Difference Between Bearnaise and Hollandaise

Bearnaise vs Hollandaise

Bearnaise and Hollandaise are sauces used in French and other cuisines commonly. These are warm sauces that accompany both meats and vegetables and very similar in appearance, in taste, and aroma. There are some, especially those outside France, who believe the two sauces are one and the same. Béarnaise came into existence much later and is believed to be a variant of the older Hollandaise sauce. This article attempts to find out the differences, if any, between the two very similar sauces.

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise is a yellow sauce made with the batter of eggs and butter with many more ingredients such as salt, pepper and lemon juice for flavor and aroma. There are many variations of this sauce popular all over France with many areas making use of ingredients like thyme and shallots. The sauce is served warm over different recipes and makes even a dull looking recipe extremely delicious and interesting. It is so smooth in texture that people lick it with their fingers and ask for more. The use of egg yolks makes the sauce very creamy indeed. One interesting fact that not many are aware of about this tasty sauce is that it was known as Isigny that is the name of a French town. It was during the WWI that butter for making this sauce became scarce and had to be imported from Holland that the name of the sauce became Hollandaise sauce.

Bearnaise Sauce

Béarnaise is a sauce that is an emulsion of butter and egg yolks, and it is served warm as a condiment along with many different dishes. There are many other different ingredients added in this sauce with regional variations. These ingredients range from shallots, tarragon, vinegar, chervil, and even wine. After beating the yolk of eggs, butter is added to make an emulsion and later other ingredients are added while making the sauce on a frying pan. Though the ingredients may be few and the method to make Béarnaise sauce a simple one, it takes a lot of practice to become an expert at making this sauce. There are many people who call it Bernaise sauce thinking it to have originated from Bern the capital of Switzerland. If anything, the name has been derived from Bearn, a province in southwest France.

What is the difference between Bearnaise and Hollandaise?

• While the batter of Hollandaise and béarnaise sauces is the same, there are differences in flavorings.

• Hollandaise makes use of lemon juice while béarnaise sauce has ingredients such as peppercorns, vinegar, and chervil, in addition to the ingredients of Hollandaise that happen to be salt, cayenne, thyme, and shallots.

• Hollandaise is a very old sauce whereas béarnaise is an offshoot of Hollandaise.

• Hollandaise is used with dishes of eggs and vegetables whereas béarnaise is used more often as a condiment with meats and fish recipes.

• Because of the similarities, some call these two sauces as cousins while some refer to béarnaise as a child of Hollandaise.

• Béarnaise is creamier of the two while Hollandaise is thicker of the two sauces.