Pyreness mountain range in southwest France). It is said that every chef at therestaurant tried to claim the recipe as his own.
(bay-shah-mel) - As the housewife in the 17th Century did nothave the luxury of modern refrigeration, they were wary of using milk in their recipes. Peddlers were known to sell watered down or rancid produce. Basically,only the rich or royalty could use milk in their sauces.In France, it is one of the four basic sauces called "meres" or "mother sauces"from which all other sauces derive. It is also know as "white sauce." It is asmooth, white sauce made from a roux made with flour, boiled milk, and butter. Itis usually served with white meats, eggs, and vegetables. It forms the basis of many other sauces.
There are four theories on the origin of Béchamel Sauce:
The Italian version of who created this sauce is that it was created in the14th century and was introduced by the Italian chefs of Catherine deMedici (1519-1589), the Italian-born Queen of France. In 1533, as part of an Italian-French dynastic alliance, Catherine was married to Henri, Dukeof Orleans (the future King Henri II of France. It is because of the Italiancooks and pastry makers who followed her to France that the Frenchcame to know the taste of Italian cooking that they introduced to theFrench court. Antonin Carème(1784-1833), celebrated chef and author,wrote in 1822:
"The cooks of the second half of the 1700’s came to know the taste of Italian cooking that Catherine de’Medici introduced to theFrench court."
Béchamel Sauce was invented by Duke Philippe De Mornay (1549-1623),Governor of Saumur, and Lord of the Plessis Marly in the 1600s.Béchamel Sauce is a variation of the basic white sauce of Mornay. He isalso credited with being the creator of Mornay Sauce, Sauce Chasseur,Sauce Lyonnaise, and Sauce Porto.
Marquis Louis de Béchamel (1603–1703), a 17th century financier whoheld the honorary post of chief steward of King Louis XIV's (1643-1715)household, is also said to have invented Béchamel Sauce when trying tocome up with a new way of serving and eating dried cod. There are nohistorical records to verify that he was a gourmet, a cook, or the inventor of Béchamel Sauce. The 17th century Duke d'Escars supposedly iscredited with stating:
"That fellow Béchameil has all the luck! I wasserving breast of chicken a la crème more than 20 years before hewas born, but I have never had the chance of giving my name toeven the most modest sauce."