Brown sauce

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Brown sauce is a 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. The taste is either tart or sweet with a peppery taste similar to that of Worcestershire sauce.

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

A combination of malt vinegar (or water) and brown sauce known simply as "sauce" or "chippy sauce" is popular on fish and chips in Edinburgh, Scotland.[1][2]

A recipe for "sauce for steaks" composed of ale, wine, ketchup, black pepper and butter appeared in an 1843 cookbook published in London entitled English Cookery.[3]

Common brands[edit]

In the United Kingdom[edit]

HP Sauce on a bacon sandwich

HP Sauce, a spicy and tangy variety currently manufactured in the Netherlands, is the most popular brown sauce in the United Kingdom, accounting for around 75% of sales. Daddies (manufactured in Poland) is also a popular sauce in some regions. Other brands include OK Sauce and Wilkin & Sons which are made in the U.K. In Scotland, the most well known brand is Gold Star which is more commonly known as "Chippy Sauce" due to it being the condiment of choice in most Edinburgh chip shops since its creation in the 1920s.[citation needed]

In Ireland[edit]

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 1837 and is currently manufactured in County Dublin for Primeline Sales & Marketing. Kandee a brand that comes in a larger canned bottle.

Generic brands[edit]

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.

Similar products[edit]

Many countries have their own sauces which are similar to brown sauce, often containing comparable flavour profiles, ingredients, and uses. Examples include Japan's Tonkatsu sauce and Jamaica's Pickapeppa sauce. The Chinese use a soy/soya-based sauce thickened with potato or corn starch that they call "brown sauce" (棕色酱 or "Zōngsè jiàng"). "Steak sauce" is a similar product in the United States.[4]


Between 2013 and 2014 the sales of brown sauces in the UK decreased by approximately 19%, according to market research company Mintel, but more than 13 million kg is still consumed each year.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Chippie Sauce",
  2. ^ "Salt 'n' sauce - Scotland's culinary divide". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  3. ^ English Cookery. London: Cradock & Co. 1843. p. 56.
  4. ^ Baxter-Wright, Dusty (28 March 2017). "Americans don't know what Brown Sauce is and it's mind blowing". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  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.