a sauce is liquid, creaming or semi-solid
food served on or used in preparing other
foods. Sauces are not normally consumed by
themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and
visual appeal to another dish. Sauce is a
French word taken from the Latin salsa,
meaning salted. Possibly the oldest sauce
recorded is garum, the fish sauce used by
the Ancient Romans.
Sauces need a liquid component, but some
sauces (for example, pico de gallo salsa or
chutney) may contain more solid elements
than liquid. Sauces are an essential element
in cuisines all over the world.
Sauces may be used for savory dishes or for
desserts. They can be prepared and served
cold, like mayonnaise, prepared cold but
served lukewarm like pesto, or can be cooked
like béchamel and served warm or again
cooked and served cold like apple sauce.
Some sauces are industrial inventions like
Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce, or nowadays
mostly bought ready-made like soy sauce or
ketchup, others still are freshly prepared
by the cook. Sauces for salads are called
salad dressing. Sauces made by deglazing a
pan are called pan sauces.