I recently bought a Worcestershire sauce from Costco called Lea & Perrins. They claim to be the authentic version of Worcestershire sauce. However I have read comments online that indicate that it is a knockoff or a fake version of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce from the UK.

Within the comments most people say that the difference between the two is that the US version uses distilled white vinegar as the main ingredient whereas the UK version uses distilled malt vinegar. Is there really a difference between the two?

  • I checked out that article but it doesn't make any mention of any differences between malt and white vinegar in the sauce itself. – yuritsuki Nov 9 '15 at 7:46
  • Given that Lea and Perrin's are owned by Heinz I would have thought that Costco would be unlikely to risk a full on visit by Heinz product lawyers by selling a knockoff. – user23614 Nov 9 '15 at 9:59
  • @user23614 I think the wuestioner said it was Lea and Perrins, not a knock off. – Escoce Nov 9 '15 at 15:39
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    It doesn't matter if it's the same name, as brands will make the same products according to different recipes for different markets. Hellman mayonnaise is significantly more vinegary in the UK than the US, for example. – Broklynite Nov 9 '15 at 21:48

There is some difference between the flavor, but seeing as there are so many other predominant flavors in Worcestershire sauce and that fact that you're (hopefully) not drinking it straight, it's fairly insignificant. It's very common for one product produced in different countries to have a range of manufacturing differences, sometimes arbitrary, sometimes to suit the local palate, and sometimes because of costs, hence people calling American Lea & Perrins a "knockoff."

I've had both, and can assure you that once you've mixed it into a casserole or marinade you won't really miss anything. If you're striving for needlessly authentic British flavor you could always add a little malt vinegar to whatever you're cooking!


Lea and Perrins in the tan label is the US recipe its not "fake" but its not the same as the UK recipe. It is authorized.

  • Can you please add a reference to back this up, so that we know that it actually is, and not something you heard? – user34961 Sep 24 '17 at 19:23
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    This is an ad from Tesco in the UK listing the ingredients Lea and Perrins in the UK tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/250179532 – s.voss Jul 23 '18 at 2:08
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    This is an ad from a Lea and Perrins ingredients in the US walmart.com/ip/… – s.voss Jul 23 '18 at 2:09
  • Notice the difference in ingredients and the color of the label. The US lea and perrins has a tan label. The UK lea and perrins has an orange label. – s.voss Jul 23 '18 at 2:10
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    I think that it is, but it would be helpful to edit that information into your post :) – Erica Nov 9 '18 at 15:35

Worchestershire sauce. Was invented by George Washington Carver. That basic recipe is still used. It is sold as a dry powder today. Shipped in 1 ton box's. to the makers. World wide. Or made there in Country. Once they have it. They may add as they wish to improve the flavor. Still call it Worcherstershire sauce as that is the base. So some different types can be found. Fixed for local taste. But still labeled as such.

  • As it was first sold in 1838 how did he invent it before he was born? – mmmmmm Mar 2 '17 at 16:15
  • Worcestershire sauce was first traded by John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins /Lea & Perrins) in 1837, but there were previous sauces with the same base of fermented anchovies. Worcestershire sauce is not a trademark and isn't protected so anyone can make a sauce an use that name. – roetnig Sep 25 '17 at 18:31
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    You might be thinking of peanut butter, which is often misattributed to Mr. Carver. It's frequently mistaken for Worcestershire sauce, but you can easily tell them apart if you know what to look for. A simple test is to place an open container in front of a dog. If the dog is able to eat the contents directly from the container, it's most likely peanut butter, but it could also be mayonnaise or marshmallow cream. If the dog has to spill the contents before lapping it off the floor, then you likely have something along the lines of Worcestershire sauce, ginger ale, or balsamic vinegar. – mrog Sep 25 '17 at 19:44

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