Mother of Sauces French Cuisine

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When it comes to food, each country has its own style and possibilities. Countries and even certain areas within countries have put their own cuisine on the world map. One of these countries that really has a leading cuisine is France. When you talk about food, the country of France will always have played a major role. Not a recipe article today, but a knowledge base article. A knowledge base article on the 5 Mother of Sauces. What is it and what sauces are they? This article explains all of this.

What is the definition of 5 Mother of Sauces

The meaning of the 5 Mother of Sauces:

”The 5 Mother of Sauces are the five fundamentals sauces in the Modern Cookery”.

History 5 Mother of Sauces

A sauce is an essential element in a dish and can have different flavors. A sauce can be cold or warm. A well-known example of a cold sauce is Tzatziki and a warm sauce is Mornay. You can buy many sauces packaged in the supermarket. The best-known examples are Mayonnaise, Ketchup, Soy sauce or Worcestershire Sauce.

The history of the Mother of Sauces, in Dutch: moedersauzen, started hundreds of years ago. In the Middle Ages, sauces were already used in French cuisine. French cuisine was further refined in the 1900s. A chef named Marie-Antoine Caréme has made a list of original recipes. This list of sauces has been compiled in a book called: The Art of French Cuisine in the 19th century.

In the 20th century, the list was revisited and shaped into what we know today as: the Mother of Sauces. This list contains 5 sauces that form the basis of modern cuisine. These five sauces are:

  1. Béchamel
  2. Espagnole
  3. Velouté
  4. Hollandaise
  5. Tomato

Below we will briefly discuss the five sauces.


mother of sauces hollandaise
Mother of Sauces: Hollandaise for vegetables, Fish and Eggs


The first sauce in the 5 mother of sauces is Bechamel. Bechamel is a milk based sauce that gets thickened with flour. You only need a few ingredients to make this sauce. You let the butter melt completely in a saucepan. Then you add flour. You now get a roux. Keep stirring the pan well. When the roux has formed, slowly and gradually add warm milk. Keep stirring well. When all the milk has been added you will see that you have a nice sauce! In fact, the sauce is now ready. You can always season it by adding salt and pepper. In addition, onions, cloves and nutmeg are often added. You use the sauce as a top layer on a lasagna.


The second sauce in the five mother of sauces list is Espagnole. Maybe you never heard about this sauce, but its a popular one. The sauce is a fortified brown veal stock sauce, thickened with a brown roux. Because the sauce looks brown, its also familiar with the name Brown Sauce. The sauce is made with brown stock, roux, thomatoes and mirepoix.


The third sauce on the list is velouté. Velouté is a light stock sauce. To make the sauce you need stock, roux, egg yolks and cream. It’s a simple sauce to make. There are variations of the sauce. When you use chicken stock, you will get chicken velouté. Other options are veal or fish.


The fourth sauce is Hollandaise. Hollandaise is an emulsion of butter and vinegar (or lemon). For the emulsifier you need to use egg yolk. You can use the sauce for vegetables and Eggs and is also popular in combination with Seafood.


The fifth sauce of the mother of sauces is Tomate. Like the name is telling you, the sauce is based on tomato. To make the sauce you need the follow ingredients: salt belly of pork, onions, bay leaves, thyme, tomato purée or fresh tomatoes, roux, garlic, salt, sugar, and pepper. You can use the sauce for pasta or pizza.

After explaining the 5 sauces, it’s time to talk about the derivatives. If I made one of the sauces you can watch them here!


mother of sauces bechamel
Mother of Sauces: Béchamel for Lasagna


Derivatives of mother sauce

A sauce that is derived from the above sauces by adding ingredients is often referred to as derivatives of mother sauce, daughter sauce or secondary sauce. Examples of this derivatives are will be displayed below.


  • Cream Sauce
  • Mornay Sauce
  • Cheddar Cheese Sauce
  • Mustard Sauce


  • Lyonnaise Sauce
  • Chasseur Sauce
  • Port Wine Sauce
  • Marchand de Vin Sauce


  • Mushroom Sauce
  • Normandy Sauce
  • Bercy Sauce


  • Choron Sauce
  • Foyot Sauce


  • Creole Sauce


FAQ Mother of Sauces

Below you can find the most frequently asked questions:

What is 5 Mother of Sauces?
The 5 Mother of Sauces are the five fundamentals sauces in the Modern Cookery.

What are the five sauces?
The five sauces are: Béchamel, Espagnole, Velouté, Hollandaise and Tomate.

What is a derivatives of the Mother Sauces?
Every sauce has his own ingredients. If you add ingredients to the 5 mother of sauces you will get a daughter sauce or a secondary sauce. When you add ingredients to one of the five sauces you will get a derivatives.


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