So I have been in England for approximately a month and a half now and the one question I have is: What the heck is HP sauce?
These light blue packets haunt you everywhere you go and everywhere you
turn. There are bottles of this stuff at all restaurants and packets of it in my dining hall, but what is it actually used for… That is the ultimate question.
After a quick consultation with Wikipedia, I found out the following:
1) HP is a brown sauce (… leave it to the Brits to be sophisticated with their descriptions)
2) It is made from a malt vinegar base (another British favorite), blended tomatoes, dates, tamarind extract, sweetener, and spices.
3) In the 1960s and 70s, the sauce earned the nickname “Wilson’s gravy” after UK’s Labour Prime Minister’s wife told reporters that her husband puts HP sauce on all of his food.
4) Originally owned by HP Foods, Heinz acquired the company in the early 2000s.
Last week I finally decided to try this enticing sauce. The dining hall was serving chicken breast for dinner which I saw as the perfect opportunity. I grabbed 2 packets of the sauce, ripped them open in a fit of rage and excitement and dipped that chicken in the sauce.
Outcome? The sauce was pretty good. It tasted like a thicker type of Worcestershire sauce. The consistency was less thick than ketchup but not as watery as soy sauce.
I give HP sauce two thumbs up. You did well Britain. Cheers.