Skip to content

History of Worcestershire sauce and its uses in the kitchen

24 mayo, 2021

The Worcestershire sauce, which you have surely heard named on some occasion as Worcestershire sauce, Perrins or just Worcester, is a fermented liquid seasoning that is used as a dressing. Like everything that supposedly surrounds it with an aura of mystery, the sauce in question also has its own particular legend with different versions, which make it even more curious and special than the flavor it brings to the dishes where it is used.

History tells that the origin of this Worcestershire sauce back in the 19th century, was to consequence of accidental carelessness in a store in Worcester in Great Britain, where the English pharmacists Lea and Perrins had prepared a barrel of spicy vinegar made according to an Indian recipe for a customer named Sir Marcus Sandy, anxious on his return home to continue remembering those exotic flavors tested during your stay in India.

It is not known whether because the pharmacists were not convinced by the result obtained or because the aforementioned client did not return for his formula, the truth is that the barrel was relegated to the basements of the establishment for two years. Here it began to ferment, possibly as some say because its ingredients included vegetables and fish extract.

In 1835 when in a process of cleaning the premises the creators rediscovered the barrel, they decided to give it another try by trying it before throwing it away. That sauce had aged wonderfully and underwent a change that seemed very interesting to them, so they began to bottle it and it quickly became a fashionable product for Lea & Perrins customers.

It was the year 1839 when a New York businessman began importing small quantities of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce to the United States. Gradually the fame of the sauce began to spread throughout the world and it only took a few years to begin to export large quantities, and thus be able to satisfy the high demand for this British condiment.

Perrins sauce

Sheathed in elegant paper, its famous wrapping prevented breakage and loss on long boat trips for export to different parts of the world. At present it is no longer technically necessary to pack the bottles, but this wrapper has become a symbol of the rich heritage and premium quality of the Lea & Perrins brand. Nearly two hundred years later, Worcestershire sauce is still a favorite in many kitchens around our planet.

Today and how in other well-known products, its formula is said to be still secret and that only a privileged few know the exact ingredients. Its components, although with unknown proportions, include products from all over the world such as Malt vinegar, molasses, sugar, shallots, garlic, tamarind sauce, cloves, essence of anchovies and undetermined spices, all aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of eighteen months.

Its uses in the kitchen

Although in Spain it is not an excessively used sauce either, the truth is that its variety of nuances and flavors they are increasingly being used as a complement for the preparation of other more complex sauces and aromatic marinades.

Breast rolls - presentation

From slightly spicy taste It is used to enhance stews, soups, purees, farces, vinaigrettes, tomato sauces, steak tartare, salad dressing and other exotic delicacies. The truth is that Worcestershire sauce is not only used in British cuisine, in Japan for example known as ustasosu, along with soy sauce, are the two standard sauces that are usually found on any table, and this English sauce is very attractive to the Japanese palate, improving the taste known to the Japanese as umami.

In China, especially in Cantonese cuisine, the Worcestershire sauce It is also placed next to soy sauce and is used for dim sum, spring rolls and fried with fish, as well as for marinades and later sautéing meat. In Latin America it is served with refried beans and in the United States and Canada it is widely used in recipes for meat burgers. In the British Isles, with a multitude of uses and tradition for it, its use to prepare the Welsh rarebit stands out. And finally, it is also used to flavor some famous cocktails such as Bloody Mary and tomato juices.

Many imitations of the original are distributed around the world including different ingredients such as soybeans, but the authentic Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is the only recipient of the Royal Order of Her British Majesty, an award considered to be a symbol of excellence and quality. How can you verify a whole history of tradition surrounding this sauce, now you only have to try it, if you have never done it, and see if in your opinion its fame over the centuries is justified or not.

Images | Mechnine | Jbcurio Directly to the Paladar | Baked Beans, essential in a good English breakfast En Directo al Paladar | The best of British gastronomy