What Does Worcestershire Sauce Taste Like?

If there was a way to measure the power of a flavor based on how difficult the word is most people to say, worcestershire would rank high. worcestershire sauce looks like a tongue twister and a string of syllables used as a sauce label, and it has a unique flavor in its own right.

But what does it taste like? What do you add it to?

Worcestershire sauce has a very distinct taste. One way to describe the taste is like anchovies or soy sauce.

What does worcestershire sauce taste like?

Let’s go over what’s in worcestershire sauce so you know how unique a flavor we are getting into. Note that the sauce is British, but is derived from a sweet thick Malayasian soy sauce that the British took home to recreate.

  • White vinegar
  • Molasses for coloring and sweetness
  • Sugar, sometimes cane sugar, in many less expensive sauces high fructose corn syrup is added
  • Garlic – providing a unique bite
  • Shallots – onion flavoring
  • Cloves and celery seed are often added
  • Tamarind to add sour flavor
  • In some cases, anchovies

So what do you get when you combine the above, fairly unique set of ingredients? A fairly thick, sweet, sour, and spicy flavor that can add a definite kick to a dish that needs it.

worcestershire can have a range, too. Some forms of the sauce are more sour while others offer a sweeter mixture, though still pungent with garlic and vinegar.

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If the sauce uses anchovies, you should certainly expect some level of fish flavor in addition to molasses and garlic.

What is the texture like?

worcestershire sauce is generally thick, though adding more vinegar can make it thin. The thickness of the sauce comes in part from the use of molasses, which gives it the slow, out of the bottle feeling.

Worcestershire sauce is generally not eaten by itself, but it has the potential to add some smoothness when added to a dish or rubbed on meats.

What does it smell like?

One unique way people test to see if they like a sauce is by sniffing it. Worcestershire sauce will have a heavy smell of garlic, vinegar, molasses and all the ingredients you see above. You’ll definitely get a nose full since much of your taste comes from smell.

Basically, the smell will be like soy sauce, only sweeter and stronger with garlic. Sniffing worcesteshire sauce is also a great way of clearing out your nose and making sure your sniffer is working.

The sauce isn’t likely pungent enough to be readily smelled when its on your plate or on the vegetables meat its served on though. 

How do I use worcestershire sauce?

An easy, honest answer to that question for most families is in dabs. worcestershire sauce bottles usually have a small cap with a small opening to prevent you from using too much. 

Why? worcestershire sauce is concentrated than other condiments like ketchup and mustard. You won’t want to slather it on a hot dog or rub your whole steak in it. Think of worcestershire sauce like steak sauce – it’s a powerful flavor, but you need only a few drops to get the effects.

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You might be thinking about soy sauce in the same context as worcestershire sauce, and you are right. Soy sauce is more one dimensional in flavoring, with a mostly salty taste. You should expect a blend of salty, sweet, and spicy with worcestershire sauce, which achieves “Umami” or a savory flavor.

That said, there are’t really any specific recipes for worchestershire. It’s more of a dip or marinade for beef, chicken, and fish than it is a standalone meal. Put worcestershire sauce in a sealed bag with your choice of meat or veggies and you’ll get a much more lively flavor.

You can also add worchestershire sauce to vegetables like beans and green beans to add some serious flavor to what be an otherwise boring dish – add some butter, too!

Are there health benefits to worcestershire sauce?

You might not think of a condiment as being able to provide many health benefits. 

Instead, worcestershire sauce has a few health benefits. Some of the ingredients like cloves, garlic, and B6 vitamins  are helpful for your immune system. 

The use of fish, like anchovies within worcestershire sauce can also help your joints feel less sore and more flexible. 

Some sites warn you about the sugar content of worcestershire sauce. The reality about high fructose corn syrup and sugar cane use is that the sauce is used in such small amounts that you might end up eating one gram of sugar, which is really very little.

The biggest thing to worry about with worchestershire sauce is salt. Like soy sauce, the worcestershire sauce can contain a good amount of salt. This is another reason why the serving size for the sauce is very small and concentrated.

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Where do I find worcestershire sauce?

You’ll most often find worchestershire sauce in the baking section of a grocery store. It will often be next to other similar sauces like soy sauce.

Above in this article are a list of many of the ingredients you’ll need to make the sauce too – it’s not a complicated recipe and can certainly be made at your home.


An unusual name as an unusual flavor. Worcestershire sauce is a condiment with a nice bite from it’s mixture of spices, garlic, vinegar, and even anchovies. The condiment comes from Britain, where it was originally used to flavor meats and soups. 

It’s now used in smaller amounts and offers some nice immune health benefits for people who use it frequently.