v. To cover or mix a food with a sauce. sauce n. In the most basic terms, a sauce is a flavored liquid designed to accompany food in order to enhance or bring out its flavor. In the days before refrigeration, however, sauces were more often used to smother the taste of foods that had begun to go bad. The French are credited with refining the sophisticated art of saucemaking. It was the 19th-century French chef Antonin Carême who evolved an intricate methodology by which hundreds of derivative sauces were classified under one of four "mother sauces": espagnole (brown stock-based), velouté (white stock-based), béchamel (milk-based), and allemande (egg-enriched velouté). Add to these a fifth groupemulsified sauces, such as hollandaise and mayonnaise. Myriad variations may be created from these five basic sauces by adding ingredients such as cheese, cream, garlic, herbs, shallots, spices and so on.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.