In the culinary arts, the term “mother sauce” refers to any one of five basic sauces, which are the starting points for making various secondary sauces or “small sauces.”
A sauce is essentially a liquid plus some sort of thickening agent along with other flavoring ingredients. Each of the five mother sauces is made with a different liquid, and a different thickening agent — although three of the mother sauces are thickened with roux, in each case the roux is cooked for a different amount of time to produce a lighter or darker color.
Below we will break down the five mother sauces and show examples of some of the small sauces that can be made from each mother sauce.
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