Delicious food can elevate your mood, especially after a long hectic day. Thankfully, our world offers a vast diversity of tastes and flavours. What makes food even more interesting is the stories they embrace within; they narrate history and shape cultures. Big food lovers already know that.
Recipes are a great form of art; you toss and blend different ingredients to come up with insatiable flavours. Another great way to take your meal’s taste up a notch is by drizzling it in scrumptious sauces. Not only do sauces flavour your food, but they also have their own stories and come from different places worldwide.
We have gathered a wide array of sauces and condiments from around the world to make your meal fit for a king. Walk us through this flavourful list of irresistible sauces that will make you look forward to your next meal.
1. Versatile Hummus
Hummus is one of the world’s most appetising sauces that travelled its way from the Middle East to the rest of the world. Legends have it that this sauce goes back to ancient Egypt, adding royalty to the already-flavoursome condiment. Besides its delish taste, hummus has tremendous benefits and can pair with almost anything.
People use this chickpeas-based dressing in many different ways, either as a condiment on your sandwich, a side dip for your snacks, or a creamy sauce for your dish. No matter which way you prefer to eat it, it’ll always be a great addition to your meal.
2. Argentinian Chimichurri
Sauces and condiments from South America somehow seem to dominate the scene, especially the ones with their speciality spicy red pepper. Chimichurri is among the most popular sauces that originated in Argentina and are widely used across South American countries, especially Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
The sauce is made by mixing various vegetables and greens, including flakes of red pepper, parsley, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, and a hint of red wine vinegar. Its flavour can be described as a combination of tangy and spicy. Besides, it comes in two versions, red and green. The red contains more red pepper, Fresno pepper, and paprika. On the other hand, green chimichurri includes more greens and is often confused with Italian pesto.
3. Underrated Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is one of the oldest and most popular sauces the world has ever known, yet we believe it lost its way during this big sauce party. Also, people’s fear of mayonnaise grew, thinking it was the reason for the world’s obesity. This probably stemmed from the fact that mayonnaise is a staple sauce in most junk food, including hamburgers.
It’s time we take the blame off the mayonnaise and give credit to this French delicacy. Mayonnaise can flavour healthy sandwiches, green salads, and even healthy potato salads. It can also help in making your white sauce creamier and tastier.
4. Tahini with a Twist
Tahini is one of the world’s most consumed sauces thanks to its nutty flavour that perfects every meal it pairs with. This sesame-based sauce is quite popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, being a staple appetiser or side condiment. The best part is that this nut butter can craft the best sweet dishes, not only savoury ones.
Tahini halva, commonly known as Halawa in the Arab World, is one of the most popular desserts made with tahini and chopped pistachios. It’s a flavour that you can never get enough of. We’re still not done with this unique sauce, for it’s more versatile than you know. You can drizzle tahini over your salad, baked potatoes, fish and rice, and it’ll flavour up your meal.
5. Incredibly Rich Demi-glace Sauce
French cuisine is one that presents to the world exceptional dishes that come with pleasant sauces that speak of pure relishes. Demi-glace is a French sauce worth taking the stage and being in the spotlight. It is exceptionally delicious and can bring new flavours to your dish in more than a few ways.
Demi-glace means half-glaze or half-icing, which is used to embellish main courses. It’s that creamy sauce with rich brown colour used for drizzling grilled chicken or beef in most cases. That’s one way to use demi-glace, yet it’s not the only one. Moreover, demi-glace can also be used as a base to create other sauces that are used for amplifying the flavours of meats.
6. African Harissa to Fire Up Your Meal
Those fond of Mexican food that gives them dragon-y fire breath will indeed find rejoicing in African harissa. Harissa is a beautiful blend of chilli paste with a BBQ-like smoky flavour. It’s known to have originated in Morocco, but it’s still prevalent in other North African countries and the Middle East.
Harissa is among the most popular fiery sauces with aromatic notes that can pair well with hot stews and couscous dishes. It’s also a great addition to different kinds of sandwiches. The best part is that there are different heat levels, depending on your preference. Besides its fiery taste that spices up your taste buds, you’ll still feel the garlicky flavour that complements the heat.
