Posts tagged ‘Sauce’

February 26, 2013

Sofrito

Sofrito [soh-free-toh] is a combination of aromatic ingredients which have been cut in very small pieces, and slowly sauteed or braised in cooking oil for 15–30 minutes. In Spanish cuisine, sofrito consists of garlic, onion, peppers, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil, and is used as the base for many dishes.

Similar preparations are used in the cuisines of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and also some Latin American countries. It is called ‘refogado’ in Portuguese-speaking nations, ‘sofregit’ in Valencian cuisine, ‘epis’ in Haitian cuisine, and ‘ginisá’ in Filipino cuisine

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April 13, 2012

Mole

mole

Mole [moh-ley] (from the Aztec word for ‘sauce’) is the generic name for a number of sauces used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces. Outside of Mexico, it often refers to a specific sauce which is known in Spanish by the more specific name ‘mole poblano.’ In contemporary Mexico, the term is used for a number of sauces, some quite dissimilar to one another, including black, red, yellow, colorado, green, almendrado, and pipián. The sauce is most popular in the central and southern regions of the country, but eaten nationwide, particularly during celebrations.

In Mexico, to say ‘to go to a mole’ (‘ir a un mole’) means to go to a wedding. Three states in Mexico claim to be the origin of mole, Puebla, Oaxaca, and Tlaxcala. The states with the best known moles are Puebla and Oaxaca, but other regions in Mexico also make various types of mole sauces. Moles come in various flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. A classic mole poblano is a dark red or brown sauce served over meat. Mole has a strong flavor, especially the dark ones, and is considered to be an acquired taste for most. This has spawned another saying, ‘en su mero mole,’ which means something like ‘one’s cup of tea.’

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September 30, 2010

Garum

garum

Garum [gah-rum], similar to liquamen, was a type of fermented fish sauce condiment that was an essential flavour in Ancient Roman cooking. Although it enjoyed its greatest popularity in the Roman world, it originally came from the Greeks, gaining its name from the Greek words garos or gáron (γάρον),  a fish whose intestines were originally used in the condiment’s production. For the Romans it was both a staple to the common diet and a luxury for the wealthy. After the liquid garum was ladled off of the top of the mixture, the remains of the fish, called allec, was used by the poorest classes to flavour their staple porridge.

The sauce was generally made through the crushing and fermentation in brine of the innards of various fishes such as mackerel, tuna, eel, and others. While the finished product was apparently mild and subtle in flavor, the actual production of garum created such unpleasant smells as to become relegated to the outskirts of citie. Garum was prepared from the intestines of small fishes, macerated in salt and cured in the sun for one to three months, where the mixture fermented and liquified in the dry warmth, the salt inhibiting the common agents of decay. The end product was very nutritious, retaining a high amount of protein and amino acids, along with a good deal of minerals and B vitamins. Garum is still produced at factories in San Roque, Spain.

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September 12, 2010

Sriracha

sriacha

Sriracha [sir-rotch-ah] is a Thai hot sauce named after the seaside city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of central Thailand, where it was first produced for dishes served at local seafood restaurants. It is a paste of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. Sriracha was popularized in America by Huy Fong Foods, and is known as rooster sauce or cock sauce, due to the rooster featured on its label.