Mrs. Hudson’s first thought when she observed Holmes’ ghastly deterioration in “The Dying Detective,” was to summon Watson. Her second thought was Bovril. Bovril was invented to feed French troops in 1886. A like recipe, Oxo, was a popular addition to WWI rations and a sponsor on the 1908 London Olympics.
According the to modern day Epicurious site:
“It’s a dish that goes back in time to the days when the British were trying to find the essence of what gave beef its nutritional value. Since this was before vitamins and protein were known, they weren’t sure what they were looking for. Along the way, somebody noticed that this very mild liquid was soothing and comforting. Give it a try when you’re feeling under the weather, but don’t go looking for a scientific reason for its effectiveness.”
Don’t overlook the worthy directors of the 1895 Bovril Company, noted in the lower right hand corner, nor the perhaps equally extreme representation of the waistline of the woman who weighs in on the drink and its weight in gold.
Don’t overlook the fact that Bovril is still available!