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Béchamel, a basic white sauce made from milk or cream and a flour-and-butter roux, gets its name from the Marquis de Béchamel (1630–1703), a general of Louis XIV of France, who is said to have invented it. It was evidently still fairly unfamiliar in Britain in the mid-eighteenth century, for Hannah Glasse in her Art of Cookery refers to it as bishemel, but it became thoroughly naturalized during the nineteenth century.

It should not be confused with the fairly similar velouté sauce, which is made with stock rather than milk (in fact the Marquis de Béchamel is said originally to have made béchamel sauce by adding cream to a velouté).

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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