National Sauce Month provides a great excuse to behave just a little saucy! The month is the time to celebrate the sweet or savory culinary magic that sauces bring to our tables. From the humble roots of ketchup to the more refined béarnaise, sauces are the unsung heroes that hold the power to turn ordinary meals into extraordinary feasts.
History of National Sauce Month
The origins of National Sauce Month are as mysterious and varied as the sauces everyone enjoys today. While the exact founding date and founder remain unknown, the importance of sauces in culinary history is undeniable.
Sauces have been around since the days of ancient civilizations – Phoenicia, Greece, and the Roman Empire. In those days, sauces were perfect for masking the taste of less-than-fresh food, as well as adding depth and flavor to any meal. A prime example of an ancient sauce is Garum, a fermented fish sauce that became a staple in ancient Roman cuisine.
Ancient cooks used this salty sauce much like we enjoy soy sauce today. It was crucial for adding umami to dishes. It was so widespread in ancient times that archaeologists found evidence of a Roman-era Garum sauce factory in modern-day Israel.
Asian cultures also have a long-revered sauce tradition. From Thai chili oil to the more familiar Japanese Teriyaki, Asian sauces have spanned centuries and are now welcomed in fusions with Western cuisine.
Don’t forget Latin cuisine — the geniuses behind those yummy salsas that are so addictive. From mild to super-hot or from salsa verde (green sauce) to the tomato-ey classic found at everyone’s favorite Mexican restaurants, there’s undoubtedly one to suit the taste buds. Don’t forget the tortilla chips!
In the 1970s, the term “special sauce” entered the popular lexicon, thanks to a certain fast-food giant’s secret concoction. That sauce became a cultural icon in its own right, highlighting the sauce’s role as a star in its own right.
National Sauce Month, celebrated every year, is the ideal way to relish every drizzle, dollop, and dunk that sauces offer.
How to Celebrate National Sauce Month
Sauce Sampling Safari
Embark on a culinary adventure in the kitchen or at a local restaurant. Try sauces from different cuisines — maybe tangy chimichurri from Argentina, fiery sriracha from Thailand, or find somewhere to enjoy a classic French hollandaise. Document this sauce sampling on social media with #NationalSauceMonth.
DIY Sauce Making
Unleash that inner saucier by creating homemade salsas and sauces. Start with classics like marinara or pesto, then experiment by adding other exciting twists. Who knows, it might just become the next big sauce sensation!
Sauce Swap Party
Host a sauce swap with friends or family. Everyone brings a homemade sauce, and exchanges them — like Secret Santa, but saucier!
Sauce Pairing Potluck
Organize a potluck with the main focus on the sauce. Guests can bring dishes enhanced by different sauces, creating a buffet of flavor combinations.
Saucy Movie Night
Watch films where food plays a central role, like “Ratatouille” or “Chef.” Every time a sauce is mentioned or shown, take a sip of a favorite drink (sauce-themed cocktails, like Bloody Marys, anyone?).
Learn about the history and making of sauces. Look for cooking classes or online tutorials focusing on sauce-making techniques.
Sauce-Inspired Art Day
Get creative with sauces as a medium. Host an art day where friends and family use different sauces to paint. It’s a bit unconventional, but who says ketchup can’t be a work of art? Just be prepared for a deliciously messy masterpiece! This can be lots of fun for the kiddos – just take the event outdoors and make sure they’re wearing old clothes.
Global Sauce Tasting Challenge
Challenge family and friends to try a sauce from as many countries as possible during National Sauce Month. Create a “Sauce Passport” and stamp it for each new country’s sauce that’s sampled. It’s a fun and tasty way to ‘travel’ the world from the comfort of the kitchen.
Saucy Storytelling Night
Organize a fun evening in which each person shares a story or memory of a specific sauce they enjoy. It could be about the first time they tried a particular sauce, a family recipe passed down through generations, or a funny incident ending in a sauce mishap. Accompany each story with a tasting of the sauce in question.