Heinz 57


During the awkward 30 second interview that Alex Trebek does on Jeopardy with each contestant, I heard one lady claim that she was ‘a Heinz 57’.  I had no idea what that meant, so I looked it up.  To be a Heinz 57 is to be of mixed blood; it is a person with many nationalities on their family tree.

The story of how the steak sauce got it’s name is this.  Henry Heinz, back in 1892, was riding an elevated train in New York when he saw a shoe store advertising ‘21 styles of shoes’.  He liked that description and decided to advertise Heinz products similarly.  He decided on 57- perhaps a combination of his favorite number,5, and his wife’s favorite number 7.  Ever since then Heinz has been Heinz 57 – even though they had more than 60 varieties even then.

A New York Times article once published that the ‘57’ was purposefully located on the neck of the bottle to indicate where to tap to release the viscous ketchup.



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