Worcestershire English sauce is often compared to the ancient Roman garum. It’s not for nothing that it appeared only in the 30s of the 19th century, when everything Indian (jewelry, servants, food, etc.) became fashionable in Britain.
It is no less legitimate to ask: what is Worcestershire sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Worcestershire sauce – what is it anyway? And how to speak correctly?
History of creation
All these names are correct. This diversity is simply due to attempts to read the old English name of the region Worcestershire in a modern Anglo-Saxon manner. Where Worcester (or still Worcester) was invented in 1837 by chemists Lea and Perrins.
Their names adorn bottles of original Worcestershire sauce. Recently, it has become one of the brands of the Heinz sauce empire. The fact that the sauce was invented by chemists, who back in 1823 founded a company producing sauces of their own invention, indicates that there is nothing accidental in this product.
The partners approached the matter with real scientific thoroughness and took into account the widespread passion for exotic colonial flavors and aromas in English society. Availability of previously rare seasonings and new opportunities for the food industry.
Thanks to such a well-thought-out business plan, Worcestershire sauce quickly became popular in Britain, being registered in pubs and in the royal palace (the royal coat of arms appeared on the bottles).
Now about its composition. It is its composition that Worcestershire sauce refutes the legend that its recipe was brought from Bengal by a certain lord. Tomatoes had not yet begun to be widely grown in Asia (they only appeared in Parisian markets in 1793!)
And it is simply impossible to imagine gelatin (obtained by boiling animal bones and skin) as an ingredient in Indian sauce. The same can be said about champignons and dessert wine (such as port).
With considerable experience in sauce composition and being enlightened colonial-era Britons, Lee and Perrins figured out how to organize a peaceful and fruitful meeting between West and East.
To do this, they took Indian classics – curry and tamarind, added Calabrian “caviar for the poor” (small fish paste), tomato paste , lemon, walnuts and port.
We thickened the resulting mixture with aspic (a version of gelatin, which is often used to attach flavoring and decorative toppings to the surface of sausages), and added many more (about twenty) oriental and European spices (from ginger to horseradish).
Of course, it is wrong to describe a product with such a rich composition as a “sauce with fermented anchovies,” given that these same anchovies, one might say, are not there at all. However, not a single ingredient is dominant in this symphony, not even tomatoes, although there are about 10% of them there.
It is believed that it takes 2 years to make the sauce, and during this time the components are combined into one inimitable whole. We can say that Worcestershire sauce is a spicy sauce with a sweet and sour fishy flavor.
What is it eaten with and where to add it
The manufacturer of Worcestershire sauce, Stretton, listed as many uses on the label as could fit. Meat dishes in all preparations, fish, soups, salads.
But this is not all where Worcestershire sauce is used, because tastes change and new dishes with sauce appear. And it finds application in completely unpredictable recipes. In terms of versatility of use, it is superior to mayonnaise.
Since the sauce base is not oily, this expands its application possibilities. It is not too sour, not too salty, the protein base in it (fish and meat) is fermented. The variety of spices does not cause an overwhelming taste, but a pleasant and unique aftertaste.
It can complement any recipe, add originality to any dish, you can eat raw, boiled, stewed, fried foods, vegetables, meat, fish with it.
But in addition to this freedom of use, there is also an obligation: Worcestershire sauce is added to the Bloody Mary cocktail – otherwise the contents of the glass cannot correspond to the name.
They flavor bloody English roast beef with it. Worcestershire is used for making marinades and salad dressings. Try making a barbecue marinade with Worcestershire sauce.
Useful properties and contraindications
Several types of pepper, nutmeg and ginger suggest anti-cold properties in the sauce. It enhances metabolism and cleanses the mucous membrane of the larynx.
We can say with confidence that food eaten with appetite becomes medicine. But the most famous healing effect of Worcestershire sauce is well known from English literature.
With the help of a few drops of it, Jeeves cured poor Worcester from a severe hangover. Essentially, this is a variation of the Bloody Mary, with much less alcohol and a little more sauce than the cocktail recipe.
How and how much to store
Like any other sauce, Worcestershire sauce is best stored in the refrigerator to prevent the texture and flavor from being damaged by heat and the oxidizing effects of sunlight.
It is believed that after opening a bottle of sauce, its contents are safe to use for another 4 years, but only if stored in the refrigerator. It is safer, however, to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not store opened sauce beyond the expiration date.