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Mama Vicki's Coney Island Sauce

From: sam 
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2017 5:25 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: Mama vicks hot dog sauce

Mama vicks hot dog sauce


I cannot find “Mama Vick’s”. The closest name that I can find is “Mama Vicki’s” in Port Huron MI. Is that it? See: Mama Vicki's Coney Island


From: sam 
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2017 5:25 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: Mama vicks hot dog sauce

Yes that is the place

Hello Sam,

Mama Vicki’s Coney Island began as “Coney Island Lunch.” The owners later changed the name to “Mama Vicki’s” in honor of their mother. Their coneys are different in that they are served “over the top” – the mustard is first, then the onions, then the coney sauce last. There is some historical information about Mama Vicki’s on these sites:



I didn’t have any success finding a real recipe for Mama Vicki’s Coney Sauce. It’s a family secret and will likely stay that way. Best I can do are generic recipes for “Port Huron coney sauce.” See these sites:

All Recipes

Food 52


Empress of India Sauce

From: Katherine 
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2017 1:00 AM
Subject: Empress of India Sauce Request

Hello Uncle Phaedrus,

Your FAQ regarding recipe help is wonderful and I will try my best to play by the rules.

I have been reading/studying 'Culinary Jotting of Madras' by Wyvern (aka Colonel Arthur Robert Kenney-Herbert) 
published originally in 1885.  This is a wonderful text that has caused me to have a separate notebook of terms, 
translation and research tidbits that support or enhance the writings.  But I am stuck.

On page 28 Wyvern is discussing store bought sauces that he relies on when he can't make them himself or is 
'in the field' and maximizing what he can.  Here's the excerpt:

"...Amongst sauces I consider 'Harvey' the best for general use; Sutton's 'Empress of India' is a strong sauce 
with a real flavor of mushrooms..."

While trying to find a recipe (hell, even a true flavor profile) I have continued to stumble across Wynern's EXACT 
text in other publications.  Yay plagiarism.  

Surely in the world of digitization and brilliant foodies there is a recipe somewhere.  Do you know of anything 
related to this?  Any searching tips?  Any anything?  I will continue my homework on this title and share anything 
relevant but maybe your foodie-delving has some insight that will help.  Below my signature block is a searchable 
link from Google Books.

Please keep in touch, this should/could be a joint project not just some homework thrown on you :)  
Excited to hear from you


Reference Link: Culinary Jottings for Madras, Or, A Treatise in Thirty Chapters on Reformed Cookery for Anglo-Indian Exiles

Hello Kat,

Thank you for writing. This is quite an interesting problem, although I fear we are going to face disappointment in the end.

It’s not unusual to find things called “Empress of India” after 1876. The reason is that Queen Victoria was proclaimed “Empress of India” in that year at the behest of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton. The name has been given to such disparate things as restaurants, varieties of peas or beans, a variety of nasturtium, and also to this sauce, which seems to have been similar to Worcestershire sauce and based on soy sauce. The unusual thing seems to be the repeated connection of the name “Sutton” to these things named “Empress of India.”

"Sutton's", or "G. Sutton & Sons, London" appears to have been a going concern, selling its products in India, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.. Why can I find so little about it and its products? What happened to it? There was and is a "Sutton's Seed" company in Reading, but it appears to have been unrelated to this Sutton's. There is no "G. Sutton and Sons" connected with it, and no sign that it ever made pickles and sauces. There is a "Sutton & Sons" fishmongers and fish and chips restaurant in London, but it, too, appears to be unrelated.

Going back to Wyvern and the sauce, the full paragraph from Culinary jottings for Madras : a treatise in thirty chapters on reformed cookery for Anglo-Indian exiles, based upon modern English, & continental principles, with twenty-five menus for little dinners worked out in detail by Wyvern is:

Although I am strongly against the use of tinned things to the extent that many allow, there are nevertheless many articles which you must have in the store-room pickles, sauces, jams, bacon, cheese, . maccaroni, vermicelli, vinegars, flavouring essences, the invaluable truffle, tart fruits, biscuits, isinglass, arrow-root, oatmeal, pearl barley, cornflour, olives, capers, dried herbs, and so on. Grated Parmesan cheese (sold in bottles by Crosse and Blackwell ) should never be forgotten, the salad oil should be the best procurable, and no store-room should be without tarragon vinegar, anchovy vinegar, French vinegar, and white wine vinegar. Amongst sauces I consider 'Harvey' the best for general use; Sutton’s 'Empress of India,' is a strong sauce with a real flavour of mushrooms; 'Reading' sauce is very trustworthy, and there are others which no doubt commend themselves to different palates, but I denounce 'Worcester sauce' as too powerful an agent in the hands of the cook. Sutton’s 'essence of anchovies' is said to possess the charm of not clotting, or forming a stoppage in the neck of the bottle. I have a deep respect for ketchup, soy, and tomato conserve. Then as special trifles we must not forget caviar, olives farcies, and anchovies in oil.

