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WHAT A SAUCE! THE BEST of FLORIDA

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Webster's definition of sauce (from the French sos, derived from the Latin salsus (salted))
1. a condiment or relish for food, especially a fluid dressing or topping
2. something that adds zest or piquancy
3. stewed fruit eaten with other food or as a desert

They all sound so simple, yet as we know can be so complex, seemingly only limited by the imagination of the creator. They span from the savory to the sweet and everything in between.

On one end you can start with Escoffier's "Mother Sauces" : Béchamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomato, and Velouté and all that are derived there from. On the other end are all the sweet sauces which put a smile on your face as surely as the former warm your heart.

Soy, salsa, pesto, hoisin, fish, gravy, mojo, chimichurri, chili, sour, butterscotch, chocolate, apple, and how could you forget ketchup which the French consider our greatest contribution to world cuisine. Thin, thick, cold, hot, creamy, light, salty, blond, dark, name it, chances are our bon ami senor sauce has it. Everywhere you look, every country you visit, the list just keeps growing.

One thing is for sure, food without sauces would be like movies without music. Sauces heighten the dish they accompany much like music punctuates the scene it plays in. Sometimes they serve as the perfect companion to a particular dish or in some cases they actually become the star in their own right. Either way, there is little doubt that without them our palate would never reach the heights and depths allowed by them.

It has been said that any cook who is not first a saucier is not ever a chef. Having said that, think of all those wonderful dishes you love and Please share with your fellow chowhounds those sauces that help make them great. Let us know "WHAT A SAUCE!" you've experienced in you Florida food.

I'll start by offering up perhaps the defining Miami "WHAT A SAUCE!" from its signature institution:

Mustard sauce - Joe's Stone Crab

So simple. Yet so good, that many times I find myself still dipping into it long after the claws are gone.

BTW, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Netwmover, because any Best/Top of Florida thread owes homage to the Net for bringing so many to the forefront of chowhoundom!

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  1. Staying with the "mustard" theme:

    Chinese mustard vinaigrette dressing - Wolfgang Puck Cafe/Express at Disney

    This tangy sweet invention is served with his famous Chinois Chicken Salad. A wonderful combination of roasted breast of chicken, romaine, radicchio, napa cabbage and strips of crunchy wonton skins. The dressing brings all the ingredients together in a wonderful explosion of taste and texture. Its small wonder that it remains one of Puck's all time creations.