Shropshire Star

The Big Debate: The sauce on your sarnie

It’s an argument that divides the nation – which sauce makes the perfect bacon butty? Dan Morris battles it out with Andy Richardson

What makes the perfect bacon sandwich?

Dan Morris: The only option is brown

Brown sauce all the way – in almost every situation.

I’ll never understand or trust anyone who decides to garnish that most hallowed snack, the bacon butty, with anything else. It quite simply just shouldn’t be allowed.

As the old slogan goes, ‘HP makes a bacon sandwich’. Other brown sauces are of course available... and with this being the case there is never any excuse for entertaining that weak and snivelling pretender known as tomato ketchup, and kidding yourself that it will ever make a better back-bacon bedfellow.

Ketchup has one place; mixed with an equally fat streak of mustard atop an American-style hot dog. Outside of that it is an entirely redundant condiment that is ill-deserving of the pedestal it is kept on by so, so many.

Whether it be on cheese on toast, pie and chips, sausage and mash, or for a bit of cheeky Cornish pasty dipping, brown sauce knocks its red brother out of the ring with gusto. And, you know what? Tomato ketchup is actually fully aware, and embarrassed about this.

Nowadays you can buy ‘lightly spiced’ red sauce, and several varieties of ‘ketchup with a kick’. Funnily there’s been a term for that for generations... say it with me, folks.

If Tommy-K finally knows he’s beaten, what debate remains. Hand over the crown to brown, brown, brown.

Andy Richardson: It has to be barbecue

My dad hated tomato sauce. So I did too. Because such was – is – my adoration, okay, the ease with which I was programmed – then I figured that if he considered it no good, I should too. Except, of course, I realised he was wrong. And while I still have an aversion to tomato sauce, and brown sauce, as well as tea and coffee – don’t ask – I realise that sauce is one of life’s great gastronomic gifts.

As a kid growing up on the mean streets of Tipton, but dreaming of tapas bars in Birmingham, I had ideas that were happily above my station. And so as I’ve grazed my way around a lifetime’s worth of fabulous restaurants, I’ve come to understand the importance of sauce.

It’s the non-negotiable addition that lifts any decent dinner. It’s the hint of sweet, or sour, or mild acidulation that elevates a humble sausage into an event.

And yet. And yet. The ties that bond are formidably strong and so I still don’t go near the Tommy K. Instead, I opt for a dash of Stokes’ BBQ, and there really are few things finer. In homage to much much-beloved pa, however, there are more days than not when I keep the sausages naked.

Sauce Days are a thing. And they are the exception, rather than the norm, the punctuation to a diet that appreciates the full, savoury flavour of deliciously ground cuts of belly and shoulder, lodged in a natural casing. My dad was always right, well, almost always...

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