Lord Sandys, governor of Bengal during the reign of Victoria, loved the local food and begged his cook to give him the recipe for the ‘magic’ sauce that he was constantly using.
When he arrived back in England he persuaded two chemists to prepare the sauce for him.
The chemists, John Lea and William Perrin, made the sauce but it was horrible and they put the whole lot into barrels and out of the way in the stock room.
Several years later they re-discovered the barrels and tried it again.
To their amazement it had turned into an incredibly wonderful and spicy sauce and the two of them started making it on a commercial basis.
They had hit the jackpot! That was in 1837 and to this day the recipe is a secret. All that is known is that it takes 3 years to mature and contains malt, vinegar, sugar molasses, anchovies, tamarind, shallots, chillies, soya sauce and garlic.
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