Something to Relish
New to the city? Returning home? Never left? Whichever one it is, here’s a big Sheffield greeting from Henderson’s Relish!
Since 1885, the much-loved local condiment has featured on dinner tables in Sheffield. In a city which has given the world so much in the form of manufacturing, music, film, art and sport – Henderson’s Relish remains a main source (or should that be ‘sauce’?) of admiration for Sheffielders. It embodies the very essence of what makes the city great. It is the cultural lifeblood behind its character.
Splash it on!
Henry Henderson blended the first batch of his famous Relish in 1885. Originally created at 35 Broad Lane, Sheffield, Henderson’s Relish is still being made and has been in uninterrupted production within a short distance of the site on which the first bottle was filled. And now, more than 130 years later, much in the world has changed but Henderson’s has not: they are still a family business and are still blending their secret recipe, known only to three living peeople.
Known locally as ‘Henderson’s’ or simply ‘Hendo’s’, the blend of tamarinds, cayenne peppers, vinegar, garlic and cloves adds a unique flavour to any dish. It’s most commonly used as a condiment; splashed onto pies, stews and casseroles, or sprinkled liberally over chips and cheese on toast. Henderson’s Relish is gluten-free and approved by the Vegetarian Society.
Henderson’s Relish has inspired painters and poets, songwriters and film-makers. It has a legion of fans spread all around the world and bottles are regularly posted to Hendo’s lovers in Australia, Canada and Dubai. In fact, whilst filming Sharpe in 2008, Sean Bean once ordered a batch to his film set in India!
We caught up with Matt Davies, general manager at Henderson’s Relish…
Hi Matt, what’s it like working for Sheffield’s favourite product?
I’m very proud to work for Henderson’s. Each day brings different challenges, but it is great fun! Henderson’s is a famous old family business, but the relish really belongs to the city of Sheffield and its people – so I work for you! As makers we are very aware of this. We deliver something unique and special to the city, so we represent Sheffield values in how we run the company. Maybe that’s why we’re still in business after 130 years. This city is constantly changing, evolving. But the warmth of Sheffield’s character remains, in part because of products like Henderson’s Relish reflecting what the place is all about: strong, northern and unique.
We’ve seen all sorts of fan tributes to Henderson’s Relish over the years – tattoos, paintings, even poems!
Yes, I do have some favourites. The family in particular are genuinely very humbled that Henderson’s Relish continues to inspire musicians, artists, poets, chefs, brewers, cake-makers and more to express the special relationship they feel for the product through creativity.
Are there any exciting plans ahead for Henderson’s?
We’re always planning ahead, but you’ll have to wait and see!
We hear rumours about a Henderson’s Relish themed bar opening at the old factory site. Can you give us an update on this?
I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen next, unfortunately. I have met with the team at the university to discuss their plans for Leavygreave Rd (they bought the old factory site a few years ago). As far as I know, the plans are publicly available as part of the university campus masterplan and public realm project and I don’t think these have changed recently.
For any student arrivals to Sheffield who might not have tried our famous relish, what would you advise them to try it with?
Personally, I put Henderson’s Relish on pies, stews and on chips. It’s also good on bolognese, cheese on toast and chilli dishes – but that’s just the start of a very exhaustive list!
Finally, fancy giving us a little heads-up on the secret ingredient? We won’t tell anyone … promise!
Ha! I’m afraid the Henderson’s Relish recipe remains a secret! It’s known by only three members of the family, who remain actively involved in the business and add something special to every bottle!
Why not find out what all the fuss is about for yourself? Splash a little Hendo’s on a wide range of dishes for a fuller, richer flavour.