Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment created in the city of Worcester in Worcestershire, England during the first half of the 19th century. The creators were the chemists’ John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, who went on to form the company Lea & Perrins. Worcestershire sauce has been considered a generic term since 1876 when the English High Court of Justice ruled that Lea & Perrins did not own the trademark to “Worcestershire”.
Worcestershire sauce is frequently used to enhance food and drink recipes, including Welsh rarebit, Caesar salad, oysters Kirkpatrick, and deviled eggs. As both a background flavour and a source of umami (the savoury fifth flavour), it is now also added to dishes that historically did not contain it, such as chili con carne and beef stew. It is also used directly as a condiment on steaks, hamburgers, and other finished dishes, and to flavour cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and Caesar.