The Mother Sauces of French Cooking Foodies Should Know


French CuisineFrance is not only famous in the fashion industry, but in the food industry as well. Their cuisine has its distinct taste and flare to it, and attached to that are their internationally acclaimed chefs.

If you are a food enthusiast, then you might have heard of some of these sauces (if not all). There are five primary sauces hailing from France and these sauces are Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise, and Tomat.  says secondary sauces such as demi glace come from these.

How can you tell the sauces apart?

Made with different liquids and thickeners, each sauce has its distinct color and taste. Three (Béchamel, Velouté, and Espagnole) out of the five primary sauces use roux as a thickening agent. But, what makes it different from each other is the amount of time it spends being cooked, which eventually comes out in different consistencies shades of color ranging from lightest to darkest.

As far as tastes go, each sauce also uses different herbs and spices to come up with a distinct taste. Béchamel use salt and pepper as seasoning, but you can also add nutmeg into the mix. Velouté does not use any additives, as it only serves as a base. Espagnole uses brown stock tomato purée and mirepoix. You can make Hollandaise out of lemon juice, egg yolks, swiftly whisked on a double broiler, adding the butter gradually, and topped off with salt and cayenne pepper. You can make Tomat out of mirepoix, salt pork, butter, tomatoes, and flour.

Which sauce do you use for certain main ingredients?

For each sauce, there are certain main ingredients you cook or serve it with. Because each sauce has a distinct taste, though used on the same main ingredient, the finished product will taste different.

  • Béchamel: Fish, Egg, Pasta, and Steamed Vegetables and Poultry
  • Velouté: Fish, Egg, Pasta, Steamed Vegetables and Poultry, and Veal
  • Espagnole: Roasted Lamb, Duck, Beef, and Veal
  • Hollandaise: Asparagus, Fish, Beef, and Eggs
  • Sauce Tomat: Fish, Egg, Pasta, Steamed Vegetables and Poultry, and Veal

Now that you got the basics out of the way, why not delve into secondary sauces as well. Experimenting with food is a great way to discover new tastes to savor.

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