- ATTENTION all Bovril fanatics! -

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The Bovril Shrine

It was during those halcyon high school days. Grade ten or eleven, I believe. A bunch of us were over at a mutual friend's house, watching videos down in the rec room and enjoying his magnificent microwaved frozen pizzas. In between movies we snooped around a bit, and stumbled upon a wonderful thing: the Bovril Shrine. Now, in case you're not savvy to the Bovril Way, I'll fill you in. Bovril, in essence, is liquid cow. There you have it.

(*NOTE- Since the fall of 2004, the Bovril recipe has changed from being cow-based to being vegetable-based. Most of this Web site's content was written before the changeover, "Old School" content if you like)

Mind you, this Bovril is the cat's pajamas for many people. Such uses as soup, toast spread, and hot drinks are just a few of the myriad of things Bovril can be found in or on. Anyway, back to the story.

Our friend, of course, denied that the huge Bovril banner was a genuine shrine we had found in his basement: it was merely part of a bunk bed styled after an old double decker bus, complete with advertising. It had long since been removed, and was placed religiously on his wall. But, as we explored through his kitchen cupboards, our suspicions were confirmed: Bovril everywhere, most of it being of the truly thick, molasses-looking variety that you have to import from England. I say "molasses-LOOKING", because molasses is just exactly the thing that Bovril DOESN'T taste like. Which is what I found out that night when our host offered us samples of it spread over toast. I think the best description of its taste is this: think of the saltiest thing you ever tasted, then think saltier. After our exposure to this bovine treat, our host regaled us in stories of his childhood days in Ireland, where he and his sister would sit under the breakfast table eating copious amounts of toast and Bovril, their father frantically trying to toast bread and spread the tarry liquid fast enough to keep up with his children's voracious Bovril appetites.

Years later, I had moved to Toronto, Canada, where I became a member of the Arts and Letters Club, a fine establishment with strong British roots. I struck up a conversation with the cook there one night, and we somehow made it on to the subject of Bovril. Her face twitched somewhat at the mention of the product, as she remembered having been force-fed the concoction when she was a young child in England. To this day, she loathes Bovril to the very depths of her existence (As an aside, she was also forced to drink draught Guinness as a child, and hates it as well. A pity on both accounts).

Ahh, but by this time I had fallen under the Bovril spell, and no one could weaken my love for the taste of liquid cow. These days, I often enjoy toast and Bovril, and occasionally enjoy a hot Bovril elixir before I retire for the evening. If you are still a Bovril virgin, I highly recommend taking the plunge!

BOVRIL is a registered trademark of Bestfoods.

If you would like to find the nearest Bovril oasis in your region, please contact Bestfoods using the following:
Consumer Affairs-   Telephone: (317) 231-8044   Fax: (317) 636-2120

CPC International Inc.
International Plaza, P.O. Box 8000
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632-9976 USA

And if you need the brown tarry concoction pronto, Stephen Murray sent along the number of British Delights:

+1 978 667 6328

In Stephen's words, "We have finally managed to get Bovril (vegetarian) cleared for sale in the USA again".

      I'll drink to that (By the way, Guinness and Bovril, a lovely combination).

For more on the wonders of Bovril, click here.

I recently received some correspondence from a Mr. Alan R. Goodwright, who wrote: To see some larger images of the pewter mug, please click here.

To contact Mr. Goodwright for further details, you can Email him by clicking here.

Perhaps you think that we're alone in our fanaticism, hmmm? Well my friend, perhaps you'd best read on...

* Jonathan's latest glorious recipe for Bovril: My preference is for a colour tone which looks slightly darker than well-aged oak. -JWH

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