Who doesn't love a good béarnaise sauce? We sure do! For over 200 years, this delicious golden sauce has been served with meat (but it also works really well with fish) in restaurants all over the world and it is hugely popular in Scandinavia. It's difficult to find something more delicious than a big piece of steak with a side of a really good béarnaise. Especially now when the BBQ season is here again. A good béarnaise sauce should be thick, fat, have good acidity and good saltiness. You instantly know when you have come across a really good bea!
So who do we have to thank for this delicious sauce? None other than...the French. The French king Henri the IV was born 1553 in Bearn and had the nickname “Le Grand Béarnais” (The Great Son of Béarnais). Three centuries later the sauce with the same name was born and some people believe that the sauce was served for the first time in 1836 in a restaurant named after the king, called Le Paillon Henri IV. The chef, Jules Collinet who was in charge of the sauces that evening was also from the region of Bearn which is why many people believe that he was the inventor. He wanted to make a sauce in honour of his home town and the Great Son of Béarnaise. Others believe that the name has nothing to do with the town but rather a person, more specifically the girlfriend of George Beaver. George Beaver was another chef and he claimed that he invented the sauce in 1802 and named it after his one true love Lisette Béarnaise.
To this this day the mystery of the Beárnaise sauce and its inventor has not been solved. Who the great inventor behind this sauce really was we might never know. What we do know however, is that it is one of our absolute favourite sauces and no matter if it was named after a king or not, to us, it is the king of sauces!