What Exactly Is Worcestershire Sauce?
Have you ever wondered what is Worcestershire sauce and how it is pronounced? I use Worcestershire sauce now more than ever. It adds something to the dish that is irreplaceable. However, as I began preparing for Mama Caruso live cooking events, I had to start saying Worcestershire sauce out loud as I talked about its use within the recipe.
You will hear me mispronouncing it every time, and often butchering the word in several different ways during the same Cooking Club event. It is just one of those words that no matter how much I practice, I just can’t seem to make my tongue do whatever it needs to for the word to come out correctly. Refrigerator is another word that I struggle to say.
And, you know how it is, when you say the same word over and over again, it starts to sound peculiar. No matter how you pronounce it – and then you can’t even remember what the word means. Well, I have to admit, even though I use it often, I didn’t really know what Worcestershire sauce is – so I went on a little learning expedition. Here is what I’ve discovered…spoiler alert…
Mystery Ingredients Abound
As is the case in any discovery trip, you need to be sure you really want to know the answer to your quest. When I am traveling and really hungry if I encounter something that tastes good but I can’t really identify it – I don’t want to know what it is that I am eating. I am usually happy to write the experience off as a “mystery” food experience. That way, my preconceived notions of what I thought the ingredient might have tasted like don’t inhibit my immediate enjoyment of the meal.
That strategy has served me well, except when something I eat just tastes nasty and I can’t force myself to even consider taking one more bite, and although that has only happened a handful of times – in those cases I have wanted to identify the mystery ingredients to ensure that I do not encounter them again. And I apologize to all of you who love blood sausage, I just can’t do it – once was enough.
I am an adventuresome eater and have had the delightful experience of tasting some incredible food as a result. I am also aware that the everyday cook with the everyday eater in their home may not choose to be so bold. If you want that kind of experience, I know that there are sites out there that will take you down that path. You can even request special “what’s cooking” events with Mama Caruso too…but today we are exploring Worcestershire sauce. Spoiler alert, there are some ingredients included that some of you may have previously had preconceived expectations about. If you don’t want to know – don’t read the next paragraph and skip ahead to the correct pronunciation section.
Worcestershire Sauce Spoiler Alert
Although there are a variety of ingredients listed on different bottles, and those ingredients vary based on the country in which they are manufactured here are the most common ingredients:
- soy sauce
- blackstrap molasses
- vinegar (often malt-vinegar) and…
- as well as various seasonings.
Fermentation is involved. I could not find a consensus about the various seasonings, nor natural ingredients, and there is wide speculation about the closely held brand and trade secrets so I will not add any fuel to that flame.
I do know that there are gluten-free Worcestershire sauces available for those who require a gluten-free product and so be sure to look closely at the labels if you are cooking for someone with a food sensitivity or allergy. Gluten sneaks in from a number of places, and Worcestershire sauce is example of those sneaky spots.
How Do YOU Pronounce Worcestershire Sauce?
If you want to learn about the correct pronunciation, you can go online and listen to people with a variety of accents “correctly” pronouncing Worcestershire sauce. I can’t be the only person who has trouble with this word, since there are a plethora of websites instructing individuals how to pronounce Worcestershire sauce. How about you? What kitchen words do you have difficulty wrapping your tongue around? I’d love to hear about your kitchen pronunciation challenges. Surround me with good company! From your kitchen to my ears – I look forward to enjoying!