The newest addition to my saucing station – Lemon Ketchup!
We are a saucy family. Yes we do have a ‘saucing station’ the kind of sauce station to put a Harvester restaurant to shame. To put this into perspective hubby has tomato sauce on everything (scrambled egg, lasagne and even the Sunday roast) the youngest daughter is a mayonnaise freak, like her father the stuff ends up on everything and middle child has a current love affair with BBQ sauce. Me? I am an appropriate sauce type of person. There are traditional (and as I consider them appropriate) sauces for meals and I generally stick to those rules (roast beef & horseradish/ mustard, pork with apple sauce, lamb with mint sauce etc. etc.).
So when my friend dropped into conversation that her family had created a lemon ketchup I was indeed intrigued.
When she described it to me as a “proper savoury lemon sauce” I struggled to imagine what that would be like. So on our next coffee morning I was presented with a bottle to try.
Confession 1: Yes I know the owners – anyone who knows me will tell you that means nothing. If I like stuff I like it, if I don’t I don’t, which means I don’t / won’t (unfortunately) get any kick backs for this.
Confession 2: A bit like the beauty review Tidal an empty jar is the time to review – I’m on bottle 7 so this is somewhat overdue.
So what does it taste like? It’s unique. A slightly tangy lemon sauce, hints of ginger and black pepper meet my need for spice. It hits every taste bud differently, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. If I had to pick something to liken it to it would be brown sauce (absolutely hate the fruity brown stuff myself!) but it’s that level of savoury that I can’t describe.
So far I have a bit of addiction to throwing it all over chips – I fear I am fast becoming an indiscriminate saucer like the kids and hubby.
Thus far it is a staple with all fish breaded or fresh (salmon fillet drizzled with this and then baked is wicked), I like it with sausages – I don’t know why but I do. Pork loin steaks get drizzled then baked with it on and then extra for dipping. But I think the most popular dish is my Lemon Ketchup and marmalade glazed gammon (featured heavily over Christmas when feeding the extended family!) – Yes that recipe will feature next time I make it – it’s no fun without the pictures.
James Martin has done a piece on this wonderful sauce – unfortunately I dread the re-runs. The sauce sells out, can’t get the stuff for love nor money and that’s pretty rough when you know the owner and can’t even get it direct. I’ve tried stock piling, which was great until my sister turned up and announced she couldn’t find it near where she lives and then promptly stole my stash to take home.
I suppose I am lucky, this artisinal sauce is made by our friends fair hands in Hastings and was first trialled in almost all of our chippies, meaning I can walk down the high street and purchase it (unless James has been waxing lyrical again). For those of you that aren’t in the locality it is available in Whole Foods Markets but also through their Ketchup distributor, I can recommend a few of you clubbing together and buying the six pack – well worth it and an ideal present for the foodie in your life.
So the upshot?
I am now a self confessed lemon saucer, this begs to be tried with almost every meal to see if it works. I understand it works well with Asian cuisine but that’s one of the few things I don’t cook (namely because I’ve never mastered it and after years of making a hash of it I have decided to leave it to the professionals). This is now a sauce I would like to see in those little take away packets – you know the kind that your Nan stuffs in her pockets along with all the sugar packets ‘just in case’.
However I do have a complaint, quite a serious one at that. I’m not the only one in the family who likes it, so the bottle empties far quicker than I would like so please, please, please can we get a family size? Or a barrel, I don’t mind which.
Follow the Hasting Ketchup Company on Instagram (#HOLK) and Facebook for more recipe ideas, and yell if you find more uses for this lemony wizard of a product!!