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HP brown sauce... is A-1 sauce the same thing?

Firegoat Aug 17, 2008 03:53 PM


I've never found brown sauce here in the midwest, but a friend from England mailed some to me to try. It looked like A-1 but to me didn't taste the same and the ingredients were different.

This is a break out from the "what to put on your hot dog thread"
But i'm curious.....

Can you find brown sauce in the US?
And either way, is brown sauce the same as A1?

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  1. Allstonian RE: Firegoat Aug 17, 2008 04:21 PM

    In answer to your first question, yes, you can. Whether you can find HP Sauce in your own part of the US is another question. But here in Boston I can buy it in the UK section of my local supermarket.

    In answer to the second question - well, I can't really understand why you asked the second question, because your own comments show the answer. No, HP Sauce is not the same as A-1. It doesn't taste the same and the ingredients are different.

    1. k
      KTinNYC RE: Firegoat Aug 17, 2008 04:29 PM


      HP Sauce contains; Water, Vinegar, Dates, Glucose-Fructose, Black Strap Molasses, Tomato Paste, Modified Cornstarch, Salt, Orange Juice Concentrate, Onion, Spices, Tamarind Extract, Apple Juice Concentrate, Garlic, Chili Peppers, Mustard Flour.

      Brown Sauce can be found at any specialty store that sell British Products.

      10 Replies
      1. re: KTinNYC
        paulj RE: KTinNYC Aug 17, 2008 05:12 PM

        Proportions may not be the same, but the basic ingredients are similar - tomato, vinegar, fruit (dates/raisins), orange flavor, garlic, herbs.

        1. re: paulj
          KTinNYC RE: paulj Aug 17, 2008 08:10 PM

          Agreed, but you also have very similar ingredients in Lea and Perrins and no one would say A-1 is the same thing as Lea and Perrins.

        2. re: KTinNYC
          southernitalian RE: KTinNYC Aug 21, 2008 08:08 AM

          Wow. I always thought A-1 had anchovies in it. Regardless, it's delicious. HP is bland.

          1. re: southernitalian
            KTinNYC RE: southernitalian Aug 21, 2008 08:18 AM

            A-1 use to have anchovies as an ingredient but it has since been removed. I read this a while back. I don't know why this was done. Ick factor? Cost? Maybe someone on these board knows for sure.

            1. re: KTinNYC
              bagelman01 RE: KTinNYC Sep 12, 2009 12:27 PM

              I know this is an old question, but the anchovies were removed so that kosher consumers could use the A1 sauce in the cooking of meat products.

              While kosher laws consider fish neutral and alloww eating it with either meat or dairy, fish may NOT be cooked in the same pot as meat.

              So, A! with anchovies could be put on an already cooked kosher steak, but could not be added to a pot of beef stew being cooked.

              1. re: bagelman01
                Jen76 RE: bagelman01 Sep 12, 2009 01:24 PM

                People add A1 to beef stew? Yuk. I have to say, I would have never thought of adding A1 to anything other than a cooked piece of meat or maybe steak and eggs.

                1. re: Jen76
                  bagelman01 RE: Jen76 Sep 13, 2009 06:22 PM

                  A1 used to publish a pamphlet of recipes that used A1 in the cooking

                  1. re: Jen76
                    alkapal RE: Jen76 Sep 14, 2009 04:58 AM

                    a-1 is good in shepherd's pie. i can see it in stew & meatloaf. too.

                    1. re: alkapal
                      Jen76 RE: alkapal Sep 15, 2009 11:35 PM

                      Not a big meatloaf lover. Maybe A1 would help!

                      1. re: alkapal
                        petek RE: alkapal Aug 31, 2013 06:53 AM

                        "a-1 is good in shepherd's pie."
                        So is HP sauce!

            2. g
              grouper RE: Firegoat Aug 17, 2008 04:35 PM

              I'm not sure where you are in the midwest, but you can pick up HP sauce at Meijer's which is a grocery chain in Michigan. However, it might just be me, but I think the HP they sell in the UK is spicier than what you get here in the US. So, I always head to Canada when I need a refill.

              2 Replies
              1. re: grouper
                hammondreg RE: grouper Sep 12, 2009 12:09 PM

                Hi grouper .. could you tell me where in Canada (which stores) you visit to buy your HP? I have just moved to Kamloops (BC) to go to Uni there and am *desperate* for some HP for my fried food.

