Brown sauce

Brown sauce is a traditional condiment served with food in the United Kingdom and Ireland, normally dark brown in colour. The ingredients include a varying combination of tomatoes, molasses, dates, apples, tamarind, spices, vinegar, and sometimes raisins or anchovies. The taste is either tart or sweet with a peppery taste similar to that of Worcestershire sauce. It is similar to brown sauce marketed as steak sauce in the United States.

Brown sauce is traditionally eaten with meals such as full breakfasts, bacon sandwiches, and chips.

A combination of spirit vinegar (or water) and brown sauce known simply as "sauce" or "chippy sauce" is popular on fish and chips in Edinburgh, Scotland.[1]

A recipe for "sauce for steaks" composed of ale, wine, ketchup, black pepper and butter appeared in an 1862 cookbook published in London entitled The Practical Family Cookery Book.[2]

Common brands

HP Sauce, a spicy and tangy variety, is the most popular brown sauce in the United Kingdom, accounting for around 75% of sales.[3] In some regions of the UK, Daddies is also a very popular sauce, especially in the Midlands and Wales.[4] Other brands include OK Sauce and Wilkin & Sons.

Chef and YR Sauce are popular brown sauce brands in Ireland. While YR stands for Yorkshire Relish, the sauce has been produced in Ireland since 1933 and is currently manufactured in County Donegal by Robert Roberts.

Most supermarket chains in the UK and Ireland also stock their own brand of brown sauce. As with other condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, brown sauce is widely available in catering sachets and dispenser bottles in restaurants.

Between 2013 and 2014 the sales of brown sauces in the UK decreased by approximately 19%, according to market research company Mintel, though more than 13 million kg are still consumed each year.[5][6] There is also a German brand Zooze from Cologne that introduced a fancy version for the premium market called "The Gentleman's Club Sauce" and which appears to be an homage to the traditional British brown sauce.[7]

See also


  1. "Chippie Sauce",
  2. The Practical Family Cookery Book. London: Ward & Lock. 1862. p. 56.
  3. IRI, June 2006
  4. IRI, March 2007
  5. Naylor, Tony (2015-01-05). "Brown sauce sales are falling: has Britain finally come to its senses?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  6. Hyslop, Leah (2015-01-05). "Are we falling out of love with brown sauce? Sales of brown sauce plunged by nearly a fifth last year, figures suggest". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  7. "Brown Sauce | The Gentleman's Club Sauce | Gourmet Saucen Online Bestellen". (in German). Retrieved 2017-11-03.
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