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All About Sauces
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by: Celebrity Recipes Magazine

Sauces make good food. That's the reason why they are an indispensable tool (or perhaps even weapon) in a cook arsenal. Here are some more info on why sauces are here to stay...

  • Why do we need sauces? Sauces are primarily used in preparing food. They are indispensable for several reasons. They add flavor, they provide moisture to some foods (thus, making them easier to eat and digest) and lastly, they make food visually appealing.

  • Sauces can either be prepared or store-bought. An example of the former is b├ęchamel sauce which is prepared just prior to serving; while an example of the latter is soy sauce etc.

  • Sauces are very important to French cuisine. In fact, French cuisine's use of sauces is the main distinction it has amongst other culinary traditions. There are literally hundreds of sauces in French cookery most of which date back to Medieval times.

  • Originally, there were four classifications of sauces according to the great French Chef Antonin Careme. These are Allemande (based on stock, eggyolk and lemon juice), B├ęchamel (based on flour and milk); Espagnogle (based on brown stock and beef), and Veloute (based on light broth, fish, chicken and veal).

  • Sauce classification was further updated in the 20th century by another great chef Auguste Escoffier. He removed Allemande from the list and added egg-based emulsions - Holandaise and Mayonnaise. He also added another classification Tomate or Tomato Sauce.

  • Asia cookery also makes use of sauces. Unlike western sauces though, Asian sauces are generally not thick as they do not generally contain thickening agents. If thickening sauces are needed they are usually used only in the last minute of cooking. The favored thickening agents? Corn starch and arrowroot. The former is especially favored because it adds a shiny sheen to the sauces and dishes.

  • Another sauce unique to Asia is exemplified by the cuisine of Indonesia which makes use of a lot of sambal sauce. Sambal sauces are made from a variety of ingredients which are either pounded (the preferred method using a stone mortar and pestle) and/or blended.

  • The cuisine of South America (and Mexico which is technically in North America) also has its own unique sauce known generically as Salsa Cruda. Also known as raw salsa, these sauces generally make use of raw tomatoes, lime juice, chile peppers, onions, cilantro leaves etc.

  • The Philippines also has its own version of sauces that are either vinegar-based (e.g. sinamak) and fish sauce-based (e.g. fish bagoong with a souring agent). Unlike western sauces, however, these sauces are more commonly used as dips for a variety of cooked and perhaps, even uncooked

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September 19, 2017

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