The making of Lea & Perrins has remained very much the same since Worcester chemists Mr Lea and Mr Perrins’ first experiments all the way back in 1835. That’s when a local nobleman requested they make up a recipe for a sauce he had discovered in India. After tasting it they found it completely unpalatable and discarded it to the cellar of their chemist shop, only to find, 18 months later, that it had matured into a delicious sauce.
The first part of the process involves maturing the sauce’s key ingredients in large barrels in the factory’s basement for 18 months. The onions and garlic are packed into the barrels in malt vinegar, while the anchovies are packed in salt, soaking and maturing to take on the delicious and instantly recognisable flavour that makes Lea & Perrins different from any other sauce.
Once the maturing of the ingredients is complete, they are brought together in a huge mixing vessel as part of the making process before transferring to even larger vats for further maturing. Finally, the concentrated sauce is diluted and sterilised, ready for bottling.
Then it’s on to the final part, when the bottles are filled and the iconic orange labels added. Because the famous sauce is exported to over 130 countries around the world, this means different labels in different languages, which involves lots of careful planning before the bottles are ready to be exported.
To this day Lea & Perrins has remained a much loved staple that can be found in kitchens, restaurants, hotels and bars the world over.