Béchamel, often known as white sauce in English, is a sauce that is traditional in French cuisine. Béchamel is made by cooking a roux (a mixture of cooked fat and flour, used to thicken sauces) made from butter and flour and cooking it with milk. Béchamel is often used as a base to cook a number of different sauces in French cuisine. It is also typically used to make lasagna
The origins of béchamel sauce are disputed. It is commonly thought that the sauce was brought to France by Catherine de' Medici in the 16th century, but only obtained its name in the 17th century and was named after the Marquis and financier, Louis de Béchamel.
The correct pronunciation of béchamel is beh(y)-shah-mehl
English speakers often pronounce béchamel as bay-shah-mel, but this is a mistake. The "é" in béchamel is not pronounced exactly like -bay, but with a slightly less emphasized "ay" sound. The "bé" sounds more like a "beh" with a very slight "y" sound added. The "ch" in béchamel is pronounced with an "sh" sound and the final -mel is pronounced with a short "e", like the "e" in the word "best".