Monday, October 22, 2012

Sharwood's Cooking Sauces

Last week I mentioned that I picked up Sharwood's Butter Chicken Cooking Sauce because I noticed that it was gluten free.  I decided that I would give it a try, and that if I liked the sauce, I'd dig a little deeper and do a post about the line of products offered by the company. 

While cooking for this week's Menu Plan, I served myself a small dish of the butter chicken to see if the sauce was worth what I paid for it.  I'm happily surprised to say that it was quite good! 

I've tried some other brands, but most of the time the sauce is rather bland, as though the company was afraid that seasoning it correctly wouldn't appeal to as many potential customers.  The Sharwood's was much more flavourful than I had been expecting.  When I checked the ingredients, I found out why.  This brand includes things like ginger, fenugreek and coriander among the ingredients, and contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.  The result is a nice, creamy sauce that has authentic flavour. 

If you like butter chicken, but have no idea how to make it or just can't be bothered to cook it from scratch because there are too many ingredients or spices that you don't just have lying around, this sauce makes a good substitute for a homemade one.  It's so simple the instructions on the bottle are pictures: a picture of chicken with the amount, the bottle of sauce, and the instruction of 20 minutes cooking time.  It really is that simple. 

Since I was so enamored with this sauce, I decided to check out the website to see what other products they offer that are gluten free.  I love indian food, and sometimes make recipes from scratch, but often I just want to get my weekly menu plan cooked and over with, so I fall back on familiar recipes.  Occasionally going to a bottled sauce that would allow me to make some of those recipes in a fraction of the time appeals to me. 

I was surprised to find out how huge their selection is.  The company is based in the UK, and they offer a separate line of products for Chinese, Thai and Indian cooking.  Not everything is gluten free, but there are so many options that are that it's still worth taking a look.  The company includes an ingredient list for every product online. The nutritional information line included with every product points out whether a product contains ingredients that are common allergens, or if a product was produced on a line that also produces products with high risk ingredients. 

What I found most useful was the recipe section.  Under each type of cuisine, there is a section with recipes.  Obviously this is a way to encourage people to buy their sauces, as each recipe calls for a specific product, but still, I think it's a great marketing tool.  For someone like me, who is curious about different flavours and looking to branch out, I like that I can buy a sauce that looks interesting, hit up the website, and find a recipe that i want to try. 

And I'm always happy to find companies that offer products that are gluten free.  Gives my kid one more option to choose from, and that's never a bad thing. 

**In case you're wondering, this is not a sponsored or paid review.  I always clearly mark anything I've received free for review or anything I get paid to review.  I really did just pick up a bottle of this sauce at the supermarket on a whim.


  1. I was furious to just find that the SHarwoods Sweet and sour sauce I fed my son does NOT list Gluten on the label but after he got sick I went to the website and what do you know, GLUTEN is listed in the ingredients on the website for the same sauce!!! Be careful!

    1. You're right, not all of their sauces are gluten free. If you live in the US, the new labeling standards will ensure that gluten is listed on the label in the future.

  2. Sharwoods's site says to look at the allergen list on the bottle and I'm holding a bottle of their Sweet & Spicy and I don't see the allergen information.

    These companies need to just SAY - Gluten Free or use the GF icon. It's not rocket science and it would help prevent what happened to Anonymous. Now I won't even try their product's and this one is going in the trash.

    1. That is so frustrating! I agree with you- if the label isn't clear, I don't buy it, and it really would make life easier if they would label everything clearly.

      I wouldn't risk it either.