Add This Not-so-Secret Ingredient to All Your Party Snacks.

I love ham, roasts, potatoes and pies, but December is snack season for me. It’s time for textured, salty snacks, and the more of them, the merrier you’ll be. Apart from salt, there are two other flavors that turn a good snack into a great one: umami and tang. Worcestershire sauce has both.

Umami & Tang may sound like an insufferable natural wine bar, but these are essential flavors that can make all the difference for your party. I’m sure I could come up with a party appetizer that Worcestershire sauce wouldn’t improve, but it would take a long time and it’s not a particularly fun thought experiment. All my favorites are made even better by its presence, provided you get the real thing with fermented anchovies and tamarind. Anchovies add deep zest and a touch of funk, while the sharp, fruity tamarind flavor brightens and balances.

Start by adding it to a bottle of Heinz cocktail sauce ( along with prepared horseradish ) for a more flavorful shrimp cocktail; the quirky little fish in sauce complements the salted shrimp, tying it to the shore with a touch of earthiness. Then add it to the stuffed egg filling and let the mustard fight for a bit, as well as some deep dark sweetness in the form of molasses. It’s also incredible in cheese balls , cheese dips (both hot and cold ), or cheese toppings in savory custard puffs .

Do you need a pot of sticky sweet meatballs or little smokes in Worcestershire sauce? Not technically, but “necessary” is such a vague concept, and it will certainly give meatballs a more refined character (anchovies just know how to do it). Then there are the sauces – your spinach , your onion , the aforementioned cheese, your bean sauces – all enhanced by this incredible mixture of tiny fish, vinegar, onion, tamarind and molasses.

Add it to taste, stirring between each addition, until it’s a little more savory and slightly spicy, with just a hint of sweetness. Don’t sleep on cocktails either – a drop of dirty martini is transcendent and belongs (no doubt) to Bloody Mary .


Leave a Reply