Foodstuff: Heinz Salad Cream

Salad Cream, particularly the Heinz brand, was a fairly common condiment in England when I was growing up but it seems to be far less popular in Canada, In our house, both in England, and later when my family moved to Canada, we used salad cream the same way that most people use commercial mayonnaise, or ‘Miracle Whip’ and, indeed, whenever we said ‘mayonnaise’ we actually meant the Heinz, or else the Cross & Blackwell brand of salad cream. Today, although I frequently use other mayonnaise products, using anything else other than Heinz Salad Cream on a sandwich of leftover Christmas Turkey just doesn’t seem right…

Miracle whip is probably the closest equivalent to English salad creams but it is nevertheless not quite the same. Heinz Salad Cream has a definite pale yellow color and the slight sulfurous quality of the eggs it contains. The taste is much richer than regular mayonnaise and has a very tangy edge to it with just a hint of sweetness. The Cross and Blackwell variety is much white than the Heinz and has a much sharper, almost peppery bite to it. Both make excellent dressings for Cole slaw, but the Cross and Blackwell version’s piquancy gives it the edge for this purpose. Unfortunately, although the Heinz product has been regularly available up here in the North for about a year now, I haven’t seen the Cross and Blackwell kind for many years.

Although called ‘salad cream’ I can’t say I ever recall anyone ever pouring it ‘as is’ over any sort of salad, although it does get used as the base for other blended dressings much the same as does mayonnaise. My earliest memory of the Heinz variety is as a condiment with fish. We didn’t eat a lot of fish in my home when I was growing up but my mother would occasionally fry breaded fillets of plaice. Salad cream was served along side and everyone would put a little puddle on the edge of their plates as a dip for each bite of fish. I enjoy most fish nowadays but as a child it was one of my least favorite suppers and it was probably only the salad cream that made it palatable for me.

I still use Heinz salad cream quite regularly on sandwiches but it is very versatile and can be used in all the same applications as can mayonnaise. When it is blended with chopped capers and gherkin pickles, for example, it make a far better Tartar Sauce than any commercial version I have yet purchased, and, if you go further and add a little ketchup and onion to that mix, it makes a very passable Thousand-Island dressing (or even a delicious burger topping).

There are two uses for salad cream that I grew up with and these are in my mother’s potato salad and my father’s recipe for a delicious shrimp cocktail sauce. I have pretty much adopted these recipes as my own over the years and, since I now have a pretty regular source for the Heinz variety. I will share these with you in upcoming posts.

The only complaints I have about Heinz salad cream are with the price and the bottle. The price is much higher than regular mayonnaise, and indeed almost all other salad dressings, and this make it less attractive for an everyday product. The bottle (which Heinz also uses for its Chili Sauce and Seafood Cocktail Sauce), doesn’t hold much product and the shape makes it very difficult to pour once it is nearly empty. Cross and Blackwell also uses the same bottle shape and I wish that both companies would abandon it in favor of a more practical jar.

Anyway, while the price will certainly preclude most people from abandoning commercial mayonnaise, or Miracle Whip, to be sure, Heinz Salad Cream is a nice product for quite a variety of purposes and I really urge you to give it a try if you haven’t yet…

 

14 thoughts on “Foodstuff: Heinz Salad Cream”

  1. Interesting. I’ve never tried this product. I will investigate the ingredients in it, and if it passes my picky requirements, I will look forward to experimenting with it. 🙂

  2. not bad, not bad…Spirit Vinegar, Vegetable Oil (25%), Water, Sugar, Mustard, Pasteurised Egg Yolks (3%), Modified Cornflour, Salt, Stabilisers – Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum, Colour – Riboflavin…and for your information, they make it in an inverted squeezy bottle.

  3. I LOVE Heinz Salad Cream (and it always has to be Heinz!). In England you can get nice, big squeezy bottle!

    1. Totally have seen it used neat on salads – that was a staple in England when I was growing up, so don’t really understand that comment. There is a certain snooty kind of tendency to view Heinz Salad Cream as a bit “common” and not ‘de rigeur ‘ in cooking, so that is why you won’t find it in full view in many homes (yet I would bet it is there at the back of their cupboard, being used in slyly to jazz up meals…).

      I have just made a potato salad, today, using Hellman’s lowest fat mayo (stopped buying Heinz when, for the first time in my laugh had to start watching my weight…); however, potato salad and coleslaw just don’t have that same sweet-edged ‘zing’ without it, so will by the lower fat variety – which is still gorgeous and use it just for those purposes (oh, and was mentioned, on turkey leftover sandwiches after Christmas). Gorgeous!

  4. The lettuce and tomato or the potato salad? I had the salad as a child in the sixties and my mother was making it for some time before that … not sure where she got the recipe from…

    1. I recall visiting your blog a day to two ago and I just checked back. I was surprised to see you were from Canada as mostly only the English seem familiar with Heinz Salad Cream… I like it on cole slaw too but I find it needs just a bit of a ‘bump’… a dash of mustard powder or even some horseradish works nicely, I find.

      BTW…. the standup routine is intriguing. I’ve always had a bit of a hankering to try that 🙂

      1. a friend recommended it to me – I am going to try the horse radish or mustard powder – I would like to “bump” it up a bit
        I am not destined for the stage at this point in my life–but I do not consider it off the table-how about you?

  5. Oh not even remotely close… just a vague notion at present. I live in a very remote location and the nature of my work would preclude it for now. Someday maybe 🙂

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