Dip, dress, drizzle or use as marinade for meats and vegetables, sauces have traveled from border to border across the globe. Sometimes no matter how tasty a dish is, adding an extra punch of flavor makes a big difference. Taking meals up a notch, sauces are the most convenient and quickest way to enhance the palate, with new textures and juiciness, and add visual appeal to any dish.

Hot sauces are loaded with carefully fermented peppers to produce a thoroughly consistent, bold, and spicy texture. The fiery sauces have evolved to cater to diverse palates so much so that a Scoville scale had to be developed to measure the spice levels. With home cooking becoming the norm, consumer demand for these addictive sauces has increased, such that brands like Texas Pete are repackaging their Original and Sautéed Garlic hot sauces in convenient handy packs or mini bottles.

If you fall at the other end of the spectrum and have a sweet tooth, fruit salsa is the perfect choice. This healthier alternative is also suitable for those carb and protein watchers. You can drizzle the sauce over tender pork chops, juicy grilled chicken, or succulent barbecued duck. Incorporating all your favorite fruit, the salsa mixture can be mashed or left in a food processor for a few seconds to match your desired consistency. Leftovers can be used as a dip for your go-to tortilla or nacho chips! Easy and quick, Jake & Amos’s pre-made mango, peach or pineapple salsa is an equally tasty version.

Healthy Mango Salsa dip (Image: From My Bowl)

Marinara sauce, used as a base for pasta dishes, is one of the top choices paired with Italian specialties. Its origin and name dates back to the 17th century when the sauce was initially cooked aboard a Neapolitan ship by a group of mariners on their journey through the Americas. The tangy, chunky and occasionally spicy sauce, stands out with its appetizing mix of ingredients and a specific cooking method, giving off a unique taste and texture. This versatile and failproof sauce has been closely replicated into ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat versions including bottled jars from Prego. Packed with a tomatoey punch, the sauce works well with dishes like Chicken Parmigiana.

Chicken Parmigiana topped with cheese and marinara sauce (Image: Café Delites)