In a quoted citation from Wyvern's book, the sauce is also mentioned here: Early History of Soybeans and Soyfoods Worldwide (1024 BCE to 1899 ...) By William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi.

There is also a mention at Gourmet India:

Several new imitations of this (Worcestershire)sauce are now found all over the world. The British "Empress of India" sauce by Sutton and Tapp's sauce are very similar. Almost all of the American commercial brands like Lowrys, Heinz, and Kraft's still contain original "tamarind and molasses" formula.

Lea & Perrins' Worcestershire Sauce took Britain and it's possessions and former possesions by storm beginning in 1837 and became so popular that it spawned many imitators.

And therein lies the rub. Lea & Perrins, creators of the original Worcestershire sauce, kept their recipe secret for 170 years, although it may have been discovered in 2009, according to this article: Daily Mail.

I have no doubt that Sutton kept their recipe for “Empress of India” sauce a closely held secret as well, and since the trail has gone cold for “Empress of India”, unlike that of Worcestershire sauce, I am afraid the hopes of locating a recipe are practically nil. All we know about it is that it was soy sauce based, similar to Worcestershire sauce, and that it had an additional flavor of mushrooms. What is disturbing is that every mention that I can find of this sauce is quoted or paraphrased from Wyvern's book. I found no mention of "Empress of India Sauce" that was not connected to Wyvern's book .That Gourmet India article is from 2006 and seems to speak as if Empress of India sauce is an extant item. However, the author of that article seems to me to just be using information taken from Wyvern's book out of context. So, why is there no mention anywhere of Sutton's "Empress of India" sauce except for quotes or borrowings from Wyvern? There are plenty of mentions of similar products in old newspaper ads.

I did find mentions of Sutton's other products in Australian, Canadian, and U.S. newspaper ads. The company was based in London, yet I found few mentions of "Sutton's", "G. Sutton and Sons," "Sutton's Sauces" or "Sutton's Pickles" in British newspapers. There is a mention of "Sutton's Essence of Anchovies" in "The Illustrated Guide to The South Indian Railway" by By South Indian Railway Co., Ltd, copyright 1900. "Essence of Anchovies" and other Sutton's sauces are mentioned in a newspaper, "Bury and Norwich Post Suffolk, England, 1 Aug 1865." I found no mentions of the company mor recent than a century ago, so it would appear that the company has been out of operation for at least a century. There is a "Sutton's Sauce, Worcestershire" mentioned in an ad on page 8 of the British Columbia Canadian newspaper "The New Westminster News" for Feb 14, 1913. See: Open Library "Sutton's Worcestershire Sauce" is also mentioned in a classified ad in "The Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay And Burnett Advertiser" (QLD) Published Aug 22 1889 in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia. It's also in an ad in "The Asbury Park Press" from Asbury Park, New Jersey on July 10, 1913: "Sutton's" Worcestershire Sauce Bottled in England ; sold elsewhere at 40c a bottle: Macy's price. 34c. The Nov 29 1913 - Bunbury South-Western Herald, Western Australia, Australia has an ad for "Narrogin Trading Agency & Co." that says:

Have landed ex s.s. Ajana Direct from Manufacturers, England,
Foster Clark's Latest Specialties
Also from G. Sutton and Sons, London
The following famous English pickles, sauces, etc.
Pickled Onions (Patented lever top jars)
Pickled Walnuts (Patented lever top jars)
Pickled Gherkins (Patented lever top jars)
Fixed Vinegar Pickles (Patented lever top jars)
Piccalilli Pickles (Patented lever top jars)
Continental Pickles (Patented lever top jars)
Anchovy Essence (Large Bottles)
Spanish Olives (genuine)
Sutton's Famous Worcester Sauce (Equal to Lea & Perrins)
Sutton's Pure Olive Oil
Sutton's English Assorted Dried Herbs
Sutton's Salmon and Shrimp Paste
Sutton's Chicken and Ham Paste
Sutton's Salmon and Anchovy Paste
Sutton's Turkey and Tongue Paste
Sutton's Bloater Paste
Sutton's Salmon Paste
Sutton's Wild Duck Paste
All the above goods are guaranteed under the
"Pure Foods Act." ...

The "Harvey Sauce" mentioned by Wyvern appears to basically be a mixture of anchovy sauce, soy sauce, and mushroom ketchup. For a recipe, see: Harvey Sauce.

"Reading Sauce" appears to have been very popular at one time. There is an article here: Get Reading and a recipe here: Foods of England

"Moir Sauces" appears to refer to a brand of sauces from John Moir & Son. There is an ad here: Ad in Ottawa Citizen - Nov 1, 1867 for Moir's sauces

Another imitation of Worcestershire Sauce was "Parker Bros London Club Sauce," advertised as being half the price of Lea & Perrins.

"Tapp's Sauce" appears to have been a hot sauce. See: Hot Sauce , Note that "Empress of India" was not a product of "Sutton and Tapp's", but just of Sutton's. "Tapp's Sauce" was a completely different product from a different company.

