AskDefine | Define sauce

Dictionary Definition

sauce n : flavorful relish or dressing or topping served as an accompaniment to food


1 behave saucy or impudently towards
2 dress (food) with a relish
3 add zest or flavor to, make more interesting; "sauce the roast"

User Contributed Dictionary





From sauce, from salsus ‘salted’.


  1. A liquid (often thickened) condiment or accompaniment to food
  2. cheek, impertinence
  3. booze, alcohol
  4. anabolic steroids


liquid condiment
  • Hungarian: szemtelenség
  • Finnish: soppa


  1. to apply sauce
  2. to give cheek



From salsus ‘salted’.



fr-noun f



  • /ˈ (Latin America) or /ˈsau.θe/ (Spain)


From salix ‘willow’.


  1. willow

Usage notes

Sauce is a false friend, and does not mean the same as English "sauce". The word for "sauce" in Spanish is salsa.

Extensive Definition

In cooking, a sauce is liquid or sometimes semi-solid food served on or used in preparing other foods. Sauces are not consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to another dish. Sauce is a French word taken from the Latin salsus, meaning salted. Sauces need a liquid component, but some sauces (for example, salsa or chutney) may contain more solid elements than liquid.
Sauces may be prepared sauces, such as soy sauce, which are usually bought, not made, by the cook; or cooked sauces, such as Béchamel sauce, which are generally made just before serving. Sauces for salads are called salad dressing. Sauces made by deglazing a pan are called pan sauces.
A person who specializes in making sauces is often referred to as a "saucier", a French term borrowed for its situational usefulness. Sauces are an essential element in cuisines all over the world. Some famous sauciers include Julia Child, Benjamin Christie, Yutake Ishinabe, and François Pierre La Varenne.

Sauces in French Cuisine

Sauces in French cuisine date back to Medieval times. There were hundreds of sauces in the culinary repertoire. In 'classical' French cooking (19th and 20th century until nouvelle cuisine), sauces were a major defining characteristic of French cuisine.
In the 19th century, the chef Antonin Carême classified sauces into four families, each of which was based on a mother sauce (Also called grand sauces). Carême's four mother sauces were:
  • Allemande, based on white stock, thickened with egg yolk.
  • Béchamel, based on milk, thickened with roux.
  • Espagnole, based on brown stock (usually veal), thickened with roux.
  • Velouté, based on a white stock, thickened with roux.
In the early 20th century, the chef Auguste Escoffier updated the classification, adding new sauces such as Tomato Sauce, butter sauces and emulsified sauces such as Mayonnaise and Hollandaise.
Most sauces commonly used in classical cuisine are derivatives of one of the above mentioned mother sauces. Mother sauces are not commonly served as-is, instead they are augmented with additional ingredients to make derivative sauces. For example, Bechamel can be made into Mornay by the addition of Gruyere, and Espagnole can be made into Borderlaise by the addition of reduced red wine and poached beef marrow.

Sauces in other cuisines

Sauces and condiments also play an important role in other cuisines:
Asian prepared sauces are not thick as they do not contain thickening agents such as flour. The thickening occurs in the last minutes of cooking when thickeners like corn starch are added.

Sauce variations

There are also many sauces based on tomato (such as tomato ketchup and tomato sauce), other vegetables and various spices. Although the word 'ketchup' by itself usually refers to tomato ketchup, other vegetables or fruits may be used to prepare ketchups.
Sauces can also be sweet, and used either hot or cold to accompany and garnish a dessert.
Another kind of sauce is made from stewed fruit, usually strained to remove skin and fibers and often sweetened. Such sauces, including applesauce and cranberry sauce, are often eaten with specific other foods (apple sauce with pork, ham, or potato pancakes; cranberry sauce with poultry) or served as desserts.

Examples of sauces

Béchamel family
Sauces made of chopped fresh ingredients
Hot sauces (Chile pepper-tinged sauces)
East Asian sauces
Southeast Asian sauces


  • Sauces
  • The Saucier's Apprentice
  • On Food and Cooking
  • The Curious Cook
sauce in Afrikaans: Sous
sauce in Arabic: صلصة
sauce in Bulgarian: Сос
sauce in Catalan: Salsa
sauce in Czech: Omáčka
sauce in Danish: Sovs
sauce in German: Sauce
sauce in Spanish: Salsa (gastronomía)
sauce in Esperanto: Saŭco
sauce in Persian: سس
sauce in French: Sauce
sauce in Indonesian: Saus
sauce in Italian: Salsa (cucina)
sauce in Hebrew: רוטב
sauce in Lithuanian: Padažas
sauce in Dutch: Saus
sauce in Japanese: ソース (調味料)
sauce in Norwegian: Saus
sauce in Polish: Sos
sauce in Portuguese: Molho
sauce in Russian: Соус
sauce in Sicilian: Sarsa
sauce in Simple English: Sauce
sauce in Slovenian: Omaka
sauce in Serbian: Зачин
sauce in Finnish: Kastike
sauce in Swedish: Sås
sauce in Turkish: Sos
sauce in Samogitian: Mėrkals
sauce in Chinese: 醬

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Colbert, French dressing, Italian dressing, Lorenzo dressing, Ritz sauce, Russian dressing, Smitane, Soubise, alcohol, all sorts, allemande, answer back, aqua vitae, assemblage, assortment, audacity, back talk, backchat, booze, bourguignonne, brass, brazenness, broad spectrum, brown sauce, budge, butter, cataplasm, cheek, cheekiness, condiment, conglomeration, corpse reviver, cream sauce, crush, crust, dash, dental pulp, disrespect, disrespectfulness, drink, duck sauce, egg sauce, espagnole, firewater, flavor, gall, gallimaufry, gravy, green sauce, grog, hash, hint, hodgepodge, hooch, hotchpot, hotchpotch, impertinence, impudence, infusion, inkling, insolence, intimation, jaw, juice, jumble, likker, lip, magpie, marinara, mash, mayonnaise, medicine, medley, melange, mess, mingle-mangle, miscellany, mishmash, mix, mixed bag, mole, mouth, mush, nerve, odds and ends, olio, olla podrida, omnium-gatherum, paper pulp, paprika sauce, paste, pasticcio, pastiche, patchwork, pepper, pepper sauce, pertness, pith, plaster, porridge, potpourri, poulette, poultice, provoke, pudding, pulp, pulp lead, pulpwood, rag pulp, ravigote sauce, remoulade sauce, roux, salad, salad dressing, salmagundi, salt, sass, sassiness, sauciness, savor, scramble, season, seasoning, shade, shallot sauce, smack, smash, snake medicine, soupcon, spice, sponge, sprinkling, squash, stew, suggestion, sulfate pulp, sulfite pulp, suspicion, sweet-and-sour sauce, taint, talk back, tartar sauce, tempering, thought, tiger milk, tinct, tincture, tinge, tint, touch, trace, vestige, vinaigrette, what you will, white lead, wood pulp
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1