THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
A sauce is the crowning glory of any dish. From the basic "five mother" sauces, there are literally hundreds of variations of sauce that are used to dress, compliment, enhance and bring out the flavor of the food it is served with. Food is simply better with sauce. Nuggets need to be dipped; chopped steak, smothered; and macaroni, cheesed. The French have known this for quite some time, as evidenced by their culinary reliance on 5 classic sauces. Sauces play an important part of all cuisine. Sauces originally came about to mask the unpleasantness of food back when refrigeration was nonexistent. But today sauces have a much more happy place on our plate. Sauces are not to be consumed alone, they are accompaniments to dishes. Sauces add flavor to dishes, add moisture to drier foods, and they add nutrients. Classic hot sauces are divided into two groups: mother or leading sauces (Fr. sauce mere) and small or compound sauces. The five classic mother sauces are béchamel, veloute, espagnole (brown), tomato and hollandaise. Except for hollandaise, leading sauces rarely served as is; more often they are used to create the small sauces. The number of sauces in the world are endless. As long as chefs continue create amazing dishes, amazing sauces will be born. Although there is an endless aray of sauces, there are only five "Mother" sauces. Of these five sauces, any sauce can be created with a few modifications. Food is simply better with sauce. Many sauces require a similar base – a concentrated form of broth. This, too, is easy to make from meat or fish bones. In fact, the basic ingredients for making sauces are even more varied than those used in making soup; for example, a huge variety of sauces can be produced from a basic mixture of butter and eggs. Knowing the five basic mother sauces is as helpful to the food lover as it is to the chef. Understanding these sauces will help you read menus, decide what to...
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