/ Food & Drink

‘I’m 6 years old and I’ve invented bretchup’

Sometimes some of us are hit with moments of inspiration. Harry, 6 and a half years old, has had one such moment early in his life. Here’s Harry himself sharing how he created a new sauce for your bacon sarnie.

Harry: ‘I used to just have ketchup. But my mummy asked “would you like brown sauce or ketchup?” And I said “both!” I thought of joining things together and that made me think of joining brown sauce and ketchup together. I thought I’d try it. I mixed them with a fork.

‘It tastes like ketchup, but with a little bit of brown sauce. It isn’t gross, it’s nice. It tastes quite tangy and it goes kind of light brown – it is quite bright coloured. It is also quite sticky.

Harry's drawing of bretchup‘I mixed the names together, like I did with the sauces, and called it bretchup. My daddy liked that. I eat bretchup with bacon, eggs, sausages and sometimes baked beans and bread. I like bretchup more than just ketchup or just brown sauce. My little brother has it now.

‘I’d like to try it with chips, tomatoes and lettuce.

‘You should try it. Mix them together and you’ll get something new and it’ll taste very nice.’

The sauces Which? members like

Thank you very much to Harry for taking the time to talk to us about his invention of bretchup. We also asked Which? members about the condiments they use to pep up their bacon butties, as part of our research into the best supermarket bacon.

We found out that older Which? members are more likely to use brown sauce, while younger members prefer ketchup. Men were more likely than women to reach for a bottle of brown, whereas those in the South were less likely to opt for brown than those in the North or Midlands.

So which do you prefer? Or has Harry inspired you to try bretchup – if he has, why not print off your own bretchup label?


Excellent timing.

Ketchups are/were about 25% sugar so perhaps in the same week Which? Conversations posts about dietary excess we have an example of where the sugar sneaks in. ! : ) BTW I was astonished there is that much sugar.

Heinz in the UK say their low sugar is now around eleven percent and one helping of Ketchup is 1.7gms. However the organic range is 27% sugars and the normal 24%.

Four gms of sugar equal a teaspoon. So using the normal ketchup a 15ml serving is roughly a teaspoonful.

” Children ages 4-8 with a daily caloric intake of 1,600 calories should consume no more than 130 calories, or about 3 teaspoons a day. (In order to accommodate all the nutritional requirements for this age group, there are fewer calories available for discretionary allowances like sugar.)”
American Heart Association 2009

Daddies sauces, also by Heinz, are around 17-18% sugars for the brown and red sauce. HP Brown Sauce [ also Heinz] is 23% sugars. Lea and Perrin WorcesterSauce [also Heinz] varies into the 30% range but is used in much smaller amounts.

BTW the linkie to the best supermarket bacon is not working for me.

Hi diesel, thanks for your feedback; it’s really appreciated. The link should be working fine now. 🙂

The survey on who uses what sauce on their sarnies is it available? I am curious as to the number of people by region who eat the bacon sarnie without any sauce.

The food health COnversation thread

sue says:
17 March 2015

I love bacon sarnies on white bread and real butter!s

I like tomato sauce with a little balsamic vinegar stirred in to counteract the over sweetness of the sauce.

I’ve got a nightshade family intolerance so I can’t partake of either red or brown sauce unfortunately… I do miss my ketchup. But I’ve found a dab of hot mustard adds a lovely zing to my bacon sarnie as a substitute

Hi Diesel

11% of those surveyed had nothing in their bacon butty – just dry bread.

I like properly buttered bread, but no sauce

My auntie didn’t like us having butter and jam on bread or toast – had I had my way – which I never did – I would have put both ketchup and brown sauce on everything – in theory – though not in practice – I have had it all my life – however, I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not allowed to have both red and brown sauce on anything – couldn’t even have vinegar AND sauce – “Either vinegar OR sauce!”, I was told!

Hi Harry,

I think you’re definitely onto something here. When I make barbecue sauce, I start off by mixing brown sauce and ketchup together. I love the mixture of the sweetness of the ketchup and the vinegary brown sauce, so I bet bretchup tastes lovely.

