Henderson's Relish - Gastro Obscura
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Ingredients & Condiments

Henderson's Relish

Sheffield’s secret sauce has a cult following.

Henderson’s relish has been made in Sheffield, England, since the late 19th century. Many would liken it to the better-known Worcestershire sauce, but Sheffielders would beg to differ. To paraphrase local comedian Tom Wrigglesworth, while outsiders think that Henderson’s is Sheffield’s answer to Worcestershire sauce, Sheffielders think it is the answer to everything.

Wrigglesworth is right: Many residents will add it to any course except dessert. The savory, spicy relish replaces vinegar alongside fish and chips, adds a kick to Bloody Marys, marinates meat, and spices up vegan dishes (unlike Worcestershire sauce, the relish contains no anchovies, so it’s also vegan). Though its exact recipe is a well-kept secret, diners will detect vinegar, tamarind, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Compared to the rest of England’s many sauces and condiments, Henderson’s, uniquely, contains cloves. One can just detect them on the nose.

What’s most striking about the relish is the area’s devotion to their signature product (since it debuted in 1885, it’s been made only in Sheffield). Henderson’s has a very loyal following among the people of South Yorkshire, inspiring clothing, flavored potato chips, and even themed Christmas cards. Celebrity fans proudly endorse their favorite condiment, including Sheffield-born guitarist Richard Hawley, who launched his first solo album with a free gig at the factory.

Local politicians, of course, claim to love it—to say different would be political suicide.

Need to Know

Some Sheffield people object to the use of a shortened version of the name, "Hendo's," saying that adding the "o" to the shortened form in that way is a West Yorkshire habit and not at all part of the local dialect. They prefer to just say "relish," as if the manufacturer is a given.

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Dr Alan P Newman Dr Alan P Newman
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