Cumberland sauce

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Duck confit crepes with Cumberland sauce

Cumberland sauce is a fruit sauce, usually used on non-white meats, such as venison, ham, and lamb. Coming out of the long-standing medieval tradition of piquant spicy fruit sauces rendered sharply sour with verjuice or vinegar and served with meat, but created sometime in the 19th century,[1] the sauce appears in various editions of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. The sauce was invented in Germany, according to Alexis Soyer's recipe in The Gastronomic Regenerator (1846) for a port-wine based sauce accompanying boar’s head, which Janet Clarkson notes "contains what we think of as the required citrus note in the form of Seville orange rind (along with mustard)."[2] It is a more complex version of a simple redcurrant sauce.

Despite its German origin, today the sauce is ubiquitous in the Cumbria region of England and is thought of as a thoroughly British condiment.

Although variations exist, common ingredients include red currants or cowberries, port or claret, dry mustard, pepper, orange, ginger, red currant jelly and vinegar.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ OED found no reference under this name before 1878; food historian Janet Clarkson, online as "Old Foodie", found an American reference of 1858, and quotes a port or claret and mutton gravy flavoured and coloured with a teaspoon of red current jelly in Kitchiner, Cook’s Oracle, 1817.
  2. ^ Clarkson 2009

External links[edit]


  • Escoffier, Auguste (1989). The Escoffier Cookbook. Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-50662-9.