Lea & Perrins is responsible for the original Worcestershire sauce, which was created by John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins in 1837 (via FoodBeast). Legend has it that Lea and Perrins were asked to create the condiment, but it was a complete failure. So much so, that they left the full barrel of it in the basement. It wasn’t until months had passed that a clerk found it. When Lea and Perrins tasted it, they were shocked by what they found.
As the sauce sat, it fermented and created a flavor that was unlike anything they had before. The original recipe contained malt vinegar, spirit vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, tamarind extract, onions, garlic, and spices (via The New York Times). Although there are slight deviations from the original recipe in the bottles today, Lea & Perrins keep the recipe under tight control making sure no one else can copy its unique taste. If it wasn’t for a daring individual trying the forgotten fermented sauce, this staple wouldn’t be on our shelves today!