Thursday, July 13, 2023

Tartar Sauce Origins

Tartar sauce gets its name from its association with steak tartare, a popular dish served in 19th-century France. Steak tartare consists of minced raw beef mixed with onions, capers, mushrooms, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings.

Historical accounts suggest that Mongol warriors, known as Tatars or Tartars, used to tenderize meat by placing it under their saddles. It is believed that the Tartars seasoned their raw, saddle-battered steak and made yogurt from mare's milk infused with herbs. This yogurt was allowed to curdle by bouncing it in a goatskin saddle for several days, which is considered the origin of Tartar sauce.
The French, renowned for their production of mayonnaise and aioli sauce, may have adopted the term "tartar" based on their spelling of the Tatar name, Tartare. Mentions of Tartar sauce can be found in 19th-century French cookbooks as a condiment to accompany beef tartare.

Today, tartar sauce is widely used as a condiment for seafood. It pairs well with various seafood options, including cod, salmon, haddock, shrimp, and pollock. In the 1920s, Hellman's introduced commercially available jarred tartar sauce, making it more convenient to purchase from grocery stores instead of preparing it from scratch.
Tartar Sauce Origins