7. Tzatziki Sauce Around the Mediterranean
Tzatziki sauce is known to be one of the authentic Greek sauces that come on the side of your dish to add a healthy flavour. However, it’s said that the Turks were the first ever to mix yoghurt and cucumbers, and it goes back to the Ottoman Empire. The sauce then travelled across the Mediterranean Sea to stay in Greece and other Arabic cuisines.
Tzatziki sauce is simply yoghurt and cucumbers well-blended and embellished with lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt, and garlic. It pairs with toasted pita bread, nachos, or crunchy veggie sticks. Thus, this sauce is a crowd-pleaser if you’re throwing a small party at your house or having a gathering. That doesn’t mean it can’t stand firm when it comes to bigger plates; tzatziki still pairs perfectly with different meat varieties, especially grilled beef.
8. Toumeya (Garlic Sauce)
If you’re looking for a sauce with an incredibly bold flavour and creamy texture, you won’t find it better than the renowned Middle Eastern garlic sauce, Toumeya. It’s most commonly consumed in the Levantine region along with Egypt. People add Toumeya to their shawarma wraps, shish tawook, falafel sandwiches, and even soups.
Garlic sauce is also suitable as a tasty dip for veggies. Its exceptional taste has made it quite popular around the Middle East, not to mention the citric notes that spruce its flavour and give it a tangier taste.
9. Guacamole: The Healthiest of All Mexican Sauces
Nachos and tortillas are all Hispanic delicacies that can’t be complete without the deliciously green guacamole. You can dip it in it, spread it over bread, or even enjoy it all on its own. The versatility of this sauce makes it more delectable and explains its popularity in different regions beyond the Latin borders.
Besides its rich flavour, guacamole is one of the world’s healthiest sauces ever, given the richness of ripe avocados used to make it. While mashing the avocados, you get to choose your desired texture. Some people prefer it too smooth, while others like to leave out some chunks for a crunchier feel. You can spread it over a toasted slice and give your taste buds a delectable tropical ride.
10. Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce (Salsa de Maní)
Salsa de Maní is a South American delicacy that originated in Ecuador and became a daily staple in Hispanic cuisine. It’s mainly a traditional peanut sauce made by chopping roasted peanuts into small pieces and blending it with tomatoes, pepper, coriander, salt, water, and onions. Upon crossing the Ecuadorian borders, several variants appeared on the horizon, so every region has its recipe.
A favourite variation of the sauce in the States is Salsa de Cacahuate, which includes chilli mixed well with peanut sauce. It’s one of those versatile sauces you can use with almost everything; however, it’s more commonly known to pair with seafood, boiled potatoes, and meats. However, according to Hispanics, drizzling the nutty-flavoured sauce over potatoes is the right way to eat it.
11. Black Mole Sauce (Mole Negro)
Black mole sauce is famous in Hispanic communities, and it goes by mole negro. Legends have it that the sauce originates in Mexico, using unique kinds of chillies and other ingredients. The word “mole” derives from the Nahuatl word “molli”, which means sauce. Thus, mole negro translates to “black sauce.”
The sauce is made from dried chillies and their seeds which possess a dark hue and give the sauce its black shade. The chilli is usually dried and smoked until it turns dark. The sauce is also made of nuts, prunes, and chocolates, all contributing to the black hue. Moreover, many herbs and spices, especially cinnamon, spruce up the flavour and give it a tangy sensation.
12. Middle Eastern Muhammara
Muhammara is an Arabic word that means “reddened”, which pretty much explains this palatable dip’s fiery hue. Although it originated in Syria, muhammara is among the most consumed sauces around the Levantine region. It’s also included in the mezze sauces served as appetisers before the main course, along with its sauce peers, tahini, baba ghanoush, and hummus.
People pair muhammara with pita bread, chips, or other finger food. It tastes spicy from the roasted red bell peppers and pomegranate molasses. The sauce also includes breadcrumbs and chopped walnuts. Like most Middle Eastern sauces, muhammara is embellished with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil for a perfect flavour.
Besides adding visual appeal to the dishes and turning them into mouthwatering meals, sauces are essential for adding a moist texture and insatiable flavour to every dish. Thanks to the diversity of the world’s culture, we’re now blessed with more than a few sauces and condiments that can draw smiles to our faces.