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Tastes Of The Past

Lady Penelope

master brummie
I used to take Surprise peas camping with us. They were really useful but could be a bit hard if you didn't cook them for long enough. A much lighter alternative to tins.
 

mbenne

master brummie
Thanks for the info on Surprise peas. It was a surprise lol. But it did make me reminisce and think about our food heritage.

As a child I hated salad. My Mom's interpretation was a large uncut lettuce leaf, a stick of celery, a couple of uncut whole tomatoes and a few slices of cucumber and a lump of cheese. All presented on a large white dinner plate. The only real pleasure was chasing the tomatoes around the plate with the fork! There was no attempt at presentation as that's how all salads seemed to be in those days. The only way I could eat it would be to liberally sprinkle the celery with salt, cover the lettuce with salad cream and coat the cheese with Pan Yan pickle.

I still dislike basic salads, but with more products available than we had in the 50s and 60s we now have imaginative delights such as Beetroot, feta & grain salad, Minted melon, tomato & prosciutto salad, Iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing and the list goes on. I can just imagine my Grandad's reaction if my Nan served him up one of these for his tea!

But after all these years I still love salad cream, especially on luncheon meat or spam salad sandwiches!

My other favorite, Pan Yan Pickle, I read that in 1924 it was the world’s highest selling pickle and was made up until 2000, albeit under a number of different owners. Despite having been popular it was discontinued because of falling sales. In 2008 an appeal was made by Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans for the pickle’s return but the brand’s owner, Premier Foods, revealed that the secret recipe had been destroyed in a warehouse fire four years earlier!!!! Various attempts have been made to recreate it, using the ingredients listed on old jars but without much success.

Fortunately I went on to develope a taste for Branston pickle, another product with its origins in 1920s, which also ended up in the hands of Premier Foods. It has now been sold to a Japanese buyer, Mizkan, but fortunately this was before they were able to lose the recipe for another British favorite!

As for Salad Cream, which had its origins in the early 1900s and rising in popularity in the 1940s, I wonder about its future? Another commodity in the hands of food giants, a few years back it was rumored that production was going to cease. Following a public outcry it was relaunched with a £10m advertising campaign. A mistake on the part of Heinz at the time or was this just a a clever marketing strategy? Now we hear that sales are dipping again and the new owner Kraft is considering a rebranding to 'Sandwich Cream' to better reflect its use on sandwiches and to attract younger shoppers!

Can't they just leave us to choose whether we use it to coat our salads or sandwiches! I like it either way and there's more in taste than a name!

And that makes me wonder whether HP Sauce and Daddies sauce still taste the same? (something else I used have as a kid, brown sauce sandwiches, but no imminent name change to reflect change of use) Personally I don't think they do. And Is Cadbury's chocolate still an original product?

Sometimes I wonder whether our tastes are determined by culinary experts or accountants and marketeers!
 
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Lady Penelope

master brummie
I love salad cream mbenne. I try to use French dressing and low fat mayo but salad cream is still my favourite. When I was little I would have a large spring onion and a pot of salad cream. Using it like a sherbert dab, I would spend ages neglecting the rest of the salad.

HP sauce doesn't taste the same to me and I really miss the French translation on the side of the bottle. The thought of HP conjures up sunny Sunday mornings sitting at the table in the pre-fab.
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
I love salad cream mbenne. I try to use French dressing and low fat mayo but salad cream is still my favourite. When I was little I would have a large spring onion and a pot of salad cream. Using it like a sherbert dab, I would spend ages neglecting the rest of the salad.

HP sauce doesn't taste the same to me and I really miss the French translation on the side of the bottle. The thought of HP conjures up sunny Sunday mornings sitting at the table in the pre-fab.
I can picture it now lady p, a cold cheerless 1940s day, the war is over but there you are shivering at the table, clutching the bottle of HP sauce, mum looking at the ration books to see if there is a spare coupon for the current week so that someone can borrow the family shoes and shuffle down to the nearest shop.....CUT & PRINT...next scene...an Oscar winner if ever I saw one. By the way you were lucky, we had to have Daddy's Sauce because it was cheaper
Bob
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Last week, among their weekly specials, Lidl brought out a Sandwich Sauce, though it looked predominantly tomato. I'm reluctant to try it in case I like it and it never appears again!

Maurice :)
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Sorry to disappoint you Bob - we had standards! The picture you paint is so wrong, flashback to a sunny Sunday morning in the 1950's, the birds are singing and the footballers are just limbering up in the park ready for the match. We always had the table in front of the window so that we could see the park - other pre-fabs had hedges but Dad wouldn't plant one as he liked the view. Mom always cooked a full breakfast on Sundays (I can smell it now) and there was ALWAYS HP Sauce! Oh - and I always had my feet measured for Clarks shoes ......

