Worcestershire Sauce Clarified
In the 1830s, a retired British colonial governor named Lord Sandys returned to England from the Indian state of Bengal, carrying with him a recipe for a savory condiment consisting of anchovies fermented in brine. He asked a pair of chemists based in the town of Worcester, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, to try to replicate the mixture on a larger scale; their experiments allegedly yielded unappealing results. But instead of tossing it out, Lea and Perrins bottled the brew and left it in a basement. On opening the bottles two years later and bravely venturing a taste, they discovered that the resulting fermentation had produced a pleasantly flavored sauce. A patent was summarily obtained, and the rest is tangy history.