Hollandaise Sauce

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Pars pro toto vs. Totum pro parte (a quick tangent)

Holland is an example of pars pro toto and America is an example of totum pro parte. If you can guess why this is, leave a comment to explain it.

Ok, on to Hollandaise sauce!  Steamed asparagus with a little yummy butter and egg emulsion known as Hollandaise sauce – a perfect Sunday brunch treat.  Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces in haute French cuisine thanks to Marie-Antoine Carême.

Why is it called Hollandaise sauce?  It didn’t start off that way.  This butter and egg sauce was originally called sauce Isigny after a town in northern France famous for its delicious butter. The town Isigny-sur-Mer in Normandy was where the gourmands of France preferred to buy their butter. The town’s location on the sea reportedly instilled a unique terroir in the product.  However, during WWI the French could no longer produce enough butter to supply the country,  so butter was imported mostly from Holland.  Therefore the sauce name changed to represent the origin of the main ingredient.  Despite the name, the butter rich sauce is actually French (big surprise?).

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