Green sauce

Green sauce is the name of several different sauces containing mainly herbs, namely the Italian "salsa verde", the French "sauce verte", and the German "Grüne Soße" or "Frankfurter Grie Soß" (Frankfurt dialect).


The basic recipe is probably from the Near East and, as such, is probably at least 2,000 years old. Roman legionaries brought it to Italy, from where it was exported to France and Germany.Fact|date=April 2007 Evidence suggests that it was introduced in Frankfurt am Main by the Italian trading families Bolongaro and Crevenna around 1700. The German variant uses a different mix of herbs, since Mediterranean herbs were not available in Germany at the time.

Italian salsa verde

The Italian "salsa verde" is a cold rustic sauce, and includes parsley, vinegar, capers, garlic, onion, anchovies, olive oil, and possibly mustard. Traditionally, ingredients were coarsely chopped by hand but now it is frequently blended into a coarse sauce using a food processor. In some regions, cubed bread is soaked in vinegar and blended with the other ingredients, which creates an emulsion somewhat similar to a vinaigrette. In other regions, there is no bread. Salsa verde is used as a condiment or dipping sauce for meats, fish, poultry, or vegetables.

One well-known salsa verde is gremolata, the usual accompaniment to ossobuco alla milanese.

French sauce verte

The French "sauce verte au pain" was already known in the Renaissance, and was originally a bread sauce very similar to the Italian. Today, however, the term frequently refers to a kind of mayonnaise flavoured with tarragon, and sometimes parsley and sage. Lemon juice is often used instead of vinegar.

German Grüne Soße

There are two traditional types of Hessian Green Sauce which are popular in the Frankfurt am Main and Kassel area. The Frankfurt-style is made from hard-boiled eggs, oil (but not olive oil), vinegar, salt, and generous amount of seven fresh herbs, namely borage, sorrel, cress, chervil, chives, parsley, and salad burnet. Variants, often due to seasonal availability include dill, lovage, lemon balm and even spinach or basil. In more frugal times, daisy leaves, broad plantain leaves, and dandelion leaves were also used. Since the sauce is mainly an emulsion of fat and egg yolk, it may be classified as a kind of mayonnaise (although common mayonnaise uses raw yolks). Today, buttermilk, sour cream ("Saure Sahne" with 10 per cent fat, or "Schmand" with 24 per cent fat), quark, or yogurt is often added in order to reduce the oil content of the sauce. The green sauce typical of the city of Kassel is made with a sour cream base.

The sauce is served with peeled boiled potatoes, accompanying either hard-boiled eggs or roasted beef brisket. Hard apple cider is a typical accompanying drink. This was supposedly Goethe's favourite meal; a legend that his mother invented it is likely apocryphal.

Mexican and Mexican-American salsa verde

Green sauces are common in Mexican and Mexican-American cuisines. The basis of the green sauce (known as salsa verde) is typically pureed cooked or raw tomatillos, with chiles or jalapenos, white onion, cilantro, and sometimes lime added to taste. Salsa verde can range in spiciness from mild to mouth-searing. It may be warm, as in a chile verde, or cold, as a condiment. In Mexican-American cuisine, a green sauce is frequently used as a dip for tortilla chips and served with tacos, grilled pork, grilled meats and even fish. [ Traditional preparation of Mexican salsa verde] ] It is also a sauce at the Taco Bell and Del Taco restaurants.

Notes and references


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