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


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. 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.


      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

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

        1. re: paulj

          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

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

          1. re: southernitalian

            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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: Jen76

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

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Not a big meatloaf lover. Maybe A1 would help!

                      1. re: alkapal

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

            2. 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

                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

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cookingodyssey

                    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. 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

                      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

                        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

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

                          1. re: smartie

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

                          2. re: greedygirl

                            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

                          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. 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. 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. 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.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: hazelhurst

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

                                  1. re: stilton

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

                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                      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.

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        They also reduced the amount of sodium on HP, which made the already pretty sweet sauce even sweeter. Lots of longtime customers complained, but to no avail. I end up using Bulldog Brand Tonkatsu sauce instead; not quite HP but not sickly sweet either.

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

                                      1. 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.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: RevImmigrant

                                          now if you want something really good try Henry Bain sauce

                                          1. re: LaLa

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

                                            1. re: Firegoat


                                              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

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

                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                  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. re: RevImmigrant

                                            You so funny .. now you know A.1 is originally an English brown sauce imported into the US in the early 20th century?. :D

                                          3. 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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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: in2u4ia

                                                  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

                                                    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.