1/8/2016 – France’s Mother Sauces


Welcome to Five Course Trivia! Five days a week, we’ll post five questions about something from the culinary world, from soup to nuts and all dishes in between.

Each Friday, we’ll cover something in food that is good to know for trivia purposes or for general food purposes. This week, we cover the five “mother sauces” of France. All five are pretty vital in French cooking (and other cuisines), so knowing these five is pretty key.


Let’s go for a dip! (Get the sauce pun?)

Before we start, something you should know: French chef Auguste Escoffier standardized the list of five sauces in his book Le Guide culinaire, which was written to help streamline French cuisine abroad. Now on to the questions!

1. Hollandaise sauce is notably the sauce used on Eggs Benedict. It’s second most popular use is probably as a topping for a plate of what vegetable grilled?

2. Bechamel sauce is considered the easiest of the five sauces to make. What two basic ingredients are mixed together to create the mixture roux, where milk is then added to create the sauce?

3. As with all mother sauces, there are many “child” sauces. What white sauce can be made by taking the chicken type of the veloute sauce and adding mushroom liquor and cream? Without an accent over one of its letters, this sauce shares its name with the term for a chicken breast with the wing bone still attached.

4. What sauce is created after the mother sauce espagnole is combined with veal stock in equal parts, and subsequently simmered and reduced by half? It takes its name from the fact that 50% of the recipe is the meat stock?

5. Finally, sauce tomate is standardly tomato sauce flavored with salt pork, veal stock, garlic, and mirepoix. Mirepoix is the combination of three different vegetables. Name any two of the three vegetables used in mirepoix.

Next Monday: We’re putting it all on red (and white) with some questions about fine wine.

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1. Asparagus
2. Flour and butter
3. Suprême sauce
4. Demi-glace
5. Carrots, onions, celery

One thought on “1/8/2016 – France’s Mother Sauces

  1. Man… muffed a Hollandaise sauce on another game yesterday, and Bechamel today! Years ago, I had a wonderful poster with all the major French sauces, and many of their offspring, with recipes and instructions. It sat, attached to the inside of a cupboard door, untested for five years. Road to hell is well paved…


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