The story of Lea & Perrins®
famous Worcestershire Sauce begins in the early 1800s, in the county of Worcester. Returning home from his travels in Bengal, Lord Sandys, a nobleman of the area, was eager to duplicate a recipe he'd acquired. On Lord Sandys' request, two chemists—John Lea and William Perrins—made up the first batch of the sauce.
Lea and Perrins were not impressed with their initial results. The pair found the taste unpalatable, and simply left the jars in their cellar to gather dust. A few years later, they stumbled across them and decided to taste the contents again. To their delight, the aging process had turned it into a delicious, savory sauce.
Soon Mr. Lea and Mr. Perrins began bottling their special blend of vinegars and seasonings. Without any kind of advertising, in just a few short years, it was known and coveted in kitchens throughout Europe.
In 1839, John Duncan, a New York entrepreneur, ordered a small quantity of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. In the space of a few short years Duncan was importing large shipments to keep up with demand. Lea & Perrins was the only commercially bottled condiment in the U.S., and Americans loved it right away. Almost 170 years later, Lea & Perrins sauce remains a favorite in households across the U.S.