Classification of Sauces or Types of Sauces

Béchamel Sauce or White Sauce:

Béchamel sauce, or white sauce, was a sauce most often served to the rich or to royalty. Made out of a roux of flour, boiled milk and butter, the creamy-white sauce added a smooth touch to white meats such as chicken, vegetables and eggs. In the years before refrigeration, milk products were rarely used in the recipes of the average French housewife.

Espagnole Sauce or Brown Sauce:

This sauce starts with a dark brown roux, veal stock, beef, bones, vegetables and seasonings. It is heated, skimmed and reduced. After the initial reduction, tomato sauce is added, and the sauce is further reduced. The entire process is time-consuming, taking hours (if not days) until the sauce is ready. The flavour of Espagnole sauce is concentrated and intense, so it is rarely served directly on food.

Veloute Sauce or Blond Sauce:

Thickening a white stock with an appropriate amount of pale roux, then stirring it until it is completely cooked out makes this ivory coloured, lustrous sauce. It should be smooth and thick enough to nappe.

Tomato Sauce:

There are several approaches to making a tomato sauce. It should have a deep, rich, tomato flavour, with no trace of acidity and bitterness. There should be only hints of supporting flavours from stocks, aromatics and pork fats when used.

Tomato sauce is coarser than any other of the grand sauces because of the degree of texture that remains even after cooking and at times pureeing the tomatoes.

Demi-Glace Sauce:

This is a highly flavoured glossy sauce. It literally translates, as “half glace”, a demi-glace of excellent quality will have several characteristics. It should have a full, rich flavour. The aromatics should not be overpowering; it should have a deep brown colour, be translucent and glossy when correctly reduced. It should be of nappe consistency.


A simple mayonnaise is a foundation for a number of sauces. Mayonnaise is very easy to make if one follows a few rules. First, have all the ingredients at room temperature before beginning. Add the oil very slowly, drop by drop, at the beginning until the sauce begins to emulsify; then add the remainder in a steady stream without risk of breaking the mayonnaise. If the sauce does separate, whisk in teaspoon mustard in a warm, dry bowl until creamy (mustard helps to emulsify the sauce). Then gradually whisk in the remaining mayonnaise.

Hollandaise Sauce:

Hollandaise sauce is a rich sauce featuring egg yolks and butter. While France made its own butter for many years, they imported butter from Holland during World War I. During this time, the sauce formerly known as “sauce Isigny” became known as Hollandaise sauce. When butter production resumed in France, the name remained the same. Making Hollandaise sauce requires practice to get it right. Care must be taken so the butter doesn’t curdle.

Hot Butter Sauce:

White butter sauce – beurre blanc – A hot butter sauce based on vinegar. Vinegar is reduced with fish stock and shallots. Cold butter cut in small cubes is added and the mixture is whipped until smooth, the warm liquid and cold butter producing an emulsion. The sauce is served with fish dishes.

Cold Butter Sauce:

Example of Cold Butter Sauce is Beurre Blanc or French Butter Sauce; is made with butter, shallots, vinegar or white wine, and lemon juice. Spoon this silky, decadent sauce over fish or chicken, or try pooling it under pork chops.

Tomato Ketchup:

Tomato ketchup is a sauce but is used as a condiment. Although original recipes used egg whites, mushrooms, oysters, grapes, mussels, or walnuts, among other ingredients, the unmodified modern recipe refers to tomato-based ketchup.

Soya Sauce:

Soy sauce also spelt as soya sauce, is an East Asian liquid condiment of Chinese origin, traditionally made from a fermented paste of soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds.

Worcester sauce:

Worcestershire or Worcester sauce is a fermented liquid condiment created in the city of Worcester in Worcestershire, England during the first half of the 19th century. The creators were the chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, who went on to form the company Lea & Perrins.

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