On our first return visit to Liverpool in the sixties I remember my uncle sadly announcing to my mother that her favorite fish and chip shop had "gone curry."
Needless to say, the U.K. had "gone curry" (and beyond) long before that.
“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.”
— Tony Naylor, (The Guardian) via NDTV Food
|Photo: Robert Pool (via flikr)|
"The Paterson Company of Glasgow was catapulted to fame with the world's first instant coffee in 1876: Camp Coffee (an essence of coffee-beans, chicory and sugar poured from a distinctive bottle). The origin of Camp Coffee is believed to have come from a request from the Gordon Highlanders to Campbell Paterson for a coffee drink that could be used easily by the army on field campaigns in India.”