Béchamel sauce also known as the white sauce is a sauce that is made from a white roux and milk. The sauce gets its English name from its distinctive white color. The French naming is after Béchamel was a financier who held the honorary post of chief steward to King Louis XIV.
The roux is made from a mixture of butter and wheat flour. This sauce is one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine even though it has its roots in Italian cuisine.
This sauce was originally a veal velouté or velouté sauce with a large amount of cream in it. Like every other mother sauce, it is a base of other sauces, most notably Mornay sauce. Mornay sauce is a variation of Béchamel with cheese.
This sauce is used a lot in dishes such as lasagna and other pasta dishes in either its base form or other derived forms. It is also common to find the sauce used in chicken and fish dishes as well.