                Thanks in advance


                1. re: hammondreg
                  FrankD RE: hammondreg Sep 12, 2009 01:39 PM

                  I live in Toronto, and EVERY major supermarket has HP (regular), HP Chicken and Rib (aka "Fruity" in the UK), and HP Bold. And I've lived in Ottawa, Waterloo, London, and Windsor, and I've never been unable to find it. I'm amazed you can't get it in BC.

              2. s
                smartie RE: Firegoat Aug 17, 2008 05:14 PM

                no no no, HP is thicker than A1 and fruitier. In Florida we can get it in Publix in the British section. Thank goodness because I love it on fried eggs on toast.

                1. c
                  cookingodyssey RE: Firegoat Aug 17, 2008 08:59 PM

                  I've seen HP at CostPlus World Market. You might want to check there.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cookingodyssey
                    Kelli2006 RE: cookingodyssey Sep 14, 2009 08:23 AM

                    Ive also seen it at World Market and have considered buying it because it doesn't contain HFCS. I have many British friends and they rave about HP sauce so I might have to try a bottle.

                    If you are looking for a steak sauce that doesn't contain HFCS I recommend that you try Whole Foods version of A1. I bought some and I wont be going back to A1.

                  2. greedygirl RE: Firegoat Aug 18, 2008 02:54 AM

                    The king of brown sauces is actually Hammond's Chop Brown Sauce (imho). Unfortunately, it's also very hard to find. My mother is very upset - she refuses to buy any other brand.

                    My brother used to get through bottles of the stuff when we were kids. He would put it on everything, but it's especially good with Yorkshire pudding! He also used to like Henderson's Relish, which is similar to Worcestershire sauce but without the anchovies. It's made in Sheffield, where we grew up (and is almost unheard of elswehere), and we had a neighbour who worked at the factory and absolutely reeked of the stuff! Happy days...

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: greedygirl
                      smartie RE: greedygirl Aug 18, 2008 05:37 AM

                      greedy do you remember another brown sauce that was fruitier? There was another one a few years back but it disappeared off the shelves.

                      1. re: smartie
                        greedygirl RE: smartie Aug 18, 2008 05:43 AM

                        HP do a fruity version I think. Or maybe it was Daddies?

                        Posher versions are done by Tiptree and Stokes.

                        But Hammonds for the win!

                        1. re: greedygirl
                          smartie RE: greedygirl Aug 18, 2008 03:37 PM

                          yes it was Daddies. Don't think it's available any more.

                          1. re: smartie
                            greedygirl RE: smartie Aug 24, 2008 01:54 AM

                            Actually I saw it in Asda the other day. No Hammond's though. :-(

                          2. re: greedygirl
                            FrankD RE: greedygirl Sep 12, 2009 01:40 PM

                            HP does have a "fruity" version; in North America, they've relabeled it "Chicken and Rib". For some reason, "fruity" didn't have the same connotation here...

                        2. re: greedygirl
                          Kagey RE: greedygirl Aug 20, 2008 03:02 AM

                          I was up in Edinburgh last weekend with friends and we thought that the brown sauce served in the chip shops was superior to the stuff we're used to down south. I have no idea what the difference was; it tasted more vinegar-y. But we couldn't stop eating it. It was like crack.

                          1. re: greedygirl
                            Kholvaitar RE: greedygirl Aug 31, 2013 06:48 AM


                          2. greedygirl RE: Firegoat Aug 18, 2008 05:54 AM

                            There's also a north/south divide going on when it comes to brown sauce, which is generally preferred by Northerners. Southerners are more likely to put red sauce (tomato ketchup) on their bacon sandwiches. Everyone prefers ketchup/mayo on chips.

                            1. k
                              KevinB RE: Firegoat Aug 18, 2008 01:37 PM

                              As I said in another thread, A-1 is thinner and runnier than HP, but the tastes are similar enough that I will ask for A-1 sauce with my breakfast eggs in the US, where HP is generally unavailable in restaurants. I get some pretty weird looks from the waitress, though!

                              1. h
                                hazelhurst RE: Firegoat Aug 19, 2008 09:07 PM

                                I don't believe that HP is what it was years ago...I cannot say for sure because I have not tracked it over the eons...but I can say that A-1 is certainly NOT what it was 40 years ago. It is much thinner. Lea & Perrins has had a similar change--not in thickness, exactly, but it has changed.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: hazelhurst
                                  stilton RE: hazelhurst Aug 19, 2008 10:08 PM

                                  Production was moved from Birmingham to the Netherlands a few years ago. Maybe something else got meddled with too.

