In my kitchen I always have a bottle of Worcester Sauce. It is such a useful condiment that enhances the taste of many simple dishes. I sprinkle it on scrambled eggs, cheese on toast and use it to add extra flavour to soups and casserole dishes. A glass of plain tomato juice with a few drops of the sauce gives it much more depth of flavour.
It is one of the constituents of a Bloody Mary (cocktail) famously invented at Harry's Bar, Paris, during the 1930s, but do you know the sauces background?
The city of Worcester, where it was conceived, is a short drive from where I live. It was produced by two local chemists, John Weeley Lea and William Perrins, who first put it on sale in their shop in 1837. Almost 200 years later, Worcester, is where it is still produced, but the origin of the recipe remains a mystery. The story goes that Lord Sandy, a local aristocrat, who had been Governor of Bengal, visited John and William's chemist shop and asked them to make the sauce from a recipe that he had found in India. The two chemists decided to make an extra couple of bottles for themselves but neither of them liked the concoction and discarded the bottles to their cellar. A couple of years later they rediscovered the bottles, tasted them, and found the sauce to be very tasty and very much to their liking.
Although the ingredients are listed on the bottle, the exact recipe has never been fully revealed, and still remains a closely guarded secret.
Without any advertising the sauce quickly became very popular, and was soon a coveted item in many European kitchens.
In 1839, John Duncan, a New York entrepreneur, ordered a small quantity of the sauce. Within a couple of years he was importing large shipments of it in order to keep up with the demand. Today Lea & Perrins is the oldest commercially bottled condiment in the U.S.A.
These pickled onions are a condiment that is used in Mexico and Ecuador. They take no more than five minutes to make and taste delicious. They are the perfect addition to have with your Tacos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, and fajitas. But they also make a tasty topping on a Greek or Caesar salad, a curry, a tagine, or added to your chosen filling in a baguette, or sandwich etc.
All you need are two ingredients - a fresh lime and a small red onion.
Slice the onion very thinly, then squeeze all of the lime juice over it, and leave to macerate over night. The onions turn a beautiful shade of cerise and completely loose their acrid bite. Very simple, easy, and tasty.
Lea & Perrins posters via Wiki