Worcestershire Sauce - or is it?

Geo organics labelGeo Organics has launched its own organic and vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce made to a ‘new recipe’ that doesn’t include the traditional ingredient anchovy. Can a Worcestershire Sauce be called Worcestershire Sauce without containing anchovy – fermented flesh, bones and all?

Lovers of ‘the Original’ and ‘the Genuine’ sauce may be surprised to learn that the term Worcestershire Sauce is not limited to Mr Lea and Perrins anchovy concoction. Legal action against the Birmingham sauce manufacturer Holbrooks in 1906 concluded the name ‘Worcestershire Sauce’ could be applied to any sauce but only Lea and Perrins had the right to call theirs 'Original and Genuine'.

Geo Organics vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce is “a unique blend of fruit sugar and spices which is mixed with vinegar and then bottled." Geo is keen their end result should be a ‘traditional taste’. Keen readers of bottle labels will recognise their list of ingredients is similar to many other spicy brown sauces:

  • spirit vinegar
  • water
  • sugar
  • molasses
  • tamarind
  • sea salt
  • caramel
  • chilli powder
  • garlic powder
  • cloves

Add anchovies and onions and you then have Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. Add tomatoes and dates and the ingredients list matches HP Sauce – ‘the only genuine and original brown sauce’. Geo Organics brown-coloured sauce will add spice to any dish, but its flavour won’t be as intense and salty as that of Lea and Perrins.

If you don’t want to clutter up your cupboard with too many similar tasting sauces, my suggestion is to choose those with the most intense flavour. Then you’ll always have the option of adding less if you want just a hint of spiciness. For me those sauces are always Lea and Perrins and the vegetarian Kikkoman Soy Sauce.