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5 Moments in Sauce History That Changed The Way We Eat

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Whether it’s the classic brunch staple Hollandaise or Guy Fieri’s Donkey Sauce, human beings have always seemed to have a love affair with condiments. From the murky history behind Worcestershire sauce to the great French culinary tradition of the five Mother Sauces, here are five key moments in sauce history that have changed the way we look at everyday food.

1. The Mother Sauces

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Julia Child once said that “Sauces are the splendor and glory of French cooking,” and these days, no cook can take the title of master chef unless he masters the five mother sauces. The idea that these five sauces are the base of every chef's repertoire came from Antonin Careme, the founding father of French grande cuisine. He consolidated hundreds of sauces under five basic varieties, a sort of periodic table for chefs: white (Bechamel), blond (Veloute), brown (demi-glace), butter (hollandaise), and red (tomato). These sauces are the foundation of all French high cuisine and most Western dishes, from a simple marinara to the roux behind a classic macaroni and cheese.

2. Mayonnaise

Despite the claims of the mother sauces, the real mother of all sauces is mayo. It's the DNA that binds a variety of culinary superstar sauces—remoulade, aioli, Marie Rose, Ranch, tartar—together. There are several theories as to how this emulsion of egg and oil came to be the cream of the culinary world. One theory states that it originated after the French Duc de Richelieu defeated the British at the Spanish port of Mahon. Having no cream in the kitchen for a traditional sauce, the chef substituted olive oil. He named his new sauce "Mahonnaise" in honor of the Duc's victory, and paved the way for thousands of creamy, dreamy dishes.

3. Tabasco Sauce

When Maryland-born banker Edmund McIlhenny moved to Louisiana in 1868, he was so charmed by the local flavor that he decided to bottle his signature hot sauce (a simple recipe consisting of tabasco peppers, salt, and vinegar) into thousands of tiny cologne bottles, and Tabasco sauce was born. The original Tabasco red sauce measures in at 2500 to 5000 Scoville heat units. The scale, devised by pharmacist Wilbur L. Scoville in 1912, gives a measurement of spiciness based on the amount of capsaicin—the chemical responsible for heat—in hot peppers. A pimento pepper measures in between 100 to 900 Scoville units; a habernero chili comes in at 100,000 to 350,000 units; and law-enforcement grade pepper spray comes in at 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 units. Now found at restaurants all over the United States, it is Tabasco that has partially given Louisiana cuisine the reputation for being so spicy and flavorful.

4. Worcestershire Sauce

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This steakhouse staple was created by English chemists John Lea and William Perrins in the early 19th century. The official history, per Lea & Perrins, is that Lord Sandys, a nobleman living in the English county of Worcester, returned home from his travels in Bengal with a recipe for a sauce. He called up the chemists to recreate his find. Unimpressed with the first batch, they left the bottles to gather dust in the cellar. After a few years passed, they rediscovered their creation, dusted off the bottles and decided to taste the condiment once again. This seemed to be the trick as the aging process had apparently made it a delicious, tangy delight.

But Brian Keogh, who wrote the book The Secret Sauce - A History of Lea & Perrins, contested the official story. He cited the fact that the Sandys in Worcester line had ended in 1797, 38 years before Lea & Perrins are said to have met him. Additionally, no Lord Sandys had ever travelled to India, let alone had been Governor of Bengal. Despite the contested history, the sauce is universally said to be a product of the English presence in India. The concoction is a mixture of several ingredients, including cloves, soy, fish, vinegar, lemons, pickles, and peppers, and has been recreated by several companies, making it a sauce almost as ubiquitous as ketchup.

5. McDonald’s Special Sauce

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Who can forget the signature ingredients for the Big Mac? As the 1974 ad campaign boldly proclaimed, it features “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions—on a sesame bun.” The mysteriousness of the name “special sauce” stuck around, making consumers wonder what actually made the Big Mac all that special. It turned out, however, that the mixture it wasn’t really all that mysterious or secret: it turned out to be a mixture of store-bought mayonnaise, relish, and yellow mustard whisked together with vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Now that the recipe is available online, aspiring Ronald McDonalds can make the sauce at home. But still, the “special sauce” remains part of our culinary heritage, with many, including Fieri, trying to recreate the mysteriousness that makes a good sauce into a great one by simply changing the name.

8 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 3

[Warning: There are lots of Stranger Things season two spoilers ahead.]

Stranger Things season two is in the books, and like we all hoped, it turned out to be a worthy follow-up to an addictive debut season. Now, though, we’re left with plenty of questions, mysteries, and theories to chew on as the wait for a third season begins. But for everything we don’t know about what the next year of Stranger Things will bring us (such as an actual release date), there are more than enough things we do know to keep those fan theories coming well into 2018. While the show hasn't been officially greenlit for a third season by Netflix yet, new details have already begun to trickle out. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season three so far.


The third season of Stranger Things won’t pick up right where the second one left off. Like the show experienced between the first two seasons, there will be a time jump between seasons two and three as well. The reason is simple: the child actors are all growing up, and instead of having the kids look noticeably older without explanation for year three, the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.”