                                  1. re: stilton
                                    monkeyrotica RE: stilton Sep 14, 2009 05:49 AM

                                    HP definitely switched from glucose-fructose to HFCS at some point.

                                    1. re: monkeyrotica
                                      paulj RE: monkeyrotica Jul 3, 2011 11:25 AM

                                      Those are the same thing, except that HFCS specifies the corn starch base. GF could be made from potato or wheat starch. Same process and composition.

                                2. m
                                  MattInNJ RE: Firegoat Aug 21, 2008 08:21 AM


                                  1. r
                                    RevImmigrant RE: Firegoat Aug 23, 2008 08:27 AM

                                    HP is definitely NOT the same as A-1 sauce. Also A-1 sauce made in England is not the same as the American A-1 sauce. I got some English-made A-1 sauce at KaDeWe in the food section (6th floor) and realized it was not the same as the American made the first time I tried it. Also it ruined my Cajun steak etoufee. There are a couple of small stores in the Zehlendorf section of Berlin that has the real US A-1 sauce, but it's expensive.

                                    1. alkapal RE: Firegoat Aug 27, 2008 11:08 AM

                                      firegoat, try a harris teeter if there is one near you. good condiment selection!

                                      1. r
                                        RevImmigrant RE: Firegoat Mar 31, 2009 02:07 PM

                                        HP is NOT the same as A-1. A-1 is far more piquant and tastes much better. HP is bland and doesn't taste good.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: RevImmigrant
                                          LaLa RE: RevImmigrant Mar 31, 2009 06:57 PM

                                          now if you want something really good try Henry Bain sauce

                                          1. re: LaLa
                                            Firegoat RE: LaLa Sep 13, 2009 01:04 PM

                                            Never heard of it, what is it like and where is it found?

                                            1. re: Firegoat
                                              alkapal RE: Firegoat Sep 14, 2009 04:49 AM


                                              let's meet up
                                              in old kentuck
                                              and try henry bain
                                              at the pendennis club!


                                              maybe i'll have mine on venison. when does deer season open? ;-).

                                              <ps, firegoat, check the address of the pendennis club for a real hoot of irony!!!!>

                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                Firegoat RE: alkapal Sep 14, 2009 06:06 AM

                                                LOL I love it! Okay.... has anyone tried the recipe for the sauce? And I'd totally road trip to kentucky!

                                                1. re: Firegoat
                                                  jessicameilly RE: Firegoat Jul 3, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                  Do they still sell A1 and HP in some areas at Canada?
                                                  HP was used in [British foods, right? But can I use A1 instead HP? It looks like A1 was more available here..

                                        2. i
                                          in2u4ia RE: Firegoat Jul 18, 2012 10:29 AM

                                          You can get HP and hundreds of other UK products from a company in Massachusetts. The link to the website is, http://www.britishdelights.com

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: in2u4ia
                                            Paprikaboy RE: in2u4ia Jul 18, 2012 10:48 AM

                                            The recipe for HP sauce changed last year and quite frankly it's not the same.
                                            May as well splosh A1 on your bangers now.

                                            A very British row broke out:


                                            1. re: Paprikaboy
                                              monkeyrotica RE: Paprikaboy Jul 18, 2012 11:35 AM

                                              I have a plastic bottle of the new Made in Holland stuff and a glass bottle of the original recipe. The flavor is definitely different, sweeter and not as pungent. Basically, the Government made them cut the sodium content, which makes the sweet component taste sweeter.

                                              1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                Perilagu Khan RE: monkeyrotica Jul 18, 2012 11:46 AM

                                                It would serve the Netherlands right if HP picked up stakes and moved to a country where they could make their product any dam' way they please.

                                              2. re: Paprikaboy
                                                paulj RE: Paprikaboy Jul 18, 2012 01:08 PM

                                                That's a broken link; here's another article on the same

                                              3. re: in2u4ia
                                                ferret RE: in2u4ia Jul 18, 2012 12:29 PM

                                                HP is seemingly everywhere here in Chicago. Nearly every Jewel store has it in their UK section and the more "gourmet" stores also carry it.

                                                1. re: ferret
                                                  Firegoat RE: ferret Sep 2, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                  I wrote the original post in 2008, when I couldn't find HP in Tulsa, Ok and a friend mailed me a box. Since then HP is not only common in most every Tulsa grocery store, but I can get it in the small town of Salina, KS, in the "british" section of Dillon's.

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