In defence of brown sauce

A sort of gastronomic bleach, brown sauce's 'lack of culinary sophistication' is precisely what makes it so great

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Brown sauce has come in for a rough ride this week, with reportage of its declining sales and a total hatchet job in The Guardian which described it as 'acrid goo'. Parliament is currently debating whether to gunge criminals with it as a solution to overcrowding in jails and Katie Hopkins declared it comparable with at least seven major historic genocides (probably).

But someone's got to stand up for the lunch staple, and being a condiment connoisseur (in the sense that I know how to make a grilled cheese taste not awful, drunk at 3am) I'm prepared to step up.

Yes, it's overpowering, yes, it obliterates all food stuffs and flavours on the plate, but that's entirely the point. If you're eating a full English breakfast then we can safely say that some terrible fate has befallen you the evening before. You're going to need help getting through that dry hash brown and whatever that is masquerading as a sausage, and brown sauce is your guy. It's going to make sure that it's all you're going to taste as you head into the horrors of 9am.

Vinegar, dates, tomato, tamarind and spices combined in a sauce? Nothing is getting through that, in fact I would willingly substitute cement for it in my walls and laugh maniacally when I survive the apocalypse and my saucy house is the only thing standing.

Brown sauce was also wrongly declared "the sauce of the establishment", when clearly it is a denizen of the greasy spoon. When was the last time a MasterChef contestant rustled up a roulade of chicken with pea foam and brown sauce reduction? Get out of here.

One food analyst believes that declining sales can be attributed to better standards of food, that we are realising that good ingredients and recipes don't need brown sauce blasted on them, an assertion to which I will simply point you in the direction of Nando's Extra Hot Peri-Peri Sauce, Heinz Flamin Cajun Sauce and Jack Daniels Full Flavor Smokey Sauce.

Reggae Reggae? That stuff is so powerful it'll be what the kids are stuffing up their noses in the streets after the police have shut down all of the clubs, and it sells by the bucket load.

No, let's not kid ourselves that we are above brown sauce. As long as we are eating bacon 'with added water' we are reliant on its taste obliteration, and long may it continue to punch my mouth in its face.