All About Tartar Sauce
Who hasn't tried tartar sauce at some point in their life? Unfortunately, most versions I've eaten were commercial brands served with fried seafood.
I will go out on a limb by suggesting that any homemade version will be better than a store-bought. The ingredients may be the same, but all those chemicals won't be added to preserve it.
What Is Tartar Sauce?
It is a creamy and tangy condiment commonly used as a dipping sauce for fried seafood, such as fish and chips, shrimp, and calamari. It is typically made with mayonnaise, chopped pickles or relish, capers, lemon juice, and spices.
The ingredients of tartar sauce can vary slightly depending on the recipe, but the base is always mayonnaise. The mayonnaise is typically mixed with chopped pickles or relish, giving the sauce signature tanginess. Capers, tiny, briny buds, are also a common ingredient in tartar sauce, as they add a layer of tanginess and complexity.
In addition to these core ingredients, many recipes call for additional flavorings, such as chopped herbs, garlic, mustard, or Worcestershire sauce. Some recipes also include hard-boiled eggs or onions, adding texture and flavor.
It is a versatile condiment that can be used in various ways. It is commonly served alongside fried seafood but can also be used as a spread on sandwiches or a topping for grilled meats. Many people also enjoy tartar sauce as a dip for French fries or roasted vegetables.
It is a classic condiment that has been enjoyed for generations. Its tangy, creamy flavor makes it the perfect accompaniment to a wide range of dishes, and it will remain a staple in kitchens and restaurants worldwide for many years to come.
Who Invented Tartar Sauce?
The exact origins of tartar sauce are not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in Europe in the 19th century, possibly in France or Germany.
One popular theory about the origin of tartar sauce is that it was named after the Tartar people, a nomadic group that lived in the Central Asian region. According to the theory, the sauce was introduced to Europe by Tartar warriors who brought it with them during their invasions.
Another theory suggests that the sauce was created by fishermen who needed a condiment to accompany their catch. They may have mixed together ingredients they had on hand, such as mayonnaise, pickles, and spices, to create the first version of tartar sauce.
Over time, variations of this sauce have emerged with additional ingredients such as onions, garlic, and herbs. In the United States, some versions may also include sweet pickle relish.
Today, tartar sauce is enjoyed worldwide and is a common accompaniment to various seafood dishes. It is also a sandwich spread and a dip for vegetables and fried foods. Despite its humble origins, tartar sauce has become a beloved condiment that continues to evolve with new flavors and ingredients.
How to Make It at Home?
Tartar Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons pickle relish or minced dill pickles
- 1 tablespoon capers drained and chopped
- 1 tablespoon shallots or onions, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, minced dill pickles or pickle relish, capers, minced shallots or onions, chopped fresh parsley, and lemon juice.
- Mix all the ingredients together until they are well combined.
- Taste the tartar sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper according to your preferences.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tartar sauce until you are ready to serve.
Tartar sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used in many ways. It goes particularly well with fried seafood, such as fish and chips or fried shrimp, but it can also be used as a sandwich spread, a dip for vegetables, or a topping for grilled meats.
There are many variations you can make, depending on your preferences and the ingredients that you have on hand. Here are a few examples:
- Spicy tartar sauce: Add a little bit of hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the basic tartar sauce recipe to give it a spicy kick.
- Garlic tartar sauce: Add minced garlic to the basic tartar sauce recipe for a more robust garlic flavor.
- Dill tartar sauce: Add chopped fresh dill to the basic tartar sauce recipe to give it a more herbal, slightly tangy flavor.
- Lemon-dill tartar sauce: Add fresh dill and lemon zest to the basic tartar sauce recipe for a bright, tangy flavor.
- Honey-mustard tartar sauce: Mix honey and Dijon mustard into the basic tartar sauce recipe for a sweet and tangy taste.
- Curry tartar sauce: Add curry powder to the basic tartar sauce recipe to give it a unique, savory flavor.
- Chipotle tartar sauce: Mix some adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers into the basic tartar sauce recipe for a smoky, spicy taste.
What Country Eats the Most Tartar Sauce?
It is difficult to say which country eats the most tartar sauce, as the condiment's popularity can vary significantly from region to region. However, it is most commonly associated with the cuisine of the United Kingdom and the United States, where it is often served with fried fish and chips.
Tartar sauce is also popular in other parts of the world, including Germany, Russia, and Scandinavian countries, where it is typically served with fried or boiled fish dishes.
In the United States, it is a common condiment found in many grocery stores, and it is also a popular menu item at fast-food restaurants that serve fish sandwiches. In the UK, tartar sauce is often homemade or purchased from fish and chip shops and is also available in supermarkets.
In Germany, it is known as "Remoulade" and is often used as a topping for sausages and other meat dishes.
While it is difficult to determine which country eats the most tartar sauce, it is safe to say that it is a popular condiment worldwide, particularly in regions where fried or boiled fish is a staple dish.
What Is It Called In Other Countries?
- Remoulade - This is what it is called in France, Belgium, and some parts of Germany.
- Salsa tártara - In Spain and Latin America, it is known as "salsa tártara" or "salsa tártara de pepinillos."
- Sauce tartare - In Switzerland, it's known as "sauce tartare."
- Maionese verde - In Italy, a variation is known as "maionese verde" or "green mayonnaise."
- Tarator - In Bulgaria and other parts of the Balkans, a yogurt-based sauce similar to tartar sauce is known as "tarator."
- Tartarska omaka - In Slovenia, it is known as "tartarska omaka."
- Tatarska omáčka - In the Czech Republic, it is known as "tatarska omáčka."
These are just a few examples of what tartar sauce is called in other countries. While the name may differ, the sauce's essential ingredients and preparation are usually similar.