A dark brown liquid made from anchovies, soy sauce, tamarinds, onions, garlic, salt, spices, sugar, and vinegar, Worcestershire sauce also contains secret ingredients that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is available for the table in various size shaker-style bottles, generally ranging from five to seven ounces, and in individual single-portion packs. There are also larger packs available for kitchen use.
Steak sauce is a single name covering a variety of preparations. All steak sauces, however, are dark reddish brown, thick sauces that generally contain soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, malt, tomatoes, fruits, salt, and spices. Even more than Worcestershire sauce, the formula of each steak sauce is a secret that is well guarded by each manufacturer.
Steak sauces are packed in tall, narrow-necked bottles that range from 5 to 15 ounces. The item is also available from manufacturers in single-service packs.
Chili sauce is most popular through the Sunbelt. Unlike its name, it is not a “hot” sauce. Instead, it is a mildly spiced-up version of ketchup. It is generally of coarser texture than ketchup, from the use of diced tomato and sometimes chopped green and red peppers and onions. It also uses garlic to provide flavor enhancement.
Chili sauce is red, comes in a tall, but wider-necked bottle than ketchup, and is used for flavoring much the same foods as ketchup. It is commonly packed in 12-to-14-ounce bottles, and in individual portion packs.
There are almost as many formulas for barbecue sauce as there are manufacturers, just as there is no standard size or shape packaging.
Most barbecue sauces are smooth, thin sauces that are poured from a narrow-necked bottle. They may range from a light brown to dark red in color, and may contain tomatoes, sugar, molasses, honey, vinegar, salt, onion, garlic, herbs, spices, and any of a dozen other flavoring ingredients. Some contain “smoke” extract, to give them smoky barbecue grilled flavor. The main characteristic, whether there is a smoky background flavor or not, is one of sweet/sour.
Bottles range in size from 6 to 12 ounces, although other capacities, as well as portion packs, may also be available.
Hot sauce is made of chili peppers and vinegar, and other “secret” ingredients. Some call it chili-pepper sauce, but hot sauce has been gaining acceptance as the generic designation. It is a bright red liquid in a shaker bottle when used as a table condiment.
Bottle size and shape vary widely, although most are packaged in a tall, thin-necked shaker bottle. Common sizes range from two to five ounces, plus portion packs.
The most common is white horseradish, but red (purple) horseradish is popular with some ethnic groups. It is made by adding a little beet juice to the sauce.
Horseradish is packed in bulk jars, tabletop jars, small tall bottles, and individual portion packs. Many operators serve it in condiment jars at the table, refilling them from a bulk pack in the kitchen.
Horseradish sauce is horseradish blended with a “cream” type sauce, similar to mayonnaise or hollandaise, to make a pourable, less pungent accompaniment for meat dishes.
Soy sauce is a salty, dark brown liquid made from fermented soy beans. There are almost as many soy sauce variations available to operators as there are soy sauce manufacturers producing the item.
American processors generally produce a milder, sweet sauce that is less salty. Chinese soy sauce comes in light and dark, with light sauce very mild and dark sauce very strong. Japanese soy sauce falls somewhere between the flavors of the available Chinese varieties.
Although Chinese operators will insist upon both light and dark Chinese soys for cooking, most of them have come to the conclusion that Americans prefer the Japanese style, and provide that for tabletop or portion pack use. It is commonly sold in four-to-ten-ounce long-necked bottles and individual portion packs.
Plum (or duck) sauce is the condiment that accompanies mustard in most Chinese restaurants. Originally made from plums, sugar, vinegar, soy, and spices, plums are no longer an essential ingredient, often being replaced by apricots or other fruits, even though the sauce may be labeled plum.
Plum sauce is generally packed in No. 10 or larger cans, glass or plastic gallon jars, and individual portion packs.
Taco sauce is a thin, reddish liquid made from chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. There is a wide range of hotness,” from a mild, slightly tangy version to one that is similar in bite to hot chili sauce. The milder versions will generally be used by taco stands and other operations catering to the American palate. Hotter versions will be found in operations along the Mexican border. Moderately hot types are in demand with ethnic operators in other parts of the country.
Taco sauce is packed in long-necked shaker bottles holding from two to ten ounces, and in individual packs.
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