sauce

Definitions

Food

  • A liquid thickened by a roux, starch, beurre manié, egg yolks or blood, made by adding cream and/or butter or oil to a reduced cooking liquor or other liquid, or consisting of puréed vegetables or fruit. Sauce should have a smooth glossy appearance in most cases and a definite taste and light texture. It is used to flavour, coat or accompany a dish or to bind ingredients together. savoury sauces are usually based on stock, milk, wine or juices extracted from vegetables; sweet sauces on milk, fruit juice or puréed fruits. emulsion sauces are emulsions of fat or oil with vinegar or acid, and a few sauces are made by compounding butter with flavourings, by combining herbs and spices with vinegar and/or oil or from a variety of puréed beans, fermented products, nuts and the like.

Slang

  • noun alcoholic drink. In Britain this is a mainly middle-class euphemism employed particularly by heavy drinkers; the implication is that alcohol is liberally dispensed. There may also be a subconscious identification with soused.

Travel

  • noun liquid with a particular taste poured over food to give it an extra flavour

Origin & History of “sauce”

Sauce is one of a range of English words (others include salad, salary, and sausage) that go back ultimately to Latin sāl ‘salt’ (a relative of English salt). From it was formed the adjective salsus ‘salted’, whose feminine form salsa was used in vulgar Latin for a ‘brine dressing or pickle’. this later evolved into Italian and Spanish salsa ‘sauce’ (the latter adopted into English as salsa (20th c.)) and French sauce, from which English gets sauce. The derivative saucy ‘cheeky’ no doubt arose from the ‘piquancy’ or ‘tartness’ of sauces.

Saucer (14th c.) originally meant ‘sauceboat’, and was borrowed from Old French saussier, a derivative of sauce. The modern application to a ‘dish for a cup’ did not evolve until the 18th century.
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