Originally Posted by gary b
Please list, and any info on each would also help.
What or who started this thread?
I`ve had a quick perusal of the posting and thought that it was maybe most appropriate to reply to you as you asked the original question.
First, let me say that I live in the UK and was trained in the French culinary tradition - just so that you know where I`m coming from.
Second, the "SAUCE MERE" or MOTHER SAUCES are basic sauces from which others are derived through the addition of other ingredients.
From my perspective, which may not be that of others, there are 5 sauce mere.
Bechamel - roux based and the liquid ingredient is milk infused with herbs and spices;
Veloute - roux based white sauce made from veal, chicken, fish stock or vegetable stock;
Espagnole - roux based made from browned flour and browned stock and from which demi-glace is then made.
Escoffier defines these as the three fundamental sauces.
In the 1934 edition of Ma Cuisine, Escoffier says of Tomato Sauce:
"Following this, we have tomato sauce, which also plays an important part in modern cookery" (page 17).
The two other sauces which make up the "Sauce Mere (Mother sauces) are, as I was taught:
Mayonnaise - cold emulsion of eggs, oil and acid ingredient, typically vinegar but may be lemon juice;
Hollandaise - warm emulsion of reduced vinegar and water, egg yolks and butter.
From each of these sauces variations may be made which are known as compound sauces.
Compound sauce of bechamel may be sauce mornay,
Compound sauce of veloute - veal veloute - sauce allemande;
Compound sauce of espagnole - demiglace
One can also go to double compound sauces, thus the sauce mere of ESPAGNOLE can be made into demi-glace (first compound) and with the inclusion of additional ingredients it becomes a double compound sauce..
Compound sauce of mayonnaise may be tartare sauce.
Compound sauce of hollandaise may be Bearnaise sauce or Sauce Pau - which is the same as Bearnaise but uses mint instead of tarragon and is divine with lamb.
However, having said all this, some questions remain unaswered. Classically, the "mother sauces" do not seem to include tomato based sauces. Is this right? Although, as I`ve said I was trained in the clasical Frech tradition, I recognise that we are now in the 21st century and the art of cooking must progress and move on.
Also, remember, great leaps forward were made in French cooking when Catherine De Medici left Florence, Italy to marry the Dauphin of France in the 15 century and who have perfected the art of tomato based sauces?
Also, the "mother sauces" do not include any sweet sauces, thus an egg custard sauce, and any derivative, is not included and neither is any vinaigrette based sauce.
I don`t feel that I have really answered you question. I suspect that, for me, there remain the classic "mother sauces" which are savoury in nature. Tomato sauce and its variations are the great gift of Italian cooking and dessert sauces will have to be a separate branch!
However, I hope this will remain a hotly debated topic, if only because it gets people thinking about culinary history, the present and the future.
All the best,