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Sauces Reconsidered

by: Gary Allen

Latham MD: apres Escoffier Rowman 6 Littlefield 2019, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-5381-8

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2019 Issue: 26(3) page(s): 19

One in the Studies in Food and Gastronomy series, this one defining sauces, takes a worldview with humor, and is beyond ancient thoughts about them. This volume is in two parts, one with five, the second with seven chapters; the first one has sauces you may already know and is titled ‘Ancien Regimes.’ The second is titled: ‘O Brave New World.’

The first part does include: ‘So Many Rich Sauces, Old Wine in New Bottles, Nineteenth Century, The French Were Not Of Course The Only Sauciers, and The Modern World of Cooking Begins.’ Throughout both parts, Allen writes about sauces that readers can sense he lives for food and understands it. He provides advice on how to incorporate ingredients in modern sauces and explains how ingredients work. In chapters titled: ‘Time for a Change, Solutions, Suspensions, Gels, Emulsions, Cultured Sauces, and Composites.’

He has written or contributed to several dozen books, most cookbooks, and this one has academic overtones with chapter notes but very few recipes. There are many things about sauces you may never thought about or ever known, some are popular, others may not be. Even his information may be from countries you may not know existed, or know the hundreds of sauces from more than a hundred countries discussed as he details information about their salt, taste, and more; and gives the reader many references.

Do not be frustrated by things you wished were there, simply glean from the chapter notes, references, and multi-page index enjoying, learning, and using his valuable info using his ideas and do try and taste them in your cookery.

They offer depth and flavors to satisfy, learn from, and be delighted by. We found many things, even in his eleven-page chapter notes, six-page bibliography, and eleven-page two-columns index at the end. However, there was something missing, a list of recipes discussed and folks mentioned; going back, we had trouble relocating many in both areas.

There were some that were basic, a few with ingredients we never thought to include when cooking ours. Many could vary your foods, many were super, and his fine taste buds and knowledge were worth devouring as we thought of them in every dish he mentioned. Reconsider your own sauces, make them, and devour them all.

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