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Worcestershire Sauce Recipes and Cooking Tips

Exotic tamarind is the secret ingredient

What's in Worcestershire sauce?

The original recipe is closely guarded, but basically consists of anchovies layered in brine, tamarinds in molasses, garlic in vinegar, chilies, cloves, shallots, and sugar. After sitting for two years with periodic stirrings, the mixture is sifted of the solids, and bottled. Now a generic term, Worcestershire sauce is currently manufactured by many different commercial retailers, as well as under the original Lea and Perrins label. HP Sauce is another type of brown sauce, so named because the sauce was reputedly spotted in the Houses of Parliament.

The ingredient that sets Worcestershire sauce apart from most sauces is tamarind, the fruit of Tamarindus indica or Indian date in Arabic. The pods, somewhat resembling a brown pea pod, contain thick, sticky pulp which has a consistency of dates and a spicy date-apricot flavor. Although often referred to as tamarind seed in recipes, it is only the pulp surrounding the seed that is used. Tamarind fruit contains more sugar than any other fruit, but is balanced by its high content of acid, giving that sweet/sour taste. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and is also available in dried slices, concentrate, paste, balls, and solid block forms. Although nothing like the flavor of tamarind, lemon juice is a suggested substitution in a pinch, but know you will not have an authentic flavor without tamarind. Tamarind is an ingredient in seasonings, curries, chutneys, various drinks, and of course, Worcestershire sauce. Although it has not been proven to grow hair, it does have medicinal value as a mild laxative. A natural refrigerant with cooling properties, tamarind is used as a drink to ease fevers as well as a refreshing, cooling summer drink. It is a key ingredient in original Bloody Mary mix.

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