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Worcesterhire Sauce

AdriannaSanFran Feb 3, 2005 01:29 AM

What is the purpose of this sauce in recipes? What is the flavor profile? - is it salty, sweet, or what? Is it just a useless thing?

  1. k
    Karl S. Feb 3, 2005 03:21 AM

    Have you tasted it?

    It's a derivative of a host of fish-based (in this case, anchovies) sauces, which in both Eastern and Western cuisines play a subtle but critical role in flavoring.

    1. d
      Desperate Diner Feb 3, 2005 03:39 AM

      Worcestershire sauce is used alot in Britain and Ireland. Apparently the recipe is originally Indian though. It is used alot to make red meat taste more "meaty"- so people use it in marinades, splashed on steak, in any minced beef recipe, and splashed on melted cheese on toast is another very popular one.

      Lee and Perrins is the most famous brand over here for the sauce if you are looking for some

      1. d
        DanaB Feb 3, 2005 04:49 AM

        You might find interesting a thread from last month that had to do with the uses (in particular, vegetarian substitutions for it), and the origins of worcestershire sauce. Here's a link:

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. a
          Amin (London Foodie) Feb 3, 2005 05:53 AM

          Those who crave Worcestershire sauce, it is believed,
          stock their pantry by direct shipments from England,
          as lovers of this sauce feel that the product in the
          US (like English chocolates), just does not taste the

          The sauce comprises of Anchovies (possibly those from
          around Northern Spain), this is then blended with
          shallots, garlic, and onions, and supposedly left to
          mature for upto three years.

          It is used as a flavouring and enhancer to make the
          food and/or ingredients rock, such as for example
          it is thought to blow the socks off stocks, other
          sauces, or gravies, and if you have ever had a bloody
          Mary, it is most likely it would have included this
          wonderful sauce.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Amin (London Foodie)
            Leanne Feb 3, 2005 05:18 PM

            MY GOD this finally answers why I love my Bloody Caesar’s so Brown! Had no idea about the anchovy.

            1. re: Leanne
              bacchante Feb 4, 2005 12:51 PM

              my secret ingredient in bloody caesars is vietnamese fish sauce, along with the worcestershire and hot sauce.

          2. k
            King of Northern Blvd Feb 3, 2005 10:17 AM

            Useless???? I think not....

            1. k
              kc girl Feb 3, 2005 10:45 AM

              Some other posters are hinting that this is an anchovie fish-based sauce. It does have anchovies, but they are 5th on the list of ingredients and not (IMO) the most evident flavor.

              The original is sort of like a steak sauce (though L&P has one of those, too). It does have an evident "twang" of vinegar, some sweet from molasses and corn syrup, unique bite from tamarind (also sour and tart twang), a depth from cloves, and a little heat from chili peppers, garlic and eschalots.

              Who knows why people first make a recipe, but the acidity in the sauce is good as a meat tenderizer as well as a flavor. It is also good in a mushroom gravy, creamy Swedish meatball sauce, and even a honey/balsamic vinegrette.

              L&P also offers a White Wine Worcesershire (for chicken, fish and lighter foods>they say) that I think makes a perfect Honey/Dijon French vinegrette.

              And as for the anchovies, maybe someone who knows Asian cuisine can answer better, but I heard that fish sauce is a key hidden ingredient in many of their sauces because it adds a depth of flavor, but does not overtake the harmony.

              1. c
                Candy Feb 3, 2005 01:34 PM

                It adds some depth to flavors and rounds out some dishes that would be fairly flat or uninteresting without it. I cannot imagine a Bloody Mary without it nor Welsh Rarebit or mac and cheese.

                1. f
                  FlyFish Feb 3, 2005 05:34 PM

                  As a side note, Julia Child describes in one of her books how to make an authentic Caesar salad based on her visit as a child (what a terrible almost pun - she would have been a McWilliams at the time) to Caesar Cardini's restaurant in Tijuana. Caesar's original recipe apparently specifies a couple dashes of Worcestershire, and it's the anchovies in the Worcestershire that have morphed into the near-universal, but non-authentic, practice of adding anchovy fillets to a Caesar salad.

                  1. v
                    vicki_vale Feb 3, 2005 06:40 PM

                    It's not as fishy as you might think.
                    It's tangy with a deep red vinegar + soy sauce kind of flavour, with some fruity citrus flavour from the tamarind.

                    Along with generous amounts of white pepper, green scallions and sesame oil, Lea & Perrins is the secret ingredient that makes "authentic" Taiwanese-style fried rice vermicelli noodles.

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