Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce (/ˌbʃəˈmɛl/;[1] French: [beʃamɛl]), also known as white sauce,[2] is a sauce that originated in Italy,[3][need quotation to verify] later introduced to France, made from a white roux (butter and flour) and milk.

Béchamel sauce
Béchamel sauce.jpg
Milk infusing with bay leaf, peppercorns, shallot and flat-leaf parsley prior to being added to the roux
Alternative namesWhite sauce, Salsa Colla
Place of originFrance Italy[citation needed]
Main ingredientsButter, flour, milk
VariationsMornay sauce

Known as Salasa Colla (Glue Sauce) in 14th century Tuscany,[4] it has been considered, since the seventeenth century,[5][6] one of the mother sauces of French cuisine.[7] It is used as the base for other sauces (such as Mornay sauce, which is Béchamel with cheese).[8] One typically finds the sauce in a lasagne, between the pasta sheets and above the upper pasta sheets (below the cheese topping).


The Italian origin of the sauce is Tuscany, specifically Florence.[citation needed] The sauce is a mainstay sauce of the Italian cuisine, particularly Emilian and Tuscan sub-cuisines whose ingredients remain butter, flour, milk and nutmeg. It is used in dishes such as Lasagne al Forno and Crespelle alla Fiorentina.[9][circular reference]Louis de Béchamel, Marquis de Nointel, was a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to King Louis XIV of France. The earliest mention of the name appears in Cuisinier François, the foundation of French cooking published in 1651 by François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678).[citation needed]

The sauce originally was a veal velouté, with a large amount of cream added.[10]

A recipe published in 1749 gave a modern and a traditional version of béchamel. The traditional one was made by melting butter in a pan, and then frying the peels of onions and root vegetables, green onions, and parsley in it; after cooking, cream was added, along with salt, coarse ground black pepper, and nutmeg. This was boiled, strained, and served with extra butter.

The more modern recipe was to fry minced shallot, parsley, and green onion in butter, adding cream, salt, coarse ground black pepper, and nutmeg, as before, but then to add additional parsley and serve without straining.[11] A 1750 recipe for turbot involved cooking the fish in broth, cooling it, and then reheating it in béchamel immediately before serving.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Béchamel definition". Merriam-Webster.
  2. ^ Durand, Faith (2010-11-10). "How To Make a Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce)". Kitchn. AT Media. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  3. ^ texte, La Varenne (1618-1678) Auteur du (1654). Le Cuisinier françois... par le sieur de La Varenne,...
  4. ^ Libro di Cucina del Secolo XIV, Ludovico Frati, Livorno 1899 https://warburg.sas.ac.uk/pdf/dch272b2372452.pdf
  5. ^ François Marin, Les Dons de Comus, ou les Délices de la table, préface par les PP. Pierre Brumoy et G. H. Bougeant, Paris : Prault Fils, 1739, pp. 103 et seq.
  6. ^ a b M.C.D. Chef de Cuisine de M. le Prince de *** [i.e. Briand], Dictionnaire des alimens, vins et liqueurs, leurs qualités, leurs effets... avec la manière de les apprêter ancienne et moderne..., Paris : Gissey, 1750, 576 p., p. 34 et seq.
  7. ^ Michael Ruhlman, The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef's Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen, New York : Scribner, 2007, p. 171.
  8. ^ Delmy Dauenhauer, 10 Ways to Use Béchamel Sauce, London : SamEnrico, 2015, ISBN 9781505738384.
  9. ^ it:Besciamella
  10. ^ Larousse Gastronomique.
  11. ^ Menon (17-17; écrivain culinaire) (1749). La science du maître d'hôtel cuisinier, avec des observations sur la connaissance & propriétés des alimens (in French). Paulus-Du-Mesnil (Paris). p. 535.

External linksEdit