I’ll definitely be trying it in my bacon sandwiches this weekend 🙂


Personally, I’ll always go for brown sauce over ketchup. But when having a bacon sarnie, I find there is nothing better than a bit of mayo with a small dab of dijon mustard mixed in – great addition to a bacon sarnie!

Essentially I’m just making my own Dijonnaise, which unlike Harry’s invention, is already a marketed thing. Perhaps manufacturers will start investigating Harry’s Bretchup?

Nothing beats a bacon sarnie with brown sauce – Sorry Ketchup…not a fan! However, I guess I could give Bretchup a go at the weekend 🙂

FYI – Patrick dislikes mayo references… 🙂

The mustard approach sounds promising. I have butter on my bacon sandwiches as I buy very very nice bacon from a local farm at their shop and that needs nothing added.

There are many scum leaving bacons available which probably do need something added. Perhaps people should own up as to the type of bacon they buy – and add extra to!

I have followed the link and I am pleased it deals with the dry-cured version. And it provides good advice.

I used to work four days a week as a food-taster in a panel of 12 doing blind-testing [including bacon] so I am just a little surprised that your panel though very experienced was only 4 strong. I note that one strong opinion affects Waitroses placing.

Lastly I have a rooted objection to undated reports as the quality of the products you have recommended may be quite different a year hence.

Sophie Gilbert says:
17 March 2015

Dear Harry

I will give your bretchup a go as I like both ketchup and brown sauce, and also I am intrigued by your description of the taste and colour of it. If I like it I may have it as an occasional treat.

I think you have it in you to do this for us, so now I would like you to channel your creative talent into inventing a sauce that is healthy and tasty and not full of sugar and salt like ketchup, brown sauce and bretchup most unfortunately are.

Thank you in advance


Another thing to consider is perhaps we nedd to consider glass bottles for better healthier eating:

BPA in plastics replaced by analogues with the same propensity for endocrine disruption.

If ketchup and brown sauce come in PET bottles (the recycling symbol will include the number 1), they should not contain BPA or analogues. Ketchup and brown sauce are available in glass bottles and in my local supermarket, HP sauce has the lowest unit price for glass bottles.

I am not aware of any significant dangers associated with plastics used for food packaging, but we really don’t know what might be discovered in the future, so perhaps it’s a good thing to avoid, and there are environmental benefits of using glass rather than plastic.

If bacon was a new product, I’m quite sure it would be banned because of the cancer risk from the chemicals used in preserving it. High temperature cooking such as grilling and frying increases the amount of carcinogens present. All we have at present is a recommendation to limit the amount we eat.

I apologise to Harry but I think his parents would be wise to get him eating healthy foods from a young age.

Since I have never needed to add brown or red sauce to my food to enhance it I acknowledge that some people do according to the weakness or strength of their taste buds. I have heard though that brown sauce is more efficient than tomato sauce at cleaning door handles and knobs provided they are not lacquered. If that is the case I can’t help but wonder what they would do to my stomach. Wavechange no doubt can enlighten on the type of acids contained in these sauces please!

Nevertheless 10/10 to Harry for his enterprise and entrepreneurship. I am sure with the right encouragement and guidance he will go very far in the future.

Beryl – According to the label on my bottle of HP Sauce, the obvious acidic ingredients are tomatoes, malt vinegar and spirit vinegar. Tomatoes contain quite a number of organic acids including citric acid, malic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), the amounts depending on the variety and ripeness of the tomatoes. Vinegar contains acetic acid. Tomatoes have a reputation for causing indigestion but none of the organic acids is as ‘strong’ as the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. (In this context, ‘strong’ relates to what scientists call pKa rather than the concentration of acid.) Our stomach is well protected against acid but our oesophagus (food pipe) is not.

I’m not sure about tomato ketchup. Obviously it contains tomatoes and I’m fairly sure there is vinegar in the recipe too.

