The Origins of the Modern Day Sauce and Dressing
The History of Sauces
The “mother sauces” were documented as the four foundation sauces that are still relevant today in the culinary world. The original mother sauces are as follows: bechamél, Espagnole (brown sauce), tomato and veloute, with hollandaise added as the fifth. In some ways, these sauces are the foundation of all sauces on the market. They are created from one of these foundation flavors; beef, chicken, fish, cheese, tomato, eggs or dairy. They can adjust in consistency from their base natures by reducing, or thickening with starches or gums; or you can emulsify with natural fats. Then these mother sauces are even further adaptable, by being made into an almost infinite number of smaller sauces.
The mother sauce is the base. What defines the smaller sauce is the garnish or ingredients added, to create an almost endless list of small sauces. These can either be very classic, nouveau or modern in their construct. Taking a brown sauce, and thickening it with fig puree, mustard, and reduced Pinot Noir, would be a very nouveau method. Taking vinaigrette and encapsulating it with a sodium alginate solution, dropped into a calcium chloride bath would be very modern.
A History in Dressings
Salad dressings date back to ancient times; beginning with a mixture of vinegar and oil. Greens were dressed by the Babylonians and Egyptians, who flavored their salads with spiced vinegar and oil. Mayonnaise is said to have been made mainstream by French nobleman over 200 years ago. These preparations added 200 years ago. These preparations added flavor and marked a potentially undesirable taste in the foods of that time. Potatoes, celery root, beets, parsnips, carrots and fish were also dressed with various combinations of vinegar, oil, mayonnaise and other emulsifications. Often mustard was added to boast the savory backbone and drive craveablity. These combinations would often be complemented with hard cooked eggs, that provide color, texture and a source of protein.
Prepared dressings became more popular after the turn of the century, when restaurateurs started bottling their signature dressings. Up until this point in time, home chefs and gourmands had to make their own dressings from scratch. Since it was difficult to store ingredients needed for the home cook all year around, the more shelf-stable commercial products were born as a convenience. In the 1920s, the commercial dressings were brought to market and gobbled up by consumers.
The Future of Sauce Usage
Sauces bring flavor, moisture and palatability to the forefront of a dish. A new use or category for sauces is simmering sauces. For the consumer, these can be packaged in convenient one-dish portion pouches. These more complex flavored sauces can be used to heat up precooked meat, added as a braising or stewing liquid to take the arduous process of making a sauce simple. These sauces provide a rich deep flavor profile and are simple to use, taking the culinary challenge out of the preparation. These sauces can be used with quick and “better for you” preparations that meet the consumer’s needs for convenience.
Many chefs view sauces as culinary arts in a bottle. With a collaboration of chefs and technical product developers, there is a wide variety of products on the market. This category seems to have a bright future and contains the means to please the palates of every demographic group; whether it be Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X or indeed Baby Boomers.
While flavor is a key driver, the nutritional component needs to be large focus. Managing salt, types of sweetener and fat is at the forefront on the minds of the consumer and hence we need to keep that in mind as developers.
Consumers want products that are lower in these types of ingredients and have a clean label. Product developers are beginning to create alternatives, which remove anything artificial, HFCS, chemical sounding ingredients, preservatives and artificial colors.
Developing with a clean label is possible, in our quest to develop on trend global ethnically inspired taste experiences with bold flavors.