Sunday, April 19, 2009

"HP" sounds good to me ...

Given that I grilled some cheap steaks for dinner this ev'ning, and given that I drowned each bite of said steaks in HP Sauce, this needs repeatin' ...

If I were to compile a list of my Top Ten Favorite Condiments -- I'm talking about condiments here, not hot sauces -- HP Sauce would surely be in the top five. If you've never had HP Sauce, son, you're missin' out.

A Scottish fellow with whom I used to work, name o' Craig, turned me on to HP Sauce (HP stands for "Houses of Parliament) some six or seven years ago. Craig was eating a turkey sandwich one day, and he was absolutely coating it with a bottle of something that looked like store-brand A1. "What is that?" I asked. "HP Sauce," he replied. (In his quick-talk Scottish brogue "HP Sauce" was one syllable.)

Craig told me how folks in the United Kingdom put HP Sauce on everything: potatoes, chops, steaks, fish, vegetables, and, yes, sammiches. At that point, I just had to try it. He put a big dollop on a Lay's potato chip and handed it to me. As soon as the tangy, sweet , and spicy brown sauce hit my tongue ... let's just say I was immediately hooked. Indeed, it didn't take long before I was pouring HP Sauce on potatoes, chops, steaks, fish, etc.

HP Sauce has a pretty exotic ingredients list: dates, malt vinegar, tamarind extract, sugar, and spices (among others). I'm not a big fan of dates, so it's kind of funny that I enjoy eating something that features dates as a main ingredient. Enjoy it I do, however, and every time I break open a new bottle I can't help but think about Craig the Scotsman and his turkey sandwich.

In Nashville, you can find HP Sauce in the "British section" at your local Publix supermarket.

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