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Yorkshire Relish vs Worcestershire Sauce | Two Similar British Condiments

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If you place label-less bottles of Worcestershire sauce and Yorkshire relish side by side, you might not be able to tell the difference.

However, once you taste them you’ll notice that Worcestershire is savory or “umami” whereas Yorkshire relish has a spicy tomato flavor!

These are two delicious British sauces that can be used to add flavor and zest to a variety of dishes.

Yorkshire Relish vs Worcestershire Sauce | Two British Condiments

Worcestershire sauce is a vinegar, anchovy and tamarind based fermented liquid seasoning used as a marinade, condiment, and in many sauces. Yorkshire relish is a spicy tomato-based condiment that includes hot spices such as cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and paprika and is used to season fish and seafood.

Both are brown liquid condiments and can be used to season meat, seafood, and vegetables.

Worcestershire sauce is slightly tangy and flavorful, while Yorkshire relish is more savory and spicy.

While Worcestershire sauce is fermented, Yorkshire relish is traditionally made through a slow-cooking and reduced process.

In this article we’re exploring the main differences between these two British classic seasonings.

You’ll find out their origins, what makes them different and how they’re used in day to day cooking.

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What is Yorkshire relish?

Yorkshire relish, also known as Henderson’s relish or Hendos (popular slang) is a British seasoning with a spicy flavor.

Don’t be fooled by the term relish though, Yorkshire relish has nothing in common with the American relish made of chopped pickles.

There is no pickle ingredient in Yorkshire relish. The relish in Yorkshire relish refers to the fact that it is a condiment added to food to increase flavor.

It is traditionally used as an accompaniment to fish dishes, but can also be added to other cooked meats, sandwiches and salads.

The ingredients usually include onion, tomatoes, garlic, tamarind paste, hot peppers (such as cayenne pepper or paprika), sugar and salt.

This condiment looks almost identical to Worcestershire sauce if you compare the color and texture (both are runny) but their flavors differ.

What is Worcestershire sauce?

Worcestershire sauce is a savory, fermented liquid condiment originating from the English city of Worcester.

It was created by two chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, in 1837.

The ingredients include anchovies, molasses, tamarind concentrate, onion and garlic, as well as other seasonings.

The anchovies give the sauce its discernible “umami” flavor, while the molasses and tamarind provide sweetness to balance it out.

Worcestershire sauce is popular in a variety of dishes, from steak to Caesar salad. It can be used as a marinade or glaze for meats and even in cocktails.

Find the best Worcestershire brands compared here (also vegan and healthier options)

What’s the difference between Yorkshire relish and Worcestershire sauce?

First, there’s an important similarity: at the base of both sauces, you’ll find vinegar, which gives them their tartness.

Now let’s compare the two sauces and why they’re different.

Ingredients

As mentioned, vinegar is the main ingredient in both sauces, but their other ingredients differ. The most notable difference is that Yorkshire relish doesn’t contain anchovies.

Yorkshire relish includes tomato paste, cider vinegar, tamarind and English mustard along with a range of spices like horseradish powder and chili flakes; it’s this combination that gives it its unique flavor.

If we look at the Henderson’s original recipe, it is made with a spirit vinegar and acetic acid base, caramel coloring, and sugar and saccharin for sweetness.

Tamarind, cayenne pepper, and garlic oil contribute to its flavor.

When compared to other English sauces, Henderson stands out thanks to its use of cloves.

Worcestershire sauce also contains its own mix of spices, such as garlic powder and ground pepper but the base ingredient for the traditional recipe is anchovies with vinegar, tamarind, molasses and other flavorings to balance it out.

The ingredients are combined and then left to ferment for up to two years.

Manufacturing process

The main difference between Worcestershire sauce and Yorkshire sauce is that Worcestershire sauce is fermented, while Yorkshire relish is not.

Worcestershire sauce undergoes a long fermentation process, which is what gives it its intense flavor.

This process also means that it has a longer shelf life than Yorkshire relish, which has no fermentation involved and should be consumed within six months.

Yorkshire Relish is made by blending together the ingredients and then bottling it immediately to capture its flavor.

This process also helps to ensure that the flavor of the sauce remains consistent from batch to batch.

When making Yorkshire relish, the ingredients are carefully measured, blended and bottled to ensure that the same flavor is captured with each batch.

Flavor

The most important difference between Yorkshire relish and Worcestershire sauce is the flavor.

Worcestershire sauce is savory with an underlying tanginess, while Yorkshire relish has a sweet and spicy flavor profile.

The best way to describe the taste of Worcestershire sauce is umami and salty, while Yorkshire relish has a sweet tomato-like flavor with hints of garlic and peppers.

The Henderson’s relish is less salty than Worcestershire sauce and has a bit of clove and cumin in its flavor profile.

