Sauces: An Important Element to French Cuisine

In France it seems almost impossible to eat something plain. It always comes with some sort of sauce. Even of it's the most simple of sauces, it's still got something on it. It seems like even for a simple family meal they manage to cook with some of the most extravagant sauces as if it's no big deal. So here's how to make a simple French meal, with their not so simple style. 

There are dipping sauces and then there are sauces in which the food is cooked in. I'll keep it simple and start with the dipping sauces. Of course there is mustard. If you don't know what to serve anything with, mustard is the go to. Not ketchup, that's only for children. Another favorite is mayonnaise. Now I know half of you think mayo is the nastiest thing ever. Well here in France you can be expected to get mayo with your fries along with some mustard. And while it's not healthy, it's soooo good because it is hand made. Yep most people know how to make their own mayonnaise and it's so much better than the stuff we can buy in the stores in France and the States. The other sauces are things like aioli, which we know in the US, and bernaise which is a creamy herby sauce. My personal favorite is the poivre, or pepper, which is creamy and spicy like pepper. These sauces go with your meat but it depends on the meat and the way it's cooked. Just like wines pair with cheeses, sauces pair with meats. 

But then comes the sauce that the meat is cooked in or is poured on top before serving. People just whip up a béchamel sauce as if it's no big deal. It seems that even a steak can't be served without some sort of sauce, whether it's the juice from the meat or a pepper sauce, I still haven't seen anyone eat a plain steak. When the mom makes the kids chicken and I serve it to them, they always ask for the sauce. What sauce is this? You mean the fat in the pan? No, that's the sauce. Turns out it's an oil based sauce that the chicken is roasted with. And I did a big no no by not serving them the sauce. Oops! Is that why French cuisine is considered to be superior? Because even something simple turns out to be so complex?

The most confusing sauce there is

But wait! There is one sauce to bring shame to them all. And yes some people buy it to put on their burgers, but I still can't figure out what the heck it is. This sauce is called American sauce and seems to be the sauce for burgers. But why is it called American sauce? Do they think this is something that we would like? So one day I got brave enough to try it and it tastes like mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish all mixed together. It's like the worst Thousand Island dressing you've ever tasted! So once again, why do they call it American sauce when we wouldn't even serve it in the US? Do they think our food is that bad? How about French people stick to their sauces and not try to make anymore "American" ones. 

You Might Also Like


Comments? Questions? Advice? Let me know: