Originally Posted by CraigC
I had never heard the term "pot cheese" (refering to ricotta) nor had I heard "macaroni" as an all encompassing word for pasta, until I worked with a guy from New Yorks little Italy. Same for Sunday gravy. So, where does tomato based salsa fit into the picture or sofrito?
Sofrito, and salsa are unique sauces. Tehre are, in French cooking, 5 mother sauces. From these come hundreds of small, or derivative sauces. I would propose that sauces that have their own, unique flavors and ingredients are derivatives of the mother sauce. Bolognese sauce woud be a small sauce (derivative sauce) of tomato sauce. The same is true for chili sauce, sofrito, cocktail sauce, marinara sauce, etc. Bechemel is a mother sauce. Add gruyere and it becomes Mornay sauce. Add Parmesano Regiano and it becomes Alfredo Sauce.
Most beef gravy could be considered a derivative of Espangole Sauce. Chick, pork, lamb, and fish gravies and sauces are derivatives of Veloute Sauce, and so it goes.
In most of North America, Tomato sauce is synonymous with Mainara. However, the sauce we use with goulash/slumgullion typically has fewer herbs and spices, and though we call it tomato sauce, it is more of a pomodoro, or sugo sauce. At least that's what I gather from reading about Italian tomato based sauces.
So, in the USA, we have effectively changed the meaning of marinara (my eldest sister insists on calling it MaryAnna sauce), just as we have changed what Scampi means, and what Bruschetta means.
We have such a cultural mix in America, that things just get changed all around, as people add their own spin to the language.
For instance, few of us know that salsa can be sweet, and wasn't invented by "Pace".
It's also and Italian word that means tomato sauce, just as it is in Hispanic. Both nations languages are Latin in origin. Many of the words are the same, though they may have picked up regional meanings.
Standardization is required for a people to understand each other. But it can get in the way, as well. I call a chinoix by that name. My DW bristles at it, and says that I'm putting on airs. I call it by that name because that's what it was called when I was introduced to the device. DW calls it a strainer, as do many from my part of the world.
Let's not get hung up on terminology, or jargon. As a tech report writer, my goal was to turn electronic jargon into something other people besides electrical engineers could understand. The English language is broad enough that we can take cooking jargon and simplify it. Maybe a good topic to start would be to make a standardized, DC cooking dictionary, that we can all agree upon, understanding that it is simply used so that we can all speak fluently about our shared love of cooking, and all things pertaining to cooking.
Seeeeeeya' Chief Longwind fo the North