A thickened liquid that is flavored or seasoned to enhance the flavor of the food that it is to accompany. The sauce can be sweet, sour, spicy, or savory and may be added to the food to become part of a main dish or used as an accompaniment to the food being prepared. Sauces add a variety of features to foods, such as complimenting or enhancing flavors, succulence, attractive appearance, and additional texture. Initially perfected by the French, all sauces are now universally categorized into one of 5 groups of sauces serving as a base or foundation for others sauces and referred to as the Grand or Mother Sauces. This group of sauces must be able to prepared in large batches for use as a foundation for making smaller versions that are seasoned and flavored separately, but all using one of the 5 Grand Sauces as their base. The Grand Sauces include:
1) Brown (demi-glace) or Espagnole - sauces that are brown stock-based, such as brown sauces. Common sauces in this group include Bordelaise, Chasseur, Chateaubriand, Diable, Diane, Estragon, Lyonnaise, Madère, Madeira, Moscovite, Mushroom, Piquante, Porto, Robert, Romaine, Tarragon, and Zingara.
2) Velouté - sauces that are made with white stock and roux. Common sauces in this group include, Allemande, Ravigote, Suprème, and White Bordelaise.
3) Béchamel - sauces that are made with milk and pale roux. Common sauces in this group include Crème, Mornay and Soubise.
4) Red or Tomato Sauces - tomato based sauces. Common sauces in this category include spaghetti sauce, marinara and a wide variety of tomato sauces.
5) Emulsions - sauces that are emulsified such as hollandaise or mayonnaise.