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Speaking about sauce in general

fawnridge (Ricky)
last month
last modified: last month

Barbecue sauce is a hotly argued topic no matter where you go in the world, so I'm not going to stoke that fire here. Instead, I'm curious as to how others see sauces when it comes to various food items.

For example: most white meat fish have little to no taste and rely on the addition of flavor through a rub or marinade or a sauce. Serving plain baked white fish rarely happens in a restaurant. Instead, there's always an interesting sauce to give the bland meat some sparkle. You can get away with serving baked salmon without a sauce and probably an oily fish like mackerel, but plain grouper or even red snapper will require something to make your taste buds enjoy it. Hey, don't pop that shrimp into your mouth until you dunk it in cocktail sauce.

Hot sauce is another spicy topic. I have friends that swear it's never hot enough for them. Hand them a ghost pepper and they'll chew it like bubble gum. I used to eat my food with a serious dousing of hot sauce as well, but these days, I'd rather taste the meat than the sauce. For what a nice ribeye steak costs, I want to savor every mouthful without any other flavor but the charcoal-grilled beef. Of course, I like every other person who eats, have exceptions. Jerk chicken needs jerk sauce if you want an authentic meal.

Another group of meats that chefs seem to favor saucing are the expensive cuts of beef like Chateaubriand and fillet Mignon. For what you have to pay to eat one, I don't want the meat flavor overwhelmed by gravy in the disguise of some fancy sauce. My first thought, when I get a steak dinner that's covered in sauce or gravy is, "What are they trying to hide?" Of course, any good chef would retort by saying that the sauce compliments the meat. Nah, not so much.

Ketchup is a sauce. For that matter, so is mustard. Could you eat a hamburger without ketchup or a hot dog without mustard or ketchup or both? We've let our taste buds become dependent on sauce and maybe the time has come to cut back. Let's face it, sauce is not the healthiest part of the meal. And I'm not talking about some lemon juice and garlic on that white fish. I'm talking about sauces that are heavy in fats and oils and plenty of sugar. I guess if you want to live forever, the sauces have to go. If meat was cheap and poor quality, sauce would save the day. But meat is expensive and only getting more so. For what it costs to have a nice dinner, I want to taste the actual food and know that my guests are enjoying it as well.

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