The year - 1870. Napoleon was at war against the Prussians and needed huge quantities of beef to feed his army. John Lawson Johnston, a Scotsman, was given the task of suppying it but unfortunately, Britain did not have a large enough quantity of beef to meet the demand, so Johnston created a product known as 'Johnston's Fluid Beef'.
The name was later changed to “Bovril”. This comes from the Latin “bos” (ox or cow) and “Vril” from a popular novel The Coming Race where vril is a powerful energy giving fluid!
It has had a distinguished history apart from the obvious war time value. Bovril was drunk by Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition when they were on Elephant Island and many football enthusiasts have enjoy a thermos of hot Bovril at winter matches.
The uses are the same as that of Marmite – spread it on toast, make a hot drink with it add it to sandwiches or use it to flavour stews and gravy. My dog Eliot doesn’t seem to detect any difference between Bovril and Marmite – he loves both. [I wonder do mice like it? Neither the peanut butter nor the Crunchie have managed to entice the last one into the traps…]
So, there you are! Bovril is another favourite of mine and it rests in the same “love it or hate it” category as Veda and Marmite. Enjoy!