Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Condiment Commentary

It occurred to me this morning while haphazardly whipping together my own concoction to resemble "Dijonaise" (two parts mayo, one part Colman's mustard, if you're interested) is that there's a serious gap in the UK condiment market that must be addressed.  First of all, Dijonaise.  Why does this not exist?  And Miracle Whip.  Why not?  Two excellent lunch spreads and great alternatives to your standard mustard or mayonaise - and yet, nowhere to be found.

You see, Americans are great at what I like to call "in betweens".  You feel like having something that's somewhere between a milkshake and ice cream?  I think you want a McFlurry, or better yet, a Blizzard.  You want something with the creaminess of mayo in your sandwich punctuated by the tang of mustard without having your sinuses blown off by mustard burn?  You definitely want Dijonaise.

Last week, I was looking forward to a juicy steak when I got home.  "Do you guys, have like, you know, like, a steak sauce?" I asked my co-worker as we were packing up to go home.  She looked at me blankly.  I tried again.  "You know, like, not like Worcestershire sauce, but like, a sauce you put on your plate that you can dip your steak in?"  She just shook her head.  "A1?" I tried helplessly.  "Barbecue sauce?" she suggested, as I looked horrified.  "Barbecue sauce does NOT belong on a steak!" I exclaimed.  Now, I know steaks are delicious on their own or simply seasoned with salt and pepper or some other sauce that takes a saucepan and actual time to make blah blah blah.  But sometimes I just want the smoky and tangy taste of A1, straight out of the bottle.  Is this too much to ask (no, because I could probably buy it online somewhere or bring a bottle back with me next time I'm in the States)?

Instead, in Britain, they have brown sauce.  Brown sauce.  Let me say it one more time, to see if it changes:  brown sauce.  Nope.  "What's that?" I said, pointing to a container full of ... well, brown sauce, as John and I were waiting in a queue for a bacon butty at a local greasy spoon (whoa, whoa, whoa, if that was too much Anglo-lingo for you, whip out your handy Anglo-American dictionary to translate).  "Brown sauce," he replied, anxiously looking ahead at the line.  "I see that," I said irritably.  "But what's it called?"  "Brown sauce," he repeated, getting annoyed.  Certain that he was wrong and just plain ignorant, I asked the lady at the counter when placing my order, "What's this sauce here?"  "Brown sauce," she said.  "What the hell?  What the hell is BROWN SAUCE?!" I screeched.  "Try it," said John, squeezing a generous amount onto my butty (if that sounded dirty, you're still thinking in American English.  Switch over, please).  "Mmm ... it's so ... good!  It's like ... like, a cross between Worcestershire sauce and ketchup!  AWESOME!"

See?  Brits do "in between"s too.  Smiley face.

Photo source


  1. They definitely could use to work on their nomenclature, though. I had to sit through an ad for "Miracle Whip" today on internet TV, and I can't imagine it having the same impact if the target product was "Brown Sauce(TM)".

  2. But oh, the creative things you could do with ... Brown Sauce (TM).

  3. hahaha oh brown sauce. perfect with a chip buttaayyyyyy


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