Heinz Salad Cream

Happy Birthday Heinz Salad Cream

100 years old this year, and not looking any the worse for it.

Heinz Salad Cream

I think it’s fair to say that if you grew up in 70s/80s in Britain then you’ll have memories of Salad Cream.  It was just always there on the table, ready to engulf the iceberg and cucumber. Mayonnaise was unheard of in our house  when I was growing up but Salad Cream was a staple.  It’s a comfort food really, one that’s nostalgic and loaded with memory for many people.  It makes me think of two things, the first is sharp wedges of tomato, cut straight out of the fridge, tasteless because they were not quite ripe and cut just that bit too thick, making eating them something of a life-threatening ordeal. A smothering of Salad Cream made them better.  The second is Boxing Day lunch at my in-law’s.    Boxing Day Salad Cream is a tradition in Adam’s parents house.  Lunch is leftover turkey, the most fantastic bubble and squeak made from all the leftover Christmas Day veg and hugely anticipated homemade chips with Salad Cream.  It’s been an annual tradition for Adam since he was a kid and it’s our children’s tradition now too.  I love how food memories and traditions are passed on as we go about our merry way.

There’s something no nonsense about Salad Cream, it’s comforting in the way that only the very familiar can be and its earned its stripes in the food hall of fame; to be still around at 100 in our fast-moving culture is a real achievement.  Heinz Salad Cream was launched in 1914 in the UK but it had been in production for eight years prior to that while a trusted Heinz manager Charles Hellen perfected the taste for British palettes.  It was originally only sold in Fortnum and Mason but soon gained popularity up and down the country.  During times of war it came into its own.  Heinz Tomato Ketchup was rationed so it took the space on the table that the ketchup once occupied, adding some much needed pizzazz to wartime ration meals.  It was given the Royal Warrant in 1951 and remains one of the nation’s best loved condiments today.

I was therefore happy to take up the challenge from Heinz to write about this ubiquitous dressing on its 100th anniversary and create a recipe of my own using the sauce.

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I thought the sharp, tangy taste would lend itself well to a strong cheese and hold its own against red onion too in a flan.  I added rainbow chard too for some colour, you could switch this for spinach if you don’t have chard.  It didn’t hang around for long.

Rainbow Chard and Cheddar Flan

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Meal type Lunch
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot

What you will need

  • 1 sheet of ready made puff pastry
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon salad cream
  • 100g strong hard cheese, I used Cheddar
  • 1 small red onion (chopped)
  • handful rainbow chard (tough stalk removed and chopped)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 200oC/180Fan/ Gas 6.
Unroll the pastry onto a baking sheet and using a sharp knife score a line about an inch from the end of the pastry - it should look like a picture frame. Inside the scored out area score a criss-cross pattern into the pastry. This is where the filling will sit and will prevent the pastry from rising up too much and becoming too flaky.
Step 2 Bake the pastry sheet for about 10 minutes, until the pastry starts to brown slightly. Remove from the oven. The centre will puff up but it will flatten once it's out of the oven.
Step 3 In a jug mix the eggs, yogurt, grated cheese, salad cream and season well. Add the chopped onion and chard.
Step 4 Pour into the pastry case and return to the oven for about 20 minutes. The flan is ready when the pastry is risen and browned and the filling is golden and set.
Step 5 Eat straightaway, but it's mighty fine cold too.

Disclaimer: Heinz covered the cost of the ingredients for my recipe.  All views expressed are my own. 

6 Comments

  • My abiding memory of heinz salad cream is of going for tea with my brother at our neighbour’s house. My brother had recently seen the ketchup adverts where you had to bang the bottom of the glass ketchup bottle really hard to get the thick ketchup out and was keen to replicate with the salad cream. Nealy all the bottle splurged out over his dinner… Have to say I’m not a fan of salad cream, but I like the sound of the flan. Haven’t used puff pastry like this before – will give it a go (although may be without the salad cream!

    • Sarah Scott (Author)

      Love that story Sally. Everyone has at least one memory. I do like it – Boxing Day must have – though I am a mayo lover generally though… It’s a great way of using puff pastry, means you can have a deep filling, rather than just a topping.

  • Not sure how salad cream could have lasted so long it’s horrible! I do love the idea of food based traditions thought, so it can’t be all bad. Your recipe looks delicious x

    • Sarah Scott (Author)

      Am I alone in my liking for salad cream? Someone? Anyone?! The flan was really good, I’ll make it for you x

  • I LOVE It… To think they almost stopped making it too? To me an egg sandwich just wouldn’t be the same without it! I know someone who’s addicted to the stuff too, eats it with everything!! Your flan looks gorgeous too, yes please! :)

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