The Great Hall
Stupid Question About Mother Sauces The Great Hall: Stupid Question About Mother Sauces
By Point83702 (Point83702) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 09:47 pm: Edit

I was looking in "the food lovers companion" the other day and noticed it defines the mother sauces as Espagnole, Veloute, Bechamel, Hollandaise and Mayonaise, and Vinaigrette. I had never heard of vinaigrette being a mother sauce. I always thought red sauce was one, and so does everyone else in the kitchen. Did I miss the memo? I'd hate to give cooks heading to culinary school more bad information than necessay.

By Poochedm (Poochedm) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit

Don't worry, this is not a stupid question. The 5 mother sauces are: Espagnole, Veloute, Bechamel, Hollandaise AND Tomato. I have always felt that Mayonnaise should be included and indeed some food articles I have read do include it. Some may disagree, BUT, it is not considered in the 5. You are right about vinaigrette, it is not. I think if vinaigrette were to be included it would have to be under a more generic term such as ??? This should lead to some fun discussion. ChefDanP.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 08:21 am: Edit

vinaigrette isn't a sauce, it's a dressing. ;)

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 08:45 am: Edit

Same as mayo.......a condiment, not a sauce.....maybe mayo can be considered a Mother Condiment seeing as other condiments can be made from it but to call it a sauce?? And can there be other Mother Condiments??

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 04:11 pm: Edit

don't think so gibz... I don't think you spruce up ketchup or mustard nearly as much as you can w/ mayo. Would you consider helmann's or miracle whip the mother?

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 05:25 pm: Edit

Vinaigrette might be included in a modern sauce group but certainly not in the classics. It would be fun to list all of the fun salad dressings around right now!

By Poochedm (Poochedm) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 08:38 pm: Edit

How many sauces require emulsion? Does any sauce, or condiment, that requires emulsion = a sauce. Perhaps categorizing an emulsion as a sauce type, or sub-sauce type, would be more appropo? ChefDanP.

By Poochedm (Poochedm) on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 09:34 pm: Edit

Gibzo: I agree with Snuff about mayo. Personally, I would consider Hellman's the mother of commercial mayos, but that's a different debate for some. Miracle Whip, always on a BLT and that's about it for me. Uh-Oh, another debate. I do think that when you are making a sauce where mayo is the predominant element that it would be hard to call it a condiment, ie: Aioli or Skordalia or many others that use mayo as a base then add to it. I was told once that because it is egg base that it really should qualify under the Hollandaise sauce family. I said, "OK,lets heat it up and see what happens?" Heat it up very little and guess what you have? Warm mayo. LMAO. Heat it hot and you have a separated, oily, glump stuff. I think mayo is in a limbo where some feel it should be in the sauce category and others not. Mother sauce? Personally, I lean towards that because I can't think of another sauce that gives the same reaction in the finished product as mayo does. Put the correct ingredients together, whisk and, BLUMP-it's there. Well, maybe if you use a blender it goes BLUMP! LOL. Maybe it's just too basic and easy to prepare when you know what you are doing and it doesn't get the respect that it deserves. Tomato sauce? That doesn't take any brain trust but it certainly is considered a mother sauce because of the multitude of variations you can do with it. Perhaps the answer is the amount of variations you can use a mother sauce in to prepare a wider variety of other sauces with? As for Mustard? Condiment! ChefDanP.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 06:19 am: Edit

Hollandaise is the mother sauce which is an emulsion......mayo is a small sauce from the basic egg, fat emulsion

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 09:46 am: Edit

What I was saying was that mayo wasn't a sauce, like snuff's " vinaigrette isn't a sauce, it's a dressing". And the "mayo as Mother Condiment" was a tongue in cheek comment, not ment in any seriousness. As far as including the two in a "Mother Sauce" discussion is sacrelig! There are only FIVE mother sauces, and in "the Food Lovers Companion" she lists six and does not include Tomato. Then she goes on to say that, under her description for mayo, it is a dressing and never mentions it as a mother sauce, but does mention vinaigrette as a mother sauce!?!?!? Yes, I do believe that a new "classification" of modern sauces might be in order and that is where mayo and vinaigrette should land....NOT with the classic five.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 09:11 am: Edit

Why now????...they have both been around for a while!
They are both emulsions, not a sauce per se!
The five mother sauces are that!
Cold sauces/dressings/emulsions are "cold sauces"

Richard Hellmann was a deli owner in New York City in the early years of the 20th century. He made his salads and sandwiches with his wife Nina's mayonnaise. It was so popular, that he began selling it by the scoop, and then in bulk to other stores. In 1912 he built a factory for producing it in jars, and was an immediate success. His Blue Ribbon mayonnaise in jars contributed greatly to the surge in popularity of cole slaw as a side dish.

Mayonnaise is a cold emulsified sauce made with raw egg yolk, oil, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. It originated in the mid 18th century in Spain or France (although similar sauces had been made for centuries) and there are several stories of its origin. Mayonnaise in the U.S. must contain at least 65% oil by weight, vinegar and egg or egg yolk. It may contain seasonings but NOT turmeric or saffron because their yellow color might give the impression of added egg yolk.


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