Sauces are tasteful side dishes or accompaniments that are often served along with other preparations or are used in the preparation of other dishes in almost every cuisine of the world. Often served hot or cold depending upon the dish it forms a part of, the consistency may range from thick to water-like. Every part of the world has its own version of sauces, ranging from sweet and sour ones to salty and bitter as well.
The word “Sauce” is derived from a French word which translates to a relish that enhances the flavor of any dish it is used with. Various types of sauces have been developed in different cuisines all over the world. The French began with five mother sauces, namely Bechamel, Espagnol, Veloute, Hollanndaise and Tomato Sauce. Every cuisine developed its own wide range of sauce recipes based on locally available ingredients and eating habits of people. While some cuisines used fresh ingredients to prepare sauces, others used fermented juices or even meat drippings in order to prepare them.
Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation
Sauces can be prepared using innumerable types of ingredients ranging from fruits and vegetables to meats, flour, herbs and spices. Most of the sauces are prepared by pureeing, boiling or blending the ingredients together. Tomatoes are the basic ingredient for most of the sauce preparations all over the world, especially those that are served as an accompaniment to snacks or fast foods. Seasonings such as salt, pepper and mustard are used for flavoring sauces, along with spices and herbs such as chili powder, basil, cinnamon and mint.
Serving and Eating Sauces
Sauces are most commonly served as a dip, side dish or accompaniment to other food preparations. Almost every appetizer goes well with a specific type of sauce recipe. Sauces were traditionally used to cover the flavor of the food and to enhance the flavor, as is the case with gravy-based preparations, wherein the sauce is the liquid in which the food is cooked. Dipping sauces are mostly served along with the appetizers or starters and the food is dipped into the sauce while eating. Sauces can be served hot as well as cold, depending upon the recipe. The variety of sauces is so huge that they range from the everyday tomato ketchup to complex, delicately prepared wine based sauces.
Popular Sauce Variations
Variations of sauce recipes include preparations like condiments and chutneys. Condiments comprise of a variety of sauces which are added to food in small quantities, in order to enhance the flavor of the dish. Chutney is an Indian term for a thick and spicy semi-solid to liquid sauce, which is served as a side dish to food.
Miscellaneous Facts About Sauces
• Most of the sauces are commercially available, and the most commonly consumed Tomato sauce is commercially sold all across the globe by various manufacturers such as Heinz, Hunt’s and Kissan.
• Popular chefs in every cuisine have their own secret recipes for different types of sauces.
• Tabasco sauce was named after the river Tabasco. The inventor named it so just because he liked the name “Tabasco”.
• During the early times, the sauces were named after the name of the chef who invented it.