Monday, 11 May 2009

Colman’s O.K. Sauce (Selfridges)



I wasn’t sure whether to purchase this as I am aware that it is a type of ‘brown sauce’ and I am not much of a brown sauce type of person. However, I chose to buy this as I found the product quite curious. It was for sale in Selfridge’s foodhall, with products from around the world and yet is, as it proudly declares on the bottle, a sauce from Norwich. Also I have not seen it in the supermarkets in the UK despite the royal approval logo and the bottle also has a Chinese (?) translation prominently on the front. So I felt compelled to buy the item.
Enough of my curiosity and on to the sauce itself, in smell it does very much remind me of HP sauce. However in taste it was a much easier going flavour, heavy on the fruity aspect of brown sauce. As brown sauces go, this had enough sweet tomato in it to make this the nicest that I have tried. I would like to put in a disclaimer though that proper brown sauce fans may feel the sauce lacks the authentic bite.
Finally, I feel obliged to mention the numerous ‘jokes’ (and I use that term loosely) this sauce caused.
“Do you like the sauce?”
“It’s O.K” etc etc.

18 comments:

NLi10 said...

Wonder if this is the northern Brown sauce I used to have on my chips in Scotland (and maybe even Newcastle once)?

It's kind of like vinegar and brown sauce but fruitier if I remember right.

Anyone who still lives that far north know what I'm on about?

cinabar said...

I don't know the sauce from up north... but I can confirm this sauce is very fruity. Nicest brown sauce I've tried.

miss dipsy said...

You can get various kinds of fruitier brown sauce up north, but I think these days they are the kind of thing you get from small scale producers - I have a bottle of "Yorkshire Brown Sauce" manufactured by Bracken Hill Fine Foods (based in Elvington near York) which is similar to your description. It is similar to HP sauce but has a fruitier taste - actually a bit like Branston Pickle I suppose.

OK sauce is very common on Chinese takeaway menus. It seems that it was popular in this country in the middle of the last century, and for some reason went out of favour here but took off in Chinese cuisine! Odd.

CHRISTINE said...

I was brought up on this brown sauce and so was my children, sainbury's used to stock it. But it was discontinued about 5 years ago. Since then I have not been able to get hold of this. Apart from Selfridges Food Hall, Have you got any idea's of where i can purchase this. E.g Tesco Or any other supermarket. C.Mahoney

cinabar said...

I haven't seen it in any of the big supermarkets, but I will keep an eye out, it is the sort of thing that may turn up in shops like Home Bargains.

Anonymous said...

Available online at WingYip chinese supermarket. :)

nancy carr said...

I am American from US. I just purchased the sauce out of curiosity. I am wondering what it is used for. I live in HK and got it at a western market called Olivers. I don't know what brown sauce is, I've never seen this before in the US. How would this be used? I like to cook, so I picked it up....suggestions?

cinabar said...

These kind of sauces are used a lot with bacon / sausages. With cold food it would be pork pie and cold meats. I mustn't forget, they also are used with steak and chips!

Let me know how you get on with it, and what you try it with.

Anonymous said...

As a child I always ate this on strong melted cheddar on toast. I have been looking for it to buy for quite a while. Does anyone have any ideas of outlets, other than Selfridges.

cinabar said...

If you are looking to buy it online, there seems to be a seller on Ebay with fairly decent feedback - that any help?

Anonymous said...

Wing Yip online sell it :)

Anonymous said...

You can get it from Trumps Grocers in Sidmouth too. I picked up a couple of bottles, and it's easily the nicest brown sauce I've ever tried.

cinabar said...

Have you tied HP with Guinness? That is my fave ;-)

stewart m, said...

Back in 1969/79 I worked as a sales rep. for Reckitt & Colman, makers of Colman's mustard and OK sauces. It was common practice then to load up the car boot with dozens and dozens of OK sauce bottles and sell them into the smaller grocery shops in Scotland. I'm sure this was done all over the UK.

Stewart M.

stewart m, said...

That should be 1969/70

Stewart M.

Fredsie said...

The Chinese characters on the main label read (literally)

sweet sour harmonised taste sauce

cinabar said...

Ok - many thanks for the translation, do appreciate it :-)

Anonymous said...

chinese supermarkets should as it is still reasonable popular.