Brown sauce is good for removing tarnish from brass and copper because it contains acids and is viscous (thick), so does not run off vertical surfaces. Coca Cola is more effective if you can dip the brass items in a container of the stuff. It contains phosphoric acid, a ‘strong’ acid.

Thanks for the info Wavechange. I think I will continue to use these sauces as a handle and knob cleaner!

Comparing the effectiveness of bretchup, brown sauce and ketchup on tarnished copper coins might be an interesting experiment for Harry. It’s never too early to develop an interest in science. 🙂

Amazingly also hitting the news is that emulsifiers, common in most processed foods, are also a problem. Or I should say potentially as at the moment the preliminary work is on mice.

” Last month, a different set of researchwas published that also suggested a disease pathway mediated by microbiome disturbance. This time, commonly used food additives called emulsifiers are the culprits.

Emulsifiers help keep sauces smooth and ice cream creamy, they hold dressings together and prevent mayonnaise from separating into oil and water. The new research gives reason to suspect that emulsifiers could raise your blood sugar, make you fat and even make your butt hurt.

The study, published in Nature, looked at two common emulsifiers, Polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), and found a range of metabolic problems that appeared in mice who were given water dosed with these chemicals in quantities proportional to what a human might consume. The mice who drank either emulsifier tended to eat more, gain weight and develop conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and metabolic syndrome, which is a range of pre-diabetic conditions.

The effects of these additives were dependent on the dosage; the more emulsifier the mice consumed, the worse off they were. A control group drank water laced with a common preservative, sodium sulfite, and did not show any negative effects on the gut.
The team found that the bacterial diversity of the mice microbiomes were altered. They also discovered the mucous membrane of the gut was thinner in mice who were fed emulsifiers. The thinner mucous membrane allowed the microbes closer to the gut wall than they would normally get, they wrote, which could cause the observed inflammation of the gut wall, and diseases like irritable bowel syndrome.”

As the link to Nature does not work just type in food emulsifiers and March 2015 and it will provide plenty. An interesting side point is the time line of obesity with the rise of processed foods.

The emulsifiers mentioned in the Nature paper pass through our digestive system without being digested.

I have checked Heinz Tomato Ketchup and HP Sauce, and neither contains emulsifiers.

Love the idea of mixing two delicious sauces -I’m going to try it on my bacon sandwich this weekend!

Last weekend, I had the opportunity of adding this mixture of sauces to my bacon sarnie – It was scrumptious 😀

What a great idea. Many times when I what sauce I am torn between brown or ketchup. I will give this a go. I am amazed that no one has thought of this before. Well done Harry.

We’ve added a ‘print your own’ Bretchup bottle label 🙂

I’m surprised you had the sauce to imitate the Heinz label design. 🙂

I’d use Harry’s trinity above as a sticker.

Adrian McElholm says:
22 March 2015

i’ve had a great idea! inspired by young Harry’s sauce-making endeavours I have invented BRETCHARD! it’s a mixture of brown sauce, ketchup and mustard! and like the name suggests, it takes AMAZING!!

As others have said, decent bacon needs no sauce. I’m pleased to see the Which? research is in line with my choice of supermarket bacon; been recommending it for years but we don’t have bacon so often these days and when we do we usually buy a local farmer’s bacon. As for sauces, I gave up tomato ketchup a long time ago because it seemed to be getting sweeter; I’m sure it used to have a more savoury taste [and was gloopier]. We keep a bottle of HP sauce for pepping up the occasional grill; I can’t detect any significant change in taste over generations. I was very partial to Brand’s A1 sauce but I don’t think it’s available anymore and OK Sauce was another favourite [spicy and fruity]. On bacon butties, I have enjoyed a little Marmite on the bread and butter before adding the bacon but it might be a bit overpowering for some tastes.

Adrian’s “Bretchard” is a novelty number but I wouldn’t spoil the taste of good Mustard with Ketchup. I think the name would struggle in the market place – a bit too onomatopoeic, perhaps.

I am a big fan of Wilkinson’s ketchup. But I agree with Harry, Bretchup would be a great product.