my ketchup ate my aluminum foil

From my kitchen by
March 10, 2009

The other night I made a turkey meatloaf — Ina Garten's again. (Remember? The one that calls for 5 lb. of ground turkey?)

Anyway, after dinner, I placed the leftover loaf — maybe torpedo is a better word — on a flat pan and covered it with foil. Today, when I took it from the fridge for my lunch I discovered … tiny perforations. In the foil. Mysterious little holes …

And on the meatloaf? I didn’t see them right away, but sure, eventually I noticed little, well, dots of melted foil. Or, according to The Straight Dope, dots of “a grayish-black mush of aluminum oxide.”

Which I patiently removed, one by one. There was still two-thirds of the loaf left; I couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t chuck it (although I’ll admit, it was really unappetizing for a few moments there).

So now it’s a turkey torpedo with craters. Sounds horrid, I know, but honestly, it made a great lunch eventually — very satisfying.

Have you had the ketchup + foil problem? Am I the last one to learn this?

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1. by Laura Parisi on Mar 10, 2009 at 6:46 PM PDT

I have never experienced that, but then again, I can’t really think of a time where I’ve stored anything containing ketchup in aluminum foil. What other foods do you douse in ketchup and then not eat then and there? (French fries, for instance: you’d save the fries but not the ketchup. A hamburger: the soggy bun would protect the ketchup. etc.) Maybe next time stake up the foil with toothpicks? Or invest in torpedo-shaped tupperware?

2. by giovannaz on Mar 11, 2009 at 7:46 AM PDT

We had a crazy Thanksgiving in our neighborhood once, that involved one turkey gracing two tables (more on that someday)--but more to the point, another neighbor had exactly this problem with his leftover turkey on day two. According to my engineer husband, in that case, the pan was of a different metal and it created an electrochemical potential. It was similar to discharging a battery--chemicals move (here aluminum to aluminum salt).

3. by Kathryn H on Mar 11, 2009 at 9:28 AM PDT

One of my most embarrassing food moments actually! Decades ago (a few) I took a huge pan of my signature lasagna to a party, specifically to impress a particular young man. Tossed the leftovers, in an aluminum pan covered with foil, into my refrigerator late that night...next morning I discovered the same little grayish holes and assumed I had given everyone some strange food poisoning! No one understood my frantic apologies, either--maybe it had something to do with the cheap wine...

Now I bake lasagna in a ceramic pan.

4. by Caroline Cummins on Mar 11, 2009 at 5:25 PM PDT

it’s cosmic punishment for inflicting meatloaf on your family ...

5. by Kim on Mar 11, 2009 at 7:17 PM PDT

Caroline, my daughter would agree with you. But as someone who didn’t grow up eating meatloaf, I am a fan.

I just have to keep it away from my foil.

6. by Caroline Cummins on Mar 11, 2009 at 8:56 PM PDT

hey, i’m open to the possibility of delicious meatloaf. maybe i was just scarred by bad loaf as a child . . .

7. by Clint Dixon on May 28, 2009 at 3:01 PM PDT

I have had that happen twice now. Once to a potato cassarole and the other was a meat loaf. I asked google why and found your story. My wife thought i was crazy but she looked closer and saw the spots too. I have no idea whats goin on!

8. by Caroline Cummins on Apr 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM PDT

Here’s an answer to this problem:
http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2010/04/take_a_shine_to_aluminum_foil.html

The acid in the tomatoes, apparently, doesn’t play well with foil.

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