The predominant flavor of Worcestershire sauce is that of anchovies, while Yorkshire relish is dominated by the tamarind and mustard.

You can also taste the fermenting process in Worcestershire sauce, while Yorkshire relish has no fermenting process at all.

Uses

If you’re curious how to use these two sauces, here are a few ideas.

Both sauces can be used to season meats and vegetables, but Worcestershire sauce is often used as a marinade or glaze while Yorkshire relish is a condiment-style sauce.

Worcestershire sauce can be used as an ingredient for salad dressings, marinades and soups. It’s also a great addition to meatloaf, burgers, steak and other grilled items.

Yorkshire relish is often used as a condiment for fish dishes, salads and sandwiches. It’s also used as a base for sauces and stews.

Worcestershire is commonly used to marinate meat before grilling and smoking.

Worcestershire sauce is usually added to dishes as a finishing touch, while Yorkshire relish can be used as a primary ingredient in recipes because of its bold flavor.

Finally, both sauces can be used as a secret ingredient in recipes to add a unique flavor to your dishes.

So, while the two sauces are similar in appearance and have some overlapping ingredients, they are quite different in their flavors and uses.

Nutrition and allergens

Most brands of Yorkshire sauce make a gluten-free and vegan-friendly sauce.

Worcestershire sauce like the original Lea & Perrins contains anchovies so it is not vegan-friendly.

However, most sauce is gluten-free and there are vegan brands of Worcestershire sauce available.

In terms of nutrition, both sauces contain minimal calories and fat content with no saturated fat, no cholesterol and minimal sodium.

When it comes to health benefits, Worcestershire sauce contains several vitamins and minerals, while Yorkshire relish is high in antioxidants and lycopene.

Popularity

Worcestershire sauce is by far the more popular condiment. It is very popular in Britain, America, and Asian countries like Japan.

In fact, Worcestershire sauce is a base ingredient in Japanese dishes like Tonkatsu sauce, which is a Japanese sweet and savory sauce used as a condiment or marinade.

Yorkshire relish is not as popular and is mainly a regional product. While it has gained some traction in the UK, it’s still relatively unknown outside of the UK.

Worcestershire & Yorkshire sauce: common origins

Both Worcestershire and Yorkshire sauce are British – Worcestershire sauce was created in 1837 by Lea & Perrins is Worcester whereas Henderson’s Yorkshire sauce was created in Sheffield.

In the later 19th century, the Yorkshire sauce production was launched by Henry Henderson.

Up until 2013, Henderson’s Relish was made within half a mile of the original factory, located at 35 Broad Lane in Sheffield, where the first bottle was filled.

Shaws of Huddersfield acquired Hendersons in 1910 and continues to supply the company with vinegar.

Hendersons (Sheffield) Ltd. is a family-owned business that was founded in 1940 by Charles Hinksman.

Worcestershire sauce was created by two chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins from the English city of Worcester.

The original recipe was developed in 1837 and was used by the chemists to improve their own diets.

The popularity of Worcestershire sauce has spread across the world, while Yorkshire relish remains a traditional condiment in the United Kingdom.

Is Yorkshire sauce a good substitute for Worcestershire sauce?

Yes, Yorkshire sauce can be a good substitute for Worcestershire sauce, but the taste of the dish might change slightly because the sauces are quite different.

The color and consistency are very similar but Yorkshire sauce (Hendos) is spicy!

There’s a lot of heated debate when it comes to choosing between Worcestershire sauce or Yorkshire relish.

Worcestershire sauce and Lea & Perrins loyalists claim the sauce is much more flavorful and complex than Yorkshire relish.

Yorkshire relish fans, however, argue that the condiment has a unique flavor that can’t really be replaced by Worcestershire sauce.

Ultimately, the choice between the two sauces is up to personal preference. Both are excellent in their own way.

Yorkshire relish is often used as an alternative to Worcestershire sauce, but if you’re looking for a more complex and intense flavor, Worcestershire sauce is the better option.

Vegans often prefer Yorkshire sauce as it is usually vegan-friendly while Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies.

But if you’re planning to substitute one for the other, it’s important to note the subtle flavor differences between them.

Conclusion

Worcestershire sauce and Yorkshire relish originate from different parts of England and have different ingredients.

Worcestershire sauce is savory with a hint of tanginess, while Yorkshire relish has a sweet and spicy flavor.

Both sauces are used to season vegetables and meats, but Yorkshire relish can also be used as a primary ingredient in recipes because of its bold flavor.

If you’re wondering which of the seasoning sauces to use, consider whether you prefer spicy or savory food.

Next, let’s compare Worcestershire sauce to BBQ sauce in terms of consistency & flavor differences

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.