What Does HP Sauce Actually Taste Like And Does It Taste Good?

Most people in Britain are not just aware of HP Sauce, they have probably tried it whenever they have asked for brown sauce.

When you think of British condiments, HP Sauce would typically come just before Heinz Tomato ketchup and Branston pickle, that’s how important it is.

The condiment can often be found in many households, on restaurant tables, or even in the British section of a local shop outside of Britain.

Despite the fact the condiment is produced in the Netherlands, it’s one of the most British creations you can think of.

In this guide, we will investigate what HP Sauce can be likened to, what it actually tastes like, and whether it tastes any good. We will also look at what HP Sauce is typically used for. 

What HP Sauce Can Be Likened To?

If you are looking to find a similar tasting condiment in the US then the closest alternative is probably the steak sauce known as A1.

The ingredients are relatively similar with both including tomatoes, vinegar, spices, and salt. However, one major difference between the two is the inclusion of tamarind in HP Sauce.

That makes HP Sauce a bit sweeter than A1 and which does make it more versatile as A1 is typically used for meat entrées.

What HP Sauce Actually Tastes Like?

HP Sauce has a largely vinegar-focused base so you do not need to worry about keeping it in the refrigerator.

That vinegar does give HP Sauce a sour taste and has a dark, savory, and spicy mouthfeel. When you do taste HP Sauce for the first time, it should feel like a taste bomb has exploded in your mouth.

HP Sauce also has a syrupy texture which means it should do well in sandwiches instead of running out of the sides.

The main flavor notes of HP Sauce come from its tomato extracts and the tangy taste of tamarind. The overall taste of HP Sauce should be sweet but also mainly tart, which is quite interesting.

For a similar taste, try some Worcestershire sauce as a lighter, more viscous version of HP Sauce but still with that deep flavor and some spice with peppery notes.

Does HP Sauce Taste Any Good?

If you use HP Sauce as directed to enhance many savory dishes then it should add an intriguing taste.

While bacon sandwiches, cheese on toast, and Shepherd’s Pie should taste great on your own, HP Sauce works really well and should enhance each dish. The condiment comes into its own when the cold winter months come in as it can be deemed quite warming.

That should mean elevating meals and food items such as roasted tomatoes, eggs, and baked beans due to its sweet yet tart flavor.

One of the reasons why HP Sauce has such a unique and well-loved flavor is how closely guarded the recipe is. You can guess that there is a vinegar base with tomato extracts, tamarind, and even dates involved.

However, the actual proportions of each ingredient are only known by a handful of people to create a taste that cannot be exactly replicated.

Some other brands have created their own brown sauce such as Branston and Daddie’s yet HP Sauce ranks on top. 

A lot of that appeal comes from a brilliant blend of spices, dates, and molasses for a thick consistency and deep taste. That combination of flavors was toned down when rules were put in place to limit the amount of salt involved in the sauce.

This meant that the amount of salt per 100g was reduced from 2.1g to 1.3g. Many fans of the sauce believe that the reduction of salt has reduced the distinct flavor, specifically the tang, yet it still remains a staple in household pantries 

What HP Sauce Is Typically Used For?

When you do have a bottle of HP Sauce, you may be wanting to know what you use it for. Thankfully, HP Sauce can be incredibly versatile and used on a wide variety of dishes.

It is a bold flavor so you should try not to use it in a salad or with something sweet. However, Fruity HP Sauce can be used as a chicken and rib sauce in the US.

When it comes to HP Sauce, you should try it with bacon between two slices of bread in what is known as a ‘bacon butty’. You can also use a glob of HP Sauce on top of some cheese on toast, in a gravy for a spicy variation, and in Bolognese sauce.

HP Sauce goes really well with meat so try mixing in some with minced beef for hamburgers, in a savory pie like a steak and ale pie, or alongside a Full English or Scottish breakfast. 

Starchy, hearty meals like Bangers and Mash or a Shepherd’s Pie also goes great with some HP Sauce.

Final Thoughts

HP Sauce may be considered an acquired taste with many simply using tomato ketchup as their condiment of choice.

However, the tangy, warming taste of HP Sauce can elevate several dishes meaning that it provides a welcome alternative on the dinner table.

There are other brown sauces available yet the inclusion of tamarind and a closely guarded recipe marks HP Sauce out amongst its competition.

If you want to take dishes like cheese on toast, bacon sandwiches, and Shepherd’s Pie up a notch then involve some HP Sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is HP Sauce Exactly The Same As Brown Sauce?

Put bluntly, HP Sauce is a brand name for brown sauce which does differentiate it from all the other brown sauces.

Think of brown sauce as the condiment and HP Sauce as the item you add to your shopping list when only the best brand will do. When you think of mustard you tend to think of French’s, with brown sauce it is HP Sauce. 

What Does The HP In HP Sauce Stand For?

The original recipe for HP Sauce was created by Frederick Gibson Garton who was a grocer in Nottingham back in 1895.

When he found out that a restaurant near the Houses of Parliament was serving his condiment he decided to use the shortened term of the government building to name his sauce.

Thus HP Sauce was born and you can see a picture of the Houses of Parliament on every bottle.

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