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Samosas accompanied by four sauces
A chef whisking a sauce

In cooking, a sauce is a liquid, cream, or semi-solid food, served on or used in preparing other foods. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to a dish. Sauce is a French word taken from the Latin salsa, meaning salted. Possibly the oldest recorded European sauce is garum, the fish sauce used by the Ancient Romans; while doubanjiang, the Chinese soy bean paste is mentioned in Rites of Zhou in the 3rd century BC.

Sauces need a liquid component. Sauces are an essential element in cuisines all over the world.

Sauces may be used for sweet or savory dishes. They may be prepared and served cold, like mayonnaise, prepared cold but served lukewarm like pesto, cooked and served warm like bechamel or cooked and served cold like apple sauce. They may be freshly prepared by the cook, especially in restaurants, but today many sauces are sold premade and packaged like Worcestershire sauce, HP Sauce, soy sauce or ketchup. Sauces for salad are called salad dressing. Sauces made by deglazing a pan are called pan sauces.

A chef who specializes in making sauces is called a saucier.



Sauce being brushed on satay in the hawker food court at Tanjung Aru beach, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia


In traditional British cuisine, gravy is a sauce used on roast dinner. The sole survivor of the medieval bread-thickened sauces, bread sauce is one of the oldest sauces in British cooking. Apple sauce, mint sauce and horseradish sauce are used on meat (usually on pork, lamb and beef respectively). Redcurrant jelly, mint jelly, and white sauce may also be used. Salad cream is sometimes used on salads. Ketchup and brown sauce are used on fast-food type dishes. Strong English mustard is also used on various foods, as is Worcestershire sauce. Custard is a popular dessert sauce. Other popular sauces include mushroom sauce, marie rose sauce (as used in a prawn cocktail), whisky sauce (for serving with haggis), Albert sauce (horseradish sauce to enhance flavour of braised beef) and cheddar sauce (as used in cauliflower or macaroni and cheese). In contemporary British cuisine, owing to the wide diversity of British society today, there are also many sauces that are of British origin but based upon the cuisine of other countries, particularly former colonies such as India.[1]

Caramel sauce


Sauces in French cuisine date back to the Middle Ages. There were many hundreds of sauces in the culinary repertoire. In cuisine classique (roughly from the end of the 19th century until the advent of nouvelle cuisine in the 1980s), sauces were a major defining characteristic of French cuisine.

In the early 19th century, the chef Marie-Antoine Carême created an extensive list of sauces, many of which were original recipes. It is unknown how many sauces Carême is responsible for, but it is estimated to be in the hundreds. Most of them have been listed in Carême reference cookbook "The art of French Cuisine in the 19th century" (In french : "L'art de la cuisine française au XIXe siècle")[2].

The cream sauce, in its most popular form around the world, was concurrently created by another chef, Dennis Leblanc, working in the same kitchen as Carême.[] Carême considered the four grandes sauces to be espagnole, velouté, allemande, and béchamel, from which a large variety of petites sauces could be composed.[3]

In the early 20th century, the chef Auguste Escoffier refined Carême's list of basic sauces in the four editions of his classic Le Guide Culinaire[4] and its abridged English translation A Guide to Modern Cookery. He dropped allemande as he considered it a variation of velouté,[5] and added hollandaise and sauce tomate, defining the five fundamental "mother sauces" still used today:

A sauce which is derived from one of the mother sauces by augmenting with additional ingredients is sometimes called a "daughter sauce" or "secondary sauce".[6] Most sauces commonly used in classical cuisine are daughter sauces. For example, béchamel can be made into Mornay by the addition of grated cheese, and espagnole becomes bordelaise with the addition of reduction of red wine, shallots, and poached beef marrow.

A specialized implement, the French sauce spoon, was introduced in the mid-20th century to aid in eating sauce in French cuisine, is enjoying increasing popularity at high-end restaurants.

In the European traditions, sauces are often served in a sauce boat


Italian sauces reflect the rich variety of the Italian cuisine and can be divided in several categories including:

Savory sauces used for dressing meats, fish and vegetables

Examples are:

Savory sauces used to dress pasta dishes

There are thousands of such sauces, and many towns have traditional sauces. Among the internationally well-known are:

Video illustration for making homemade pasta sauce

Dessert sauces

Latin and Spanish American

Middle Eastern

  • Fesenj?n is a traditional Iranian sauce of pomegranates and walnuts served over meat and/or vegetables which was traditionally served for Yalda or end of winter and the Nowruz ceremony.[7][8][9]
  • Hummus is a traditional middle eastern sauce or dip. It originated in Egypt, but is considered as a traditional food of many Arab countries such as Syria and Palestine. It's made of chickpeas and tahina (sesame paste) and garlic with olive oil, salt and lemon juice.



  • Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce used both in cooking and as a table condiment for grilled meat.


See also



  1. ^ Colin Spencer (2011). British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History. Grub Street Publishers. ISBN 9781908117779. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ Carême, Marie-Antoine (1784-1833) Auteur du texte (1833). L'art de la cuisine française au XIXe siècle : traité élémentaire et pratique,.... T. 2 / par M. A. Carême,...
  3. ^ Carême, Marie Antonin (1854). L'art de la cuisine française au dix-neuvième siècle (in French). 3. Paris: Au Depot de librairie. p. 1. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Escoffier, Auguste; Gilbert, Philéas; Fétu, E.; Suzanne, A.; Reboul, B.; Dietrich, Ch.; Caillat, A.; et al. (1903). Le Guide Culinaire, Aide-mémoire de cuisine pratique (in French). Paris: Émile Colin, Imprimerie de Lagny. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ Escoffier, Auguste (1907). A Guide to Modern Cookery. London: William Heinemann. pp. 2, 15. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ "Small Sauce". Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Sifton, Sam. "Fesenjan". cooking.nytimes. Nytimes.
  8. ^ Khoresht-e, Fesenjan. "Persian Food Primer: 10 Essential Iranian Dishes". Tasnim. Tasnim news. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ Noll, Daniel. "Iranian Food: A Culinary Travel Guide to What to Eat and Drink". uncorneredmarket. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Jaimoukha, Amjad. "Circassian Cuisine" (PDF). Retrieved 2019.


Further reading

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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