Sauces may be used for sweet or savory dishes. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to a dish.
A sauce which is derived from one of the mother sauces by augmenting with additional ingredients is sometimes called a “daughter sauce” or “secondary sauce”.
Most sauces commonly used in classical cuisine are daughter sauces.
For example, béchamel can be made into Mornay by the addition of grated cheese, and espagnole becomes bordelaise with the addition of reduction of red wine, shallots, and poached beef marrow.
Many of them compose dishes from sauces including different kinds of soy sauce, fermented bean paste including doubanjiang, chili sauces, oyster sauce, and also many oils and vinegar preparations.
- Fats: Types of fat include vegetable oils, animal products such as butter and lard, as well as fats from grains, including maize and flax oils. They are used in a number of ways in cooking and baking.
- Proteins: Edible animal material, including muscle, offal, milk, eggs and egg whites, contains substantial amounts of protein.
- Water: Cooking often involves water and water-based liquids. These can be added in order to immerse the substances being cooked (this is typically done with water, stock or wine).
- Vitamins and minerals: Blanching or steaming vegetables is a way of minimizing vitamin and mineral loss in cooking.