Roux vs Béchamel vs Mornay


Roux (how the heck do you pronounce that?) is a cooking mixture of wheat flour and fat (traditionally butter). It is the thickening agent of three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: sauce béchamel, sauce velouté and sauce espagnole. It is used as a thickener for gravy, other sauces, soups and stews. It is typically made from equal parts of flour and fat by weight.

Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel sauce (how the heck do you pronounce that?), also known as white sauce, is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine and is used in many recipes of Italian cuisine, for example lasagne. It is used as the base for other sauces (such as Mornay sauce, which is Béchamel with cheese). It is traditionally made by whisking scalded milk gradually into a white roux. The thickness of the final sauce depends on the proportions of milk and flour.

Mornay Sauce

Mornay sauce (pronounced the way it looks) is a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated cheese added. Usually, it consists of half Gruyère and half Parmesan cheese, though some variations use different combinations of Gruyère, Emmental cheese, or white Cheddar.

*Definitions taken from Wikipedia.


  1. You need an egg for the sauce to be mornay. Or else it's just béchamel with grated cheese. And roux is pronounced roo.

    1. There's no egg in Mornay sauce...

    2. I won't be putting egg in my Mornay... but that is an interesting comment... maybe the egg is a trade secret or an old family recipe...

    3. I've always enriched Mornay with an egg yolk, as well as the traditional cream and cheese. That's following Larousse 1990. But now I see that Larousse 1960 used extra butter, not yolk. Maybe a health of density innovation?

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  3. Roux is pronounced roo as in kangaroo.
    Béchamel is pronounced bay-sha-mel

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