Sauces are an important part of many cuisines, especially French. Can you imagine your favorite French dish without a sauce? Hollandaise, bechamel, Espagnole, veloute and tomato -- these are the main sauces that were developed by master culinarians Antonin Careme and Auguste Escoffier. They called them the mother sauces -- and the name fits perfectly because each sauce can be further adapted to create different sauces or to fit different needs of a particular recipe.
The mother sauces are often used to dress dishes, but also serve as bases for other recipes. For example, bechamel can be a topping, as well as a base, for making macaroni and cheese or lasagna. Espagnole sauce can be reduced to a silky viscosity called demi-glace, which can further be used in recipes to add depth of flavor.
To learn more about the five French mother sauces, browse the gallery below. Watch the videos to learn how to produce the sauces at home.
What is your favorite sauce? Vote in the slideshow or leave a comment below.