Reputedly prime minister Harold Wilson's favourite condiment, HP Sauce is the pride of many an English tea-table. First marketed in 1903, it was the recipe of one FG Garton of Nottingham. Not unprecedentedly in the history of good ideas, its financial potential was lost on its inventor. Garton sold the recipe in order to pay off an outstanding debt to the company from which he bought his malt vinegar, and the rest is history. The HP stands for Houses of Parliament, as depicted on the label, a soubriquet Garton bestowed on the product when he heard that it was being stocked in one of the House of Commons restaurants. Since most modest households lacked the means to undertake the time-consuming process of making chutneys and relishes, HP represented a blow for democracy. Although generally seen gracing the relatively humble company of chips or bacon butties, HP Sauce has an impressively exotic ingredients list that includes dates and tamarind extract. Like all good things, it's best enjoyed sparingly. Lord Wilson, according to his wife, did have a tendency to "drown everything" in it.