Six of the best sweet and savoury sauces from Yorkshire

Harrogate Preserves Co Sweet Tomato & Chilli Sauce painting by Tom Martin

Harrogate Preserves Co Sweet Tomato & Chilli Sauce painting by Tom Martin - Credit: Archant

Tony Greenway attempts to add more of a zing to his everyday eating

Do you like a bit of sauce? And I don’t mean that in a ‘ooh vicar’, Donald McGill postcard, Carry On, nudge-nudge, ‘whoops, there go my bloomers’ sort of way. No, the sauce I’m referring to is the type you put on your burgers or steaks; it might be tangy and tomato-ey, it might be spicy, it might be creamy or it might be cheesy. Or, on the other hand, it might be something sweet and luscious that you can smother over bananas or ice-cream. Caramel or chocolate works wonderfully well, I find. As ever, there are lots of people in Yorkshire who are producing a variety of these sweet and savoury delights. Here are a few of my favourites…

Harrogate Preserves Co Sweet Tomato & Chilli Sauce

The Harrogate Preserves Company was founded when owner Sally Hargrave couldn’t find a tasty red onion or orange marmalade so decided to make her own. She gave the results to her family and friends which were so popular that she now produces a vast range of products, including this lovely sweet tomato and chilli sauce, from her kitchen in North Rigton. Incidentally, Sarah’s sweet tomato and chilli sauce has featured as the subject of a BIG painting by the hyper-realist Yorkshire painter, Tom Martin, called Red. It’s painted with acrylic on aluminium composite with an air brush and is appearing in his exhibition in London in the autumn.

Henderson’s Relish

Back in the late 19th century, a man called Henry Henderson began manufacturing his own spicy secret recipe sauce at 35 Broad Lane, Sheffield. I wonder what old Henry would have thought if he’d have known that 100 or so years later, his creation would be stocked in all the big supermarkets, plus delis and farm shops. It’s good as an accompaniment to meat dishes, or it can be used in soups and marinades.

Most Read

Lottie Shaw’s Seriously Good Caramel Sauce

So you’ve got in some of Lottie Shaw’s Seriously Good Parkin Pudding (obviously). What could be better? Well, Lottie Shaw’s Seriously Good Parkin Pudding with Lottie Shaw’s Seriously Good Caramel Sauce poured over it, naturally. It works wonders over ice-cream, too or bananas, come to that.

Haw Sauce

This is made by the Yorkshire Forager, aka Wendy Keefer, who, in fact, isn’t originally from Yorkshire at all. She grew up in Colorado and Alaska (settling in York in 1987) and would forage in the mountains for berries to make jams. When she found out hawthorn berries were edible she wondered what they would taste like in sauce form. The answer was delicious. She now makes Original Haw Sauce (use it in marinades or as a condiment) and Hot Haw Sauce (great on steak or on a beef burger). You can buy these at Ye Olde Pie & Sausage Shoppe in the Shambles, York or online at

Mercers of Yorkshire Chocolate Sauce

Paul and Lizzie Mercer’s family-run brand produces jams, preserves, jellies, conserves, mustards and marmalades available everywhere from small independents. Mercer’s Chocolate Sauce is just gorgeous over ice-cream or profiteroles and you can stir it into a glass of milk to make a milkshake. Their salted caramel sauce is rather wonderful, too.

The Yorkshire Saucery

The Elland-based Yorkshire Saucery’s reassuring motto is ‘we don’t use anything that you wouldn’t’ and it produces tikka masala, jalfrezi and Thai curry sauces. At the moment, says Kim Laing, new product development manager, these are only available in Asda.

Comments powered by Disqus