Worcester(Shire) Sauce

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Worcester(shire) sauce originated in the 1840s. The story goes that it was the result of an accidental oversight in a Worcester chemist’s shop, Lea Perrin’s. A barrel of spice vinegar, made according to an Indian recipe for a customer but never collected, was left for some years in the cellar. It began to ferment; possibly, some say, because one of the ingredients was soy sauce. The shopkeeper was about to throw out the spoiled barrel, but fortunately tasted the contents and discovered that they had undergone an intriguing change. He therefore bottled them, sold them as a sauce, and began to produce more.