Wednesday, 21 July 2010
HP Slightly Hot, Rather Hot & Seriously Hot sauces
When I was a kid growing up, I used to hate HP sauce, or "brown sauce" as it was called in our house. I'm not even sure I'd even tasted it - I think I just believed my friends who'd told me the HP stood for Horse Poo ! Then I got a little older and recognised the building on the front of the bottle as the same one on the London Weekend Television broadcasting page. Weekend Television ?! Ahhh those were the days when the national anthem played at the end of the day and TV shut down for the night ! I'm making myself sound ancient now, but I'm still not as ancient as HP sauce !
I discovered when researching this review that the original recipe for classic HP Sauce was invented and developed in 1896 by Frederick Gibson Garton, a grocer from Nottingham. Mr Garton sold the recipe for the sum of £150 and the settlement of some unpaid bills to Edwin Samson Moore, the founder of the Midlands Vinegar Company, who subsequently launched HP Sauce in 1903. If you haven't worked it out yet, HP stands for ‘Houses of Parliament’, as it was rumoured that the sauce had been seen in one of the dining rooms at the famous landmark !
I have to admit, I'm still not totally won over by the taste of classic HP Sauce but I do love the milder HP Fruity Sauce which is now an integral part of any bacon sandwich to pass my lips !
I recently discovered HP Original BBQ Sauce with its "Classic Woodsmoke Flavour" which is absolutely delicious. The label describes it as a "rich and traditional BBQ sauce with an authentic smokey flavour" and that just about sums it up nicely. It has a lovely deep flavour which livens up the blandest of meals and is perfect for a BBQ taste in the midst of winter when you can't get the real thing.
Well, now HP have brought out a new selection of Hot Sauces to complement the range. With three distinct flavours varying from slightly, rather to seriously hot, they say there’s a sauce to suit all palates, no matter what your heat threshold.
According to HP, "The mildest of the three sauces, HP Slightly Hot Smokey Chilli Sauce, livens up your food with a just a gentle kick. The ideal accompaniment to summer BBQs and burgers, providing that distinctive flavour HP is renowned for, with a mild Mexican twist.
For the more adventurous amongst us, HP Rather Hot Jalapeno & Lime Sauce will leave your taste buds exploding with flavour. The tangy sauce transforms tired chicken and prawns and will be sure to bring a little sauciness back to supper times!
Packing a serious punch, HP Seriously Hot Red Chilli & Honey Sauce is not for the faint hearted. Delicious with steaks, sausages and other red meats it’s a seriously hot sauce that’s sure to separate the men from the boys. Be warned! "
I received a bottle of the Slightly Hot and the Rather Hot varieties to test. I started with the Slightly Hot Smokey Chilli Sauce which was delicious and reminded me of the Original BBQ sauce I already buy but with a slight kick added. It definitely has a slight degree of heat to it but nothing major so even the kids gave it a wary taste. 5-year-old Juliette didn't like it (but she's definitely a red sauce kinda girl !) but 8-year-old Sophie, who usually runs around the room screeching "my mouth is on fire" whenever she tastes anything the slightest bit spicy, gave it the thumbs up !
The Rather Hot Jalapeno & Lime Sauce has a two out of three chilli rating and the heat is turned up quite considerably, as the word jalapeno should suggest to you. Unlike many hot sauces though, it has a lovely deep flavour - you're not just adding this to show you're hard enough, you're adding it because it brings new flavours to your food too !
I didn't receive a bottle of the Seriously Hot Red Chilli & Honey Sauce to test, but I know my limits and - even if I'm a fan of spicy food - I was more than happy to stop at "Rather Hot". If you grab a bottle for your next barbecue, I can guarantee all the male guests will put a hefty dollop on their plates and then say "naah it's not spicy at all" as their eyes bulge out of their heads and they break into a sweat !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £1.59 for 250g
Other reviews you might be interested in :
Levi Roots New Mango & Chilli and Reggae Reggae Relishes