French say that people can learn how to cook different dishes but to cook sauces can only heaven-born people. The word "sauce" came to the English (as to many others languages) from the French language, because France is the native place of many popular dressings. The assignment of any of them is to emphasize the advantage of food and to hide its disadvantage. Sometimes the sauce is the main element of food and the general impression and the taste of the food depends on it. The sauce can add and intensify the taste of the dish and on the contrary it can shade some features of some food. It can be served with first courses like fish or meat and garnish, for example spaghetti and with salads. The first famous sauce was garum. It was popular dressing in the Ancient food. It was based on a fish and vinegar. It was used by all social classes and it was the main component of many complicated dishes and also it was served with fish and meat dishes as the universal condiment. Also it was often used instead of salt. Usually the garum was cooked from a tuna and scomber. Several months the fish was kept on the sun then it was boiled with vinegar, olive oil, wine, paper and salt. It was forbidden to cook the garum near a town because of the strong smell. But, nevertheless, the ready sauce had a nice smell and it was sent to vend and to grand people.
Almost all the most popular sauces were invented in France from XVII till XIX centuries. French chefs were before others European countries and the passion to delicate tastes made them invent new and new recipes and enrich the world kitchen. Till up to the present we can find in cookery books of those times first recipes of sauces, but of course they are different from dressings we eat today. Nowadays the number of them is bigger than dishes that served with them.
Today you can buy uncountable number of ready sauces in any market and store. In general it is traditional recipes of world kitchen that appreciate millions of people of our planet. But nevertheless many housewives prefer to cook dressing for food by themselves.