Wot, no salad cream??! What are we going to do! Are there really any serious contenders for salad cream substitutes out there?
Salad cream substitutes
‘Salad cream substitutes’, they said. ‘What, I said? There are none!’
What is Salad Cream? – everything you need to know about this very British condiment
Homemade is best – make my traditional salad cream recipe
The internet is, as far as I can see, full of some very odd suggestions. So let’s get this straight. Salad cream is a traditional creamy British salad dressing containing boiled egg yolks and mustard.
It’s slightly vinegary and our taste for it dates from a time when children ate more licorice and toffee than coloured gummy bears and chocolate. In other words, it predates the nation falling for a mass of manufactured stuff that’s full of sugar to put on our salad.
This means that salad cream is not to everyone’s taste, of course. There are as many who revile it as love it. In this one respect, you could even say that salad cream is like that other divisive national store-cupboard favourite – yes, salad cream is like marmite!
But here are some things that are not substitutes for salad cream, or not unless you just want a different dressing. Salad cream is not Miracle Whip, a sweetened squeezy mayonnaise popular in the USA.
It is not real mayonnaise. It is not American ranch dressing. Nor is it like any of the Belgian or Dutch slasaus recipes that I can find.
There are, of course a lot of great salad dressings out there. But they’re not the same.
Just as the online world is full of Brits looking for baked beans and sweet pickle in remote corners of the world, there are people out there searching for salad cream equivalents in France, Spain, Germany and far beyond. So what do you do?
Make your own salad cream
Yes, really. Salad cream wasn’t born with the Harlesden branch of Heinz, which started manufacturing the stuff around the beginning of World War I. Victorian cooks made it with cream, mustard, vinegar and boiled eggs – the original and best for my taste.
Now, here is my version of an early recipe for salad cream, but I can understand that not everyone wants to make a big batch of dressing with fresh cream. And if it’s the bottled stuff you crave, it’s not quite the same.
Quick cheat’s salad cream substitute?
Someone suggested I try to make a quick salad cream flavoured mayonnaise, so I tried. I really did. A dash of mustard, vinegar, a splash of Worcestershire sauce – I couldn’t make it work.
Although it had that sharpness, the texture and colour were all wrong and I couldn’t get the texture right. In fact, my pimped up mayo tastes of pimped up mayo, even though I used a very bland mayo that doesn’t taste of anything much. It needs that boiled egg flavour.
So that’s a no, then.
Keep on searching
I still find it hard to believe that you can’t buy a boiled egg and mustard dressing somewhere out there that would fill the gap. Has anyone found it yet, tucked away under an unfamiliar name in Rema or Rewe, Aldi or Carrefour, Mercadona or Massmart, Piggly Wiggly or Walmart?
If you have found the elusive Austrian or Danish or Portuguese or Brazilian salad dressing that is the long lost twin of our own salad cream (or even a very close cousin), please drops us a line. We would love to hear about it!