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Sunday, July 12, 2009

All about Sauce

A sauce is liquid or sometimes semi-solid food served on or used in preparing other foods. Sauces are an essential element in global cuisines and are used to enhance flavour and visual appeal to a served food.


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Sauces may be ready made sauces, usually bought, such as soy sauce, or freshly prepared like Béchamel sauce, generally made just before serving. Sauces for salads are called salad dressing. Sauces made by deglazing a pan are called pan sauces.


Sauces in French cuisine...

Several varieties of sauces are available in French cuisine; known for their unique flavour & taste and basically derived from 4 mother sauce (grandes sauces).

  • Béchamel: based on milk, thickened with a white roux.
  • Espagnole: based on brown stock (usually veal), thickened with a brown roux.
  • Velouté: based on a white stock, thickened with a blonde roux.
  • Allemande: based on velouté sauce, is thickened with egg yolks and heavy cream.

Sauces in other cuisines:

Sauces also play an important role in other cuisines

  • British cooking: Gravy is a traditional sauce used on roast dinner, which (traditionally) comprises roast potatoes, roast meat, boiled vegetables.
    Bread sauce is one of the oldest sauces in British cooking, flavored with spices brought in during the first returns of the spice missions across the globe and thickened with dried bread.
    Apple sauce is used on port and mint sauce is used on lamb.
    Salad cream is sometimes used on salads.
    Ketchup and brown sauce are used on more fast-food type dishes.
    Strong English mustard (as well as French or American mustard) are also used on various foods. Custard is a popular dessert sauce.
  • Italian sauce: White sauces (alfredo and balsamella) and red sauces (siciliana, pescatore, napolitan, pizzaiola, amatriciana, arrabbiata, ragù and pesto sauces mainly based on oil and garlic.
  • Salsas: Salsas or sauces in Spanish like pico de gallo (salsa tricolor), salsa cocida, salsa verde and salsa roja are a crucial part of many Latino cuisines containi ingredients like tomato, onion, and spices.
    Mexican cuisine uses a sauce based on chocolate and chillies known as Mole.
    Argentine cooking uses more Italian-derived sauces, such as tomato sauce, cream sauce, or pink sauce (the two mixed).
  • Japanese cuisine: sauces are based on soy sauce, miso or dashi.
    Soy based sauces - Ponzu (citrus-flavored soy sauce) and yakitori no tare (sweetened rich soy sauce)
    Miso based sauces - gomamiso, miso with ground sesame and amamiso (sweetened miso). Chinese cuisine: contains prepared sauces based on fermented soy beans (soy sauce, doubanjiang, hoisin sauce, sweet noodle sauce) including chili sauces and oyster sauce.
    Sweet and sour sauce is a popular Chinese rice.
  • Korean cuisine: doenjang, gochujang, samjang and soy sauce are popular sauces available in Korean cuisine.
  • Southeast Asian cuisines: Fish sauce is a popular sauce in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
    Peruvian cuisine: sauces are based mostly in different varieties of ají combined with several ingredients, like salsa huancaína (based in fresh cheese) and salsa de ocopa (based on peanuts or nuts.)

Sauce variations:

  • There are also many sauces based on tomato (like tomato ketchup, tomato pancake sauce, and tomato sauce), other vegetables and various spices.
  • Sauces can also be sweet, and used either hot or cold to accompany and garnish a dessert.
  • Another kind of sauce is made from stewed fruit, like apple sauce and cranberry sauce, are often eaten with specific other foods (apple sauce with pork, ham or potato pancakes; cranberry sauce with poultry) or served as desserts.

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