Weird Facts about
Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce was named for the town of Worcester, England, in the Shire (county) of Worcester.
Worcestershire sauce is made from anchoviese soaked in vinegar until they completely dissolve.
In 1835, when Lord Marcus Sandys, governor of Bengal, retired to Ombersley, England, he longed for his favorite Indian sauce. He took the recipe to a drugstore on Broad Street in nearby Worcester where he commissioned the shopkeepers, John Lea and William Perrins, to mix up a batch. Lea and Perrins made a large batch, hoping to sell the excess to other customers. The pungent fishy concoction wound up in the cellar where it sat undisturbed until Lea and Perrins rediscovered it two years later when house cleaning. Upon tasting the aged sauce, Lea and Perrin bottled Worcester Sauce as a local dip.
In 1837, Lea & Perrins began selling Worcestershire Sauce at their pharmacy/grocery shop, and the popularity of the sauce prompted Lea & Perrins to open more shops in a number of English towns.
When Lea and Perrins’ salesmen convinced British passenger ships to put the sauce on their dining room tables, Worcestershire Sauce became an established steak sauce across Europe and the United States.
In 1876 a high court rules that Lea & Perrins do not own the rights to the term “Worcestershire sauce.” Many other companies market the sauce.
To this day, the ingredients in Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce are stirred together and allowed to sit for two years before being bottled.
The exact recipe of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce remains a well-guarded company secret, but it is believed to be composed of anchovies, shallots, chilies, cloves, tamarinds, garlic, sugar, molasses, vinegar, and salt.
An advertisement in 1919 falsely claimed that Worcestershire Sauce was “a wonderful liquid tonic that makes your hair grow beautiful.”
In a famous photograph taken on September 30, 1938, of Neville Chamberlain having dinner with Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Edouard Daladier, a bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce sits on the table.