Thursday, August 24, 2006

HP Sauce factory to close

The sad news in the UK yesterday was that the HP Sauce factory in Aston, Birmingham, was to close its doors for the last time. Production of Worcestershire Sauce will move back to Worcester, while HP Sauce will be produced in the Netherlands.

(For my non-English friends, here is a pronunciation guide to the words Worcester and Worcestershire, delivered especially for you in my own voice.)

It's been a wee while since I bought HP Sauce, I must confess, although before hearing this news I had fancied some on my fried-egg sandwich that I had for lunch yesterday, and there wasn't any in the house. I don't know if it still does, but it used to say "By appointment to HM The Queen" on the neck label. Guess that'll go when the factory goes.

Also, HP stood for Houses of Parliament originally, and this building was also depicted on the label. What will HP stand for now? Holland Produced, that's what.

16 Comments:

Blogger Pie said...

Ya Boo Sux

British made sauce is best (I know - it'll taste exactly the same).

Actually, I'm gonna have to look this up and find out who invented ketchup.

24 August, 2006 13:07  
Blogger Pie said...

From Wikipedia:

"Ketchup existed before anyone outside the Americas had ever seen a tomato. Originally this sauce was made out of pickled fish. It originated in Eastern Asia; the word ketchup is used in Chinese, Malay and Indonesian (eg. Kecap_manis). English and Dutch sailors brought the Asian ketchup to Europe, where many flavourings, such as mushrooms, anchovies and nuts, were added to the basic fish sauce. Whether the tomato was also added to ketchup in England is not certain, and it's likely that this important event first happened in the USA."

So ketchup as we know it is most likely American, but orignates from Asia. Ah well, it'll always be British to me...

24 August, 2006 13:10  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Yeah, but HP Sauce is brown sauce, wholly different from ketchup, and it was invented by a man from Nottingham. I've edited my post to contain a link.

24 August, 2006 13:56  
Blogger Spangly Princess said...

OH NO! catastrophe. HP sauce is one of the best things in the world. and the bottle and the label are vital parts of that. how very distressing.

otoh worcester sauce is no good and should be replaced in your life by HENDERSON'S RELISH which comes from Sheffield, has no anchovy in it, and is generally similar but superior. All sheffielders have a wierd obsessive relationship with it.

24 August, 2006 14:28  
Blogger Pie said...

Oh yeah...duh. Sorry.

24 August, 2006 14:48  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Hmm...How many jobs will go from this move? I think the label will still be on it, even if it is made in another country. I believe that there are products made for monarchy and ouit of Britian with that marker on it...of course I can't think of an example right now.

I'm at a bloody internet cafe, and the kids are so loud and swearing and it smells and is too warm...won't be blogging for long today...

24 August, 2006 20:52  
Blogger _z. said...

that's too bad. I never thought about the identity of HP. I just...consumed it.

in holland it will be called High Pot.

thank you for the pronuciation tip.. I would have never guessed.

25 August, 2006 05:41  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Spangly: I know. It's crazy... Can't say I agree with your view on Worcester sauce, though.

Pie: 'sall right.

Candy: I think they're saying 100 jobs will be lost. Not too bad, but still... Internet cafe, aaaaggghhh!

_z.: It's a shame, right? You're welcome on the pronunciation!

25 August, 2006 09:42  
Blogger Wendy Ann Edwina D'Cunha e Pereira said...

Actually HP sauce is always available at our house... I like it a lot... So now we'll get it from Holland, not the U.K.? Well, I hope they don't change it in anyway.... which is unrealistic, I suppose...

25 August, 2006 10:46  
Blogger Will said...

There's a great line in Adrian Mole when he says (something like): "My Dad thinks he's one of the middle class now. He's not middle class - he still puts HP sauce on his chips."

25 August, 2006 13:09  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Wendy: HP Sauce is great. I don't know why we so rarely have it at home. I always use it when I go out for a greasy spoon. I must buy some when I next go shopping!

Will: It's soooooo long since I read Adrian Mole. I was probably about 13 3/4 at the time. Ouch, that's more than 20 years ago. But that sounds like something he would have said!

25 August, 2006 15:43  
Blogger Spangly Princess said...

asterisk: I too thought worcester sauce was great til I tried Henderson's. next time you or a mate go to the sheffield region, bring some back. trust me on this.

25 August, 2006 21:13  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Spangly, okay, I'll bear that in mind. I went to Sheffield once. For a Mission fan club gig. A friend of mine was in the fan club. I hated The Mission, but The Wonder Stuff were playing, too, and I didn't mind them...

26 August, 2006 08:14  
Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

still trying to work out how i missed this post! shocking that yet another houshold british name is having to move abroad! hate the stuff, but it's a shame.
on the subject of hendersons. a shop in sheffield stopped selling it. you'd have thought they'd stopped selling silk cuts! needless to say they stock it again.

26 August, 2006 08:50  
Blogger Karen said...

Thanks for the comment and the link back to this post *(Asterisk). Great job! It's a shame that production is leaving the UK. It wouldn't be soooo bad at least if it was going to be produced in one of the former colonies (ex: Canada - bring us the HP!) but the Netherlands? That makes no sense. Yes, I'm sure that it will more economical somehow for the company but what ever happened to pride in the product? Now it's all about the profit.

22 November, 2006 12:51  
Blogger Karen said...

PS: Now I finally know how to pronounce things the "British" way. No longer will I call it "worse than your sister" sauce.

22 November, 2006 12:51  

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