If the series’s second season was about expanding the Stranger Things mythology, the third season won't go bigger just for the sake of it, with the brothers even going so far as to say that it will be a more intimate story.

“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer said in an interview with IndieWire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”

Ross Duffer did stress, though, that as of early November, season three is basically “… Matt and me working with some writers and figuring out where it’s going to go.”


The second season ended on a bit of a foreboding note when it was revealed that the Mind Flayer was still in the Upside Down and was seen looming over the Hawkins school as the winter dance was going on. Though we know there will be a time jump at the start of next season, it’s clear that the monster will still have a big presence on the show.

Executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide: "There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into Season 3."

What does the Mind Flayer’s presence mean for the new crop of episodes? Well, there will be plenty of fan theories to ponder between now and the season three premiere (whenever that may be).


The Duffer Brothers had a lot of material for the latest season of the show—probably a bit too much. Talking to Vulture, Matt Duffer detailed a few details and plot points that had to be pushed to season three:

"Billy was supposed to have a bigger role. We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural story line that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three."

The good news is that he also told the site that this wealth of cut material could make the writing process for the third season much quicker.


Stranger Things already had a roster of fan-favorite characters heading into season two, but newcomer Erica, Lucas’s little sister, may have overshadowed them all. Played by 11-year-old Priah Ferguson, Erica is equal parts expressive, snarky, and charismatic. And the Duffer Brothers couldn’t agree more, saying that there will be much more Erica next season.

“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer told Yahoo!. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”

“I thought she’s very GIF-able, if that’s a word,” Matt Duffer added. “She was great.”


The season two episode “The Lost Sister” was a bit of an outlier for the series. It’s a standalone episode that focuses solely on the character Eleven, leaving the central plot and main cast of Hawkins behind. As well-received as Stranger Things season two was, this episode was a near-unanimous miss among fans and critics.

The episode did, however, introduce us to the character of Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has the ability to manipulate people’s minds with illusions she creates. Despite the reaction, the Duffers felt the episode was vital to Eleven’s development, and that Kali won’t be forgotten moving forward.

“It feels weird to me that we wouldn’t solve [Kali’s] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back,” Matt Duffer said at the Vulture Festival.


We're already well acquainted with Eleven, and season two introduced us to Eight (a.k.a. Kali), and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted to E! that there are probably more Hawkins Laboratory experiments on the horizon.

"I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," Levy said.


Don’t be in too much of a rush to find out everything about the next season of Stranger Things; there might not be many more left. The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the plan is to do four seasons and end it. However, Levy gave fans a glimmer of hope that things may go on a little while longer—just by a bit, though.

“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly. “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”

Big Questions
Why Do Fruitcakes Last So Long?

Fruitcake is a shelf-stable food unlike any other. One Ohio family has kept the same fruitcake uneaten (except for periodic taste tests) since it was baked in 1878. In Antarctica, a century-old fruitcake discovered in artifacts left by explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s 1910 expedition remains “almost edible,” according to the researchers who found it. So what is it that makes fruitcake so freakishly hardy?

It comes down to the ingredients. Fruitcake is notoriously dense. Unlike almost any other cake, it’s packed chock-full of already-preserved foods, like dried and candied nuts and fruit. All those dry ingredients don’t give microorganisms enough moisture to reproduce, as Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, explained in 2014. That keeps bacteria from developing on the cake.

Oh, and the booze helps. A good fruitcake involves plenty of alcohol to help it stay shelf-stable for years on end. Immediately after a fruitcake cools, most bakers will wrap it in a cheesecloth soaked in liquor and store it in an airtight container. This keeps mold and yeast from developing on the surface. It also keeps the cake deliciously moist.

In fact, fruitcakes aren’t just capable of surviving unspoiled for months on end; some people contend they’re better that way. Fruitcake fans swear by the aging process, letting their cakes sit for months or even years at a stretch. Like what happens to a wine with age, this allows the tannins in the fruit to mellow, according to the Wisconsin bakery Swiss Colony, which has been selling fruitcakes since the 1960s. As it ages, it becomes even more flavorful, bringing out complex notes that a young fruitcake (or wine) lacks.

If you want your fruitcake to age gracefully, you’ll have to give it a little more hooch every once in a while. If you’re keeping it on the counter in advance of a holiday feast a few weeks away, the King Arthur Flour Company recommends unwrapping it and brushing it with whatever alcohol you’ve chosen (brandy and rum are popular choices) every few days. This is called “feeding” the cake, and should happen every week or so.

The aging process is built into our traditions around fruitcakes. In Great Britain, one wedding tradition calls for the bride and groom to save the top tier of a three-tier fruitcake to eat until the christening of the couple’s first child—presumably at least a year later, if not more.

Though true fruitcake aficionados argue over exactly how long you should be marinating your fruitcake in the fridge, The Spruce says that “it's generally recommended that soaked fruitcake should be consumed within two years.” Which isn't to say that the cake couldn’t last longer, as our century-old Antarctic fruitcake proves. Honestly, it would probably taste OK if you let it sit in brandy for a few days.

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