Mr S is inclined to believe this is a piss-take, lest it be clear the Guardian completely disappeared up its own bottom. Apparently enjoying HP Sauce basically makes you some sort of quasi-racist, Ukip-voting, little-England philistine:
‘Created in the late 1800s, brown sauce reads, tastes and smells like the idle creation of some Phileas Fogg-type, just back and hugely, over-excited about his adventures in the British empire. Dates! Molasses! Tamarind! Cloves! Cayenne pepper! It is not so much a recipe as chauvinistic flag-waving, a smug, muscle-flexing case of: “Look at the size of our spice cupboard.” Said exotic ingredients were combined, moreover, with all the sensitivity of the period. Just as in the age of empire we ignored or abused indigenous peoples, so too their ingredients. In brown sauce, they were used to produce an unholy trinity of brutal sweetness, acrid spiciness and vile vinegary twang – one peculiarly British in its lack of culinary sophistication.
That brown sauce was actually invented, more prosaically, by a Nottingham grocer hardly matters. Everything about it, and particularly that picture of the houses of parliament on a bottle of HP, surely confirmed it as the sauce of the establishment. This was the perfect table sauce for jowly, Victorian and Edwardian gentlemen whose palates were so befogged by years of brandy and cigars, grouse and spotted dick, that only this shrill alarm of a sauce could pierce that bleary, weary gastronomic gloom.’
Congratulations to the author Tony Naylor for a complete lack of self-awareness and for pitching an early contender for the most Guardian-y Guardian article of 2015. Steerpike suggests he slaps some brown stuff on his dreary quinoa or whatever bitter lemon he’s been sucking all Christmas – sorry, ‘Winterval’. Surely journalists are meant to protect sauces?