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French Sauces

French Sauces

Mother Sauces is the term used to classify 5 sauces from which we can derive hundreds of different possibilities to crown our plates.

French chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1784-1833) was one of the principal investigators and classifiers of different sauces into four families: espagnole, velouté, allemande, and béchamel. Carême showed as possible to construct  from these four mother sauces a hierarchical system of preparation of sauces.  Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) promoted the culinary arts to the professional status and enhanced the classification of sauces previously made by Carême to: espagnole, velouté, béchamel, hollandaise and tomato. Escoffier's system taught the cooks of the twentieth century.

  • Espagnole (Spanish sauce) is a sauce of haute cuisine, of Spanish origin,  its basis is the use of a dark meat stock and is used to enhance stews
  • Sauce Velouté has the consistency of cream and is based on a light stock of meat, poultry or fish, is combined with a roux (flour fried with butter) and used as a basis for preparing sauces.
  • Allemande (German sauce) is a very delicate sauce, also called Parisian sauce is prepared with a base of dark meat stock or velouté, egg yolk and lemon juice, is very suitable for fish. 
  • Hollandaise sauce, is an emulsion of eggs and lemon juice, is prepared in a double boiler and should be used immediately,
  • Mayonnaise sauce, one of the most popular, egg and oil emulsion is used in vegetable dishes and fish
  • Bechamel sauce is a white roux (flour fried in butter) with milk, is widely used for grilling vegetables or pasta dishes