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All the latest news from the farm and the kitchen
by Lawrence Frohn, April 24, 2018
Salad cream – or English salad sauce, as Eliza Acton referred to it in her 1845 cookbook ‘Modern Cookery for Private Families’ – was once a staple on British tables. That is, until its arch rival mayonnaise overtook it as the nation’s favourite salad dressing in the mid 1990s. Brits have now become so fond of mayonnaise that it even outsold ketchup last year, while salad cream is now seen by many as a poor man’s substitute.
Nonetheless, an estimated 8 million Brits still ate Heinz salad cream in 2016, according to Statista – although we don’t know how many hid it underneath a bag of spinach while pushing their trolley around the supermarket. Salad cream has become something of a guilty pleasure, there’s no doubt about it. When we unveiled Hillfarm traditional salad cream at the Farm Shop & Deli Show earlier this month, the excitement – and relief – felt by visitors to our stall was extraordinary.
At long last, there’s a salad cream made from quality ingredients to place proudly on tables and picnic mats! Whether you’re a secret salad cream lover or a loather of the mass-produced stuff, we think you’ll love our upgraded version!
The three key ingredients in our salad cream are our homegrown extra virgin rapeseed oil, vinegar and free-range egg yolks. We’ve kept water and sugar to an absolute minimum and steered clear of food colouring, flavourings or modified maize starch. The result is a salad cream that is richer, smoother and much tastier than any others.
Our salad cream made a great impression on the foodies at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at the Birmingham NEC. However, the very first to taste Hillfarm’s new product were the Year 6 pupils of Grundisburgh Primary School, who helped Hillfarm with their recipe development as part of the school’s Food for Life award programme. Just like the adults who tried it, these children agree our salad cream tastes much better than the big brands’ or supermarket’s products.
The idea for a Hillfarm salad cream came about one lunchtime when Harry looked at the label on a bottle of salad cream from a leading brand and noticed that the biggest ingredient was water.
The next day I asked some experts to pass on their opinions. They said it was probably almost 50% water – and, because of this, a lot of cornflour and sugar has to be added to thicken it and make it taste edible. No one could understand the benefit of 3% egg yolks though – except to make the ingredients list look a little more credible!
We decided then to create our own salad cream with real ingredients, a minimal amount of water and no preservatives, colours or artificial ingredients.
We came up with a few different versions and then asked the Year 6 children of Grundisburgh Primary School to help us select the winner that is now in production.
Hillfarm traditional salad cream is available to buy in 410g squeezy bottles now from our website >
It will also be available at 41 East of England Co-op food stores from the middle of next month.
If you’re coming to the Hadleigh Show on 19th May or the Suffolk Show on 30th or 31st May, you can also find us in the food halls where we’ll be offering tastings of our salad cream as well as our other hillfarm products.
Do you have a soft spot for salad cream? What do you like to eat it with? We’ll be asking for your ideas for the ultimate sandwich or meal for Hillfarm salad cream in our social media competition next month!