I’ve lived most of my life in Andalusia but I’ve never heard before of the sauce andalouse. I learned its existence as soon as I arrived to Brussels, the first time I ordered
French Belgian fries. The thing is that they have something called Andalusian sauce than can be found everywhere. Not only in the fries, also as a dressing for salads and meat.
But if you go to Andalusia and you ask in any bar or restaurant anything with salsa andaluza I bet they’ll look at you like an alien. “¿Qué pollas dices?“, I’m afraid they’ll politely answer to your innocent question.
Life is made of this kind of enigmatic challenges, so I have conducted a serious investigation on the topic and the mystery is no longer a mystery. Ladies, gentlemen, it’s my honor to introduce you the recipe of the sauce andalouse:
- 1 tasse de mayonnaise.
- 3 c. à soupe de pâte de tomate.
- 2 c. à soupe d’oignons.
- 1 c. à soupe de jus de citron.
- piment vert ou rouge.
- Mélanger avec conviction tous les ingrédients.
- Mettre au réfrigérateur.
OK, this was easy. Now we know the how, but what about the why?
I have no clue.
I have to admit that after a very dedicated research (approx 10 min in Google) I haven’t found any explication of its origin. All I’ve got is that something cooked à l’andalouse is “a French term describing dishes using tomatoes, pimientos and sometimes rice pilaf or sausage” and, in particular, the Andalusian sauce “refers to mayonnaise mixed with tomato puree and pimiento”. So, all I got is that it seems to have a French origin.
My theory is that the word andalouse actually refers to Al-Andalus, the Arabic name given to the parts of the Iberian Peninsula ruled by Muslims before the Reconquista. As you know, part of these territories became later the current Andalusia. Therefore, Al-Andalus influenced people in closer regions who eventually emigrated to France.
This could have happened for example with Tunisia, a former French protectorate with large Al-Andalus influence. But it can be even simpler. We know that the mayonnaise (necessary ingredient for the Andalusian sauce) comes from Mahón (in Spain), under French control at the end of the XVIII century when they defeated the British troops (who conquered Minorca during the war of the Spanish succession). Mayonnaise from eastern Spain got influenced from the western Al-Andalus heritage and then brought to France. And from France, to Belgium. Voilà.
Or I may be totally wrong, is there anyone in the room with better intel?
Well, with this deep reflection I’d like to close the 2007 blog edition. I wish you all a really fruitful new orbit around the sun! See you soon.