that little change that actually goes a long way.

Did you know about the ketchup cup trick? Leave a comment about an embarrassing ketchup cup experience or any food tips you want to share.