"Mushroom Ketchup" is another British product from the same era, This table condiment was made with dried mushrooms, roasted barley malt extract, and spices, and was used to enliven meat dishes. It does not appear to have contained any soy sauce, but some recipes for mushroom ketchup have cider vinegar. It's still available commercially from Geo. Watkins, but its popularity has faded somewhat. I actually obtained a bottle of this via Amazon and found that it is delicious on steak.

Yet another British sauce is "Henderson's Relish." This appears to be very similar to Worcestershire Sauce, but without the anchovies. It is advertised as being vegan. This, too, is available on Amazon. I saw so many raves saying it was better than Worcestershire that I also ordered a bottle of this one. Haven't tried it yet.

There are numerous copycat recipes for Worcestershire sauce to be found. Here is one: Nourished Kitchen The supposed original Worcestershire sauce recipe is given in that Daily Mail article, but even if it is the authentic original recipe, it would not be surprising to find that it had been later refined.

If I may speculate, I think that "Empress of India" sauce must have been similar to "Harvey" sauce in those three basic ingredients of soy, anchovy essence, and mushroom ketchup, plus spices. Perhaps it was less successful than Sutton's Worcestershire Sauce and was dropped by Sutton's after a comparatively short run. A mixture of "mushroom ketchup" and "Worcestershire Sauce" might yield a sauce with a taste similar to “Empress of India” sauce, if one could get the ratio right. If the small amount of anchovies in Worcestershire sauce is not adequate, then a bit more anchovy essence might make this mixture even closer.

If you find any additional information about "Empress of India" sauce or about Sutton's. let me know. I will do the same.



I did find a brief mention of "Empress of India" sauce in Pickled, Potted, and Canned" by Sue Shephard, but she may have used Wyvern as a reference.

I also found a mention of "Empress of India" sauce in "Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen" (1970) by Elizabeth David, but again, it is unclear as to her source. She may have seen it mentioned in Wyvern's book.

I found an ad reproduced in "Practical Cookery Manual of Plain and Middle Class Recipes" by Charles Herman Senn (1898) for G.F. Sutton & Co. "Cavona" and "Victory Dinner Relish"

In The Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, Volume 152 March 29, 1910, I found a trademark granted to G.F. Sutton & Sons, London England for: "Flavoring extracts or essences. Flavoring sauces for meat, fish, game, gravies, curries, and soups Spices, vinegar, catchup, Italian olive oil, capers, and salad dressing."

Finally, I found a reference that "G. F. Sutton, Sons & Co. Ltd., Brandon Road, London" was owned by "Tyne Brand Products Ltd".


Lazarus Burger

-----Original Message----- 
From: anthony
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:17 AM
Subject: Can you help me find.......

To Hungry Browser:

Can you help me find a recipe?

Lazarus Department Store served a sandwich I can only describe as a "sloppy joe".

It had the same texture, but a completely different taste.

As a child,I loved it!!!!  Now as I approach retirement, I look to seek out 
some of the great mysteries on Earth.

This recipe is one of them.

Thanks for your help!



Hello Anthony,

The only thing that I know of that you might be referring to is the "Seven Hills Burger." Lazarus was also known as Shillito's in some places.

See here for that recipe: Seven Hills Burger

I have two Lazarus cookbooks, and there's nothing else similar in either of them.


From: "Betty" 
Subject: Seven Hills Sandwich / Lazarus Sandwich
Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 10:28 AM

Dear Phaedrus:

For a long time, I had a (very large) package of the Shillito Seven Hills Sandwich mix. 
They sold it in the coffee shop. I wrote to the company that made it, but I never got a 
response. So, I tried a little reverse-engineering. 
The Seven Hills sandwich never had ketchup or cider vinegar or green pepper in it. 
The menu always made the point that it was "oven roasted". It mostly resembles a loose 
meat sandwich. I was never able to actually find something exactly like it. The mix used 
dried onions, but fresh just taste better to me.


Here is my version:

Watch the salt. You could use water instead of beef broth. The Gravy Mix is very salty. 
I use low-sodium beef broth and sometimes use 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup water.

Seven Hills Sandwich

2 Pounds Ground Beef
11/2 Cups Beef Broth Or Water
1 Package Brown Gravy Mix
1/2 Cup Onion, Chopped
Crumble ground beef into broth or water. Add onion  and bake at 350-degrees (covered) for 
about 30 minutes. Check frequently and  break up the meat until it reaches a fine consistency. 
(I use a potato  masher.) Uncover and bake until most of the liquid is absorbed. 
Add gravy mix and cook until mixture is a smooth  consistency. Add water or broth as needed. 
Spoon onto buns and serve.
This is a clone  of the Seven Hills Sandwich that was served in 
Shillito’s Coffee Shop. I  still had a package of the mix at home and played around until I got this.  
It’s very close. The only thing missing is the wonderful cheese buns they  were served on.

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