The History of Sauces
Even Voltaire used to notice in a rather acrid manner that there are more than twenty religious sects in England but only one sauce. In that way he underlined that the English traditional cuisine was too poor and dull according to his opinion. But we never hear the same words addressed to the French cooking culture. Today one can find more than three thousand different sauces in the French cuisine and in the time of Voltaire there were a little fewer recipes.
That may seem strange but the most common and customary things begin to acquire different legends concerning their origin some years later. One may easily come across a couple of famous names if we begin to study the history of sauces.
All the popular and wide-known sauces were invented between the seventeenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century. What is interesting that the noble and well-born people were not ashamed to be the authors of the sauce recipes. For example the author of the bechamel sauce is believed to be the son of the famous diplomat Lois Bechamel, who was a marquis.
The plain onion sauce which is known to the modern people as soubise sauce is considered to be the dressing that was invented by the French Princess de Soubise in the middle of the eighteenth century. The mayo sauce that is familiar to everyone today is not supposed to be a posh thing. But its name the mayonnaise has definitely received from the topographical term Mahon. In 1782 French general Lois de Crillon conquered the capital of Menorca Mahon during his military serving in Spain. After the successful battle the French soldiers threw up a feast where the sauce made from the olive oil, turkey eggs and the lemon juice with a hint of the red pepper.