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The Prospect Interview #116: Brown sauce, British food, and class politics, with Caroline O’Donoghue

An HP by any other name may smell as sweet...

By Prospect Team  

Where did brown sauce come from, and why does it occupy such a fraught space in Britain’s public imagination? Like many things in the UK, it came from the spoils of empire. Also, like many things in the UK, it’s become a lightning rod for endless debates about class, snobbery, and the English identity. 

Writer and novelist Caroline O’Donoghue has just joined Prospect as a Life columnist, where she will be reflecting on the big stories behind our supposedly “small” everyday objects. She joins this week’s podcast to talk about the idea behind her column, and why she kicked it off with a reflection on the humble hero enlivening many an English plate: HP sauce. The tangy condiment has more to do with the Labour Party than you might think. 

You can read Caroline’s first column for Prospect, on brown sauce, here.


Find all episodes of the Prospect Interview here

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