Sauce is a type of preparation with a soft or semi-fluid consistency, either hot or cold, which accompanies food or is used to cook it. The name derives from the Latin «salsus» (salty), as salt has always been considered the basic condiment of all cooking. The function of a sauce is mainly to add flavour to a food, perfectly matching that of the dish.
Between the 19th and the 20th centuries the finest sauces were born, such as béchamel and mayonnaise, which Carême combined in the «chapter of sauces», dividing them into cold and hot ones. Hot sauces, much more numerous, are divided into white sauces and brown sauces, which include mother sauces like Spanish, bechamel and velvety sauce.
On the other hand, cold sauces always derive from a mayonnaise or vinaigrette. Besides these sauces, the classic repertoire of French cuisine added with time all those of foreign origin.