In essence, Western cuisine derives its base from French cuisine. Auguste Escoffier’s modernisation of classical French cooking techniques serves as the base of the culinary world today, in particular, his popularisation of the 5 Mother Sauces; sauce béchamel, espagnole, velouté, hollandaise and tomate, are names that every cook and chef should know by heart. In fact, most modern sauces are variations of this fundamental sauce tree.
Despite its ever-evolving definition, western cuisine does have certain rules that stay true to the classics. Plating, for example, hasn’t changed too drastically. It is still common to see a plate of protein (either meat, fish or poultry) in combination with a starchy side (potatoes, rice or pasta) and some vegetables for a main course. Soups and salads are still served as starters, and the meal still closes with a dessert at the end.
These days, the focus has turned to Nordic countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, for their focus on region-specific ingredients and cuisine. With people getting more involved and interested in where their food comes from, this Nordic trend is impacting western cuisine all around the world with its culinary ideologies and cooking techniques.
From fermenting and pickling produce to curing fish, the definition of western cuisine is once more undergoing a makeover and emerging with a wider range of ingredients, styles and techniques than it had before.