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Feb 26, 2014 07:44 PM

One from left field: is there such a thing as a craft/boutique/premium Worcestershire sauce?

Something beyond and/or other than Lea & Perrins?

Not that it's not fantastic, and I know there are recipes out there for making it myself, but it pays to ask.


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  1. I always thought of Worcestershire in the same was as ketchup or mayo - the industrial stuff concocted by food scientists is often better than any sort of artisanal offering.

    1 Reply
    1. Haven't run across any. Interesting story as to its origin,

        1. Every once in awhile I place an order from Fortnam and Mason. I always include an order of their "Gentleman's Relish".

          Read their description, it is wonderful. I buy it also for the beautiful blue porcelain boxes which I use for trinkets ... rings, etc. But the relish is almost all anchovies, dill, etcetera. Yummy.

          You may want to fill out your order their wide selection of jams and preserves, or their tea collection.

          I bring this up as the Gentleman's relish is a precursor to Worchestershire i believe.

          A photo of Gentleman's Relish

          1 Reply
          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

            I love gentelmans relish and buy some when in London, but it's an anchovy/ butter /herb spread.

            Nothing like Worcestershire sauce

          2. I do prefer the British made version of L&P. More the actual original recipe before HFCS. We stock up when in Canada or online for a fortune.

            28 Replies
            1. re: Raffles

              L&P for the US market has been made both with and without HFCS. My current bottles contain sugar and no HFCS.

              1. re: GH1618

                Ok, I pulled 2 bottles out of our pantry, the one made in Worcester contains..Malt vinegar(from barley),spirit vinegar,molasses,sugar,salt,anchovies,tamarind extract,onions,garlic,spice, flavorings.

                The bottle made in Fair Lawn NJ contains..white vinegar,molasses,sugar,water,salt ,onions,anchovies,garlic, cloves,tamarind ext.,natural flavorings,chili pepper extract.

                I just did a taste taste, I prefer the British blend.
                I am glad you told me that the US blend has had either HFCS or sugar, I was surprised to see sugar on the bottle.

                1. re: Raffles

                  The malt vinegar seems like an important difference.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    Also, the US version contains water, where the British version doesn't. Raffles, is the US version more "watery?"

                    1. re: rudeboy

                      I was thinking that any boutique/craft/premium worcestershire had better contain anchovies and be fermented and aged. Many do not. Here's probably the best description of worcestershire sauce I have ever found:


                      1. re: rudeboy

                        It seems to have less depth, watery might be a good description, .Watered down to reach a desired profile...

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          The water might be needed because other ingredients (such as vinegar) are more concentrated.

                          1. re: rudeboy

                            Raffles, I'm in Canada, and the ingredients in my WS match yours exactly for what you call the "British blend," except that water is listed after spirit vinegar. Are you sure you didn't miss that when you copied the ingredients?

                            1. re: Cilantra

                              I double checked , the are both as listed, one made in Worchester, the other in NJ.

                              We got it in San Michele in Quebec at a supermarket last winter.

                              1. re: Raffles

                                Interesting. I got mine in Peterborough, Ontario. The bottle says that it's a product of England, prepared for Heinz Canada. I'll have to go to the UK Shoppe and check out what they have. They import products directly from the UK -- the genuine thing, not watered down or sweetened up for Canadian/American tastes.

                                1. re: Cilantra

                                  There's also an all-England shop in Bobcaygeon, Cilantra, that likely carries some variant of that product; you might check it out if you're in the neighbourhood.

                                  1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                    Thanks, Phil. I live just outside Peterborough, so the UK Shoppe is really convenient.

                                    1. re: Cilantra

                                      Tell me here if you find it when you're there; I should be back around the Kawarthas this spring.

                                      1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                        I'll check next Monday on what the UK Shoppe has and let you know.

                                          1. re: Cilantra

                                            The UK Shoppe in Peterborough finally received a shipment of Worcestershire Sauce born and bred in England, so I bought a bottle this morning.

                                            This afternoon I compared ingredients between it and my Canadian version and found that they're identical except that the Canadian WS has water (after spirit vinegar).

                                            Then I did a taste test. To me, the flavour was the same in both varieties. The only difference was that the UK sauce seemed marginally hotter/zippier, probably a result of not having any water added.

                                            In any case, there's so little difference that I'm just going to stick with the Canadian WS, because it's a whole lot cheaper.

                                            1. re: Cilantra

                                              The different position of water in the Canadian list could just be a consequence of a different concentration of the vinegar. Vinegar is usually labeled as 'diluted to 6% acidity' (or some other number.

                                  2. re: Raffles

                                    That's interesting. My bottle (Fair Lawn, NJ) has the same ingredient but listed in a different order:

                                    Distilled white vinegar, molasses, water, sugar, onions, anchovies, salt, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, natural flavorings, chili pepper extract.

                                    So water & sugar are switched and salt goes AFTER onions and anchovies. The bottle also brags that it is gluten-free but has an added sticker that says "contains soy"

                              2. re: GH1618

                                The problem with Malt Vinegar is that is contains GLUTEN, since it is made from Barley, so those wishing a gluten-free variety should stick with the American version.

                                1. re: pinkmagnolia921

                                  Why? Is American malt vinegar made by malting rice or some such?

                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                    I don't think you have to worry about gluten being a problem in malt vinegar. You can read an informative article about it here:

                                    Here's one quote from that article: "But consider that Coeliac UK, the leading non-profit focused on Celiac Disease in the United Kingdom, maintains that malt vinegar is ACCEPTABLE for people on a gluten-free diet."

                                    1. re: Cilantra

                                      Did you read the post farther down by a Brit who got sick on beets pickled in malt vinegar?

                                      I answered my own question: corn (I suppose this would've occurred to me if I drank alcohol of any kind). But Heinz seems to use both corn and barley.

                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                        But don't forget that malt vinegar has far more gluten than the small amount that's in Worc. Sauce. All told, I still don't think it's likely to be an issue.

                                        1. re: Cilantra

                                          I'm just reporting--I'm not affected and hence have no vested interest. In fact, I don't even know that the wheat in the soy sauce used to make W-sauce might not also pose a problem (and possibly a double whammy for CD sufferers). Just pointing out that at least one person with CD reading that article thinks consuming malt vinegar caused a problem.

                                    2. re: MacGuffin

                                      Malt Vinegar is made from Barley, which is a grain that contains Gluten, as does wheat and rye.

                                      1. re: pinkmagnolia921

                                        I know what barley is. I wanted to know what was malted in lieu of barley for U.S. malt vinegar (and answered my own question).

                                    3. re: pinkmagnolia921

                                      The American version is made with 'vinegar', most likely distilled white vinegar. That is likely to be made from grains (unspecified).

                                      from a Heinz FAQ:

                                      Are Heinz® Vinegars gluten-free?
                                      Some Heinz® Vinegar’s are gluten free. Heinz® Distilled White Vinegar and Apple Cider Flavored Vinegar are sourced from corn, not from wheat, rye, barley, or oats. Wine Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar are sourced from grapes and apples, respectively, not grains.
                                      However, Heinz Malt Vinegar, Salad Vinegar and Tarragon Vinegars are NOT gluten free because they all
                                      contain barley.

                                  2. re: Raffles

                                    now I am baffled I always thought L&P was inviolate, a standard and now there are two. Argh. Did someone decide Americans just could not handle malt vinegar?