The Five French Mother Sauces

During your online cooking courses, chances are you’ll run into a French dish that will require one of the “mother sauces” – one of the basic tenants of cooking “au francais.” In the early 19th century, the chef Antonin Carême created an extensive list of sauces, many of which were original recipes. It is unknown how many sauces Carême is responsible for, but it is estimated to be in the hundreds. In the late 19th century, and early 20th century, chef Auguste Escoffier consolidated Carême’s list to five mother sauces.
Kitchen Geekery broke down the five mother sauces into terms you can understand so you won’t be confused when you come across a French recipe:

Béchamel Sauce: When you picture French cooking, this is probably the sauce you are think of first. Butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg are all you need to make this simple but elegant sauce.

Velouté Sauce: This is similar to béchamel sauce, only you use stock rather than milk. This is a common addition to many light dishes with fish or chicken.

Espagnole Sauce: This is another sauce thickened by flour, but the butter is reduced until it is dark brown – which is why this is also commonly referred to as “brown sauce.” These sauces are very popular with international cooking schools at the moment, so brush up on your basics!

Hollandaise Sauce: You might recognize this brunch favorite. Made with egg yolks and butter, this decadent treat is creamy and hot.

Tomato Sauce: This was the latest entry to the canon, and remains the base for all tomato-related entries, including ketchup, hot sauce, sauces for pizza or pasta, and even barbecue sauce.


One Comment

  1. I can only pronounce 2 of the five, where can I go to hear the pronunciation?