A world without sauces would be bland and unimaginable, but many of us still think meat and potatoes are as good as it gets. You may be in for a surprise once you discover the difference that an incredible sauce can do for your food. Check out these five must-try sauces that have made the world more flavorful.  

1. Bolognese


Photo courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography

Originating from Bologna, Italy, this sauce is guaranteed to elevate any basic pasta dish to a new dimension. At its core, Bolognese consists of slowly braised meat and tomatoes, but its subtleties make it melt in your mouth. Cuts of veal, lamb and pork are combined with highquality tomatoes and cooked at low heat for over four hours. The tender meat adds a rich flavor that juxtaposes beautifully with the bright taste of tomatoes and fresh herbs.

2. Panang Curry


Photo courtesy of templeofthai.com

Panang curry represents the soul of Thai cuisine by incorporating the aromatic Thai trinity of lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal (similar to ginger). The curry paste is cooked in coconut milk, uniting all the flavors and creating a super silky feel. Panang Curry works best when served with rice to soak it all up. For those of you who just order Pad Thai, Spoon encourages you to step outside your comfort zone.

3. Basil Pesto

Photo by Julia Maguire

When fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese come together, you have pesto. This sauce is not only simple and elegant but also has a gorgeous, vibrant, green color. Pesto pairs wonderfully with everything from pasta and panini to fish and chicken. The savory combination of aromatic basil and garlic with toasted nuts and freshly grated cheese is simply addicting.

4. Korma


Photo courtesy of Javier Lastras via Flickr

Korma‘s blend of aromatic spices balanced by light and creamy cashews and yogurt presents Indian cuisine at its finest. When poured over tender meat or vegetables, the gravy-like sauce is heavenly. You will find yourself scooping up every last morsel of Korma with some naan.

5. Molé


Photo courtesy of needlessspaces via Flickr

Molé was developed by the indigenous people of Oaxaca, Mexico when European colonists and Native Americans strongly influenced each other’s cultures. Molé’s lengthy list of ingredients blends fruity and spicy dry-roasted chiles with dark chocolate from both the New and Old Worlds. This combination of chiles and chocolate determines whether the sauce will be either black, red, yellow or green. Molé also includes all kinds of nuts and spices that give the sauce a complex flavor profile that works well on enchiladas or tamales.

The moral of the story: sauces are the key to fantastic food. They bring dishes together, and when made with love, are also quite memorable. We should never forget how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy great flavors.