A bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce.
The Mystery And History Behind Worcestershire Sauce
By Elias Nash
While Lea & Perrins' Worcestershire sauce is now a common condiment, how John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins came up with the sauce is a mystery.
The recipe for Worcestershire sauce has been a closely guarded secret since its inception. Even the ingredients were a mystery until a chance discovery unveiled them to the public.
Brian Keogh, a former accountant at Lea & Perrins, discovered notebooks that he kept until his death in 2006. His daughter found them, revealing the sauce's ingredients and recipe.
Worcestershire sauce's origins begin with John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, pharmacists in Worcester, who dealt in more matters than medicine, including food.
Allegedly, in 1835, Lord Marcus Sandys, the former governor of British–controlled Bengal, approached the pair, describing a savory Indian sauce he wanted them to recreate.
The result was awful, and the pharmacists abandoned the sauce for a couple of years, but coming across it again, they found it had fermented into a state of deliciousness.
However, this story has many variations, and Keogh's records reveal that Lord Sandys was never the governor of Bengal. In fact, no records indicate he ever traveled to India.
The nobleman's tale may have been nothing more than another marketing tactic by Lea and Perrins, and the true origin of Worcestershire sauce is presumably buried with its creators.