March is National Sauce Month

3 Mar

No matter what it’s called; we like sauces here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A!

Gravies, salad dressings, chutneys or whatever you prefer; sauces are mainly used to enhance the flavor or texture of whatever its served with or on.  But, that wasn’t always the case with the old humble accoutrement.

Did you know that the reason why sauces were  originally used? Sauces were used to disguise the taste of either poorly preserved food and food about to go bad. I swear, this practice is still relevant in some places to mask badly prepared dishes.  We’ve all been there before.

Thanksgiving, where the dryness of the signature dish can’t even be saved by a generous helping of the gravy.  In fact, the gravy tends to migrate to other parts of the dinner. Nancy Giles said it best when she said ” Thanksgiving is the only day when the gravy gets a pass to touch the other food on the plate.”  Yes, we are thankful for it.

And, let us not forget that our Italian-American friends call tomato sauce “gravy.”

To me, sauces are the highlight of the dish being served. It is the medium for which all of our culinary memories are made of.  At 15, I found it absolutely incomprehensible that the combination of cream, black pepper, egg yolks and Parmesan cheese could make pasta taste so good.

The enigma called sauce is even in pop culture. Secret sauce, special sauce, shit-on-a-shingle and the ever present “pork chops and apple sauce,” have made it into our daily lexicon.  Hell, we can’t even consume a sandwich without using either mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup. Yes, they are considered condiments; but, they are sauces nevertheless.

So what is your favorite sauce? I like a red wine demi-glaze. You cannot go wrong with that. As a celebration of all things sauce, I will post several sauce recipes throughout March.

So this month, remember to get your RDA of sauce!


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