Dad would watch the football from the touchline, telling them all what to do, and then it was off to the Greyhound for a pint or two, back for lunch and then a nap. Wake up for tea and....... Heinz Salad Cream.
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Maurice, I'm intrigued. You must try the sauce and report back. Maybe this will be something that our grandchildren will hanker after in years to come.
 

mbenne

master brummie
I've read on here about the delights of bread and dripping but must admit it wasn't something we ever had. I don't think our Sunday joints were ever that big to render enough fat to spread! However, my Mom did give me lard sandwiches sprinkled with salt. She never used the half pound blocks but said it was tub lard from the co-op - that somehow made it sound more exotic. Was there such a thing as buying loose lard? Apart from the salt it was pretty tasteless but quite filling!

I've never eaten anything like it since, until I stayed with my daughter in law's parents in Hungary a couple of years back. Being summer time the heat was unbearable and every evening we cooked outdoors on a wood fire in the garden. To my surprise we were each given a lump of pig fat on a skewer and encouraged to place it into the fire. As soon as the fat started to render it was dripped onto large chunks of bread and sprinkled with salt. I was sort of reliving my childhood, but this was lard alfresco lol.
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Sorry to disappoint you Bob - we had standards! The picture you paint is so wrong, flashback to a sunny Sunday morning in the 1950's, the birds are singing and the footballers are just limbering up in the park ready for the match. We always had the table in front of the window so that we could see the park - other pre-fabs had hedges but Dad wouldn't plant one as he liked the view. Mom always cooked a full breakfast on Sundays (I can smell it now) and there was ALWAYS HP Sauce! Oh - and I always had my feet measured for Clarks shoes ......

Dad would watch the football from the touchline, telling them all what to do, and then it was off to the Greyhound for a pint or two, back for lunch and then a nap. Wake up for tea and....... Heinz Salad Cream.
My Dad was always telling them what to do as well when we went down there, so you just spoiled my fantasy of poor young waif Penelope waiting for her tea...back to the misery of the poor families at the top end of Court Lane (us) and waiting with our Daddies Sauce. How about 3 pennorth of chips in Newspaper from the Mermaid after you had been to Erdington Baths...aaaaah Heaven
Bob
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
I only remember fourpennorth not three so you must be MUCH older than me Bob!

mbenne, we had lard in blocks, half pound I think, from the Co-op but I do remember the loose stuff sitting on the counter. It was cut and weighed and them wrapped in greaseproof paper. They used to fold the top over and then tuck the ends underneath. Strangely, it never seemed to come undone. I don't use it now as we've been vegetarian for years but I do think half lard and half marg makes the best pastry.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Dripping was always available, for those who could not produce their own, from good butchers.
You had to provide the toast. :D
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
I only remember fourpennorth not three so you must be MUCH older than me Bob!

mbenne, we had lard in blocks, half pound I think, from the Co-op but I do remember the loose stuff sitting on the counter. It was cut and weighed and them wrapped in greaseproof paper. They used to fold the top over and then tuck the ends underneath. Strangely, it never seemed to come undone. I don't use it now as we've been vegetarian for years but I do think half lard and half marg makes the best pastry.
I am talking 48/49 - 1848 no I am joking - I always thought it was threepenorth, but perhaps I was wrong, if your Dad was in the park 48 - 54, then me and my Dad would have probably stood near to him, talked to him as my Dad was a great conversationalist and I am the same although in this day and age it pays one to keep to oneself. I bet he would remember the old (well 50s) bloke with the very clean boots who was always available to play for any team a man short. Yes Lard and Marge best for pastry, yes Masons and Wrensons both kept blocks of Lard, cut it and wrapped it in greaseproof. What about real suet from the butchers for the mincemeat?
Bob
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Bob, I would think we were in the pre-fab from late 1940's so they probably met. Too late to ask now. Dad would always be available for a kick-around in the park and we often had teenagers knocking on the door for him to come out and play.

Alan, I'd forgotten all about those big bowls of dripping. Did they turn them out onto a plate? I seem to remember seeing them like that. My auntie and uncle had a cafe in Aston and sold toast and dripping. If she didn't have any available they would have the fat from the bacon spread on the toast instead.

Eric, I've tried mixing Marmite and spread (marg) together before putting it on my toast as I find it hard to spread the Marmite and you get big patches but it doesn't taste the same.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Afraid it won't Lady P. You will hav eto use Bovril to get anything like the taste, though, being vegetarian I know you will not
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Lady P,

Sorry but the Sandwich Sauce has also all gone - another disappointment I'm afraid.

Maurice
 
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