What Is Mignonette?

Seafood cuisine goes a lot more in depth than you might think! It isn’t just limited to the types of fish that you can catch in the ocean. There are plenty of recipes, sides, sauces and ingredients that have become staples of the craft over the years. Are you familiar with the term mignonette? It may sound a little unusual to you at first, but what if we told you that you’ve had it before without realizing it? We explain all there is to know about mignonette to unravel the mystery below?

What Is Mignonette?

If you’ve ever eaten shrimp cocktail, oysters or clams before, there’s a good chance that mignonette accompanied them at the table. Mignonette is a type of dipping sauce that is primarily used in the aforementioned dishes. It’s essentially a type of condiment that is made with a combination of vinegar, minced shallots and cracked pepper. The pepper and shallots are staples of the sauce, but mignonette can be made with many different types of vinegar. As long as all three are present, you have your condiment?

What Is It Used For?

The primary purpose of mignonette is for use alongside raw oysters and clams. There aren’t a lot of recipes that utilize this sauce otherwise, but this is for good reason. The mignonette sauce actually brings out the best of the oyster’s flavors! Oysters are very briny and creamy, and the mignonette sauce brings a balance to it with a sharper flavor that adds a kick to it. There’s a reason why it’s such a common staple at oyster based restaurants; one can’t be served without the other!

Where Is It From Originally?

Many of the ingredients that we use in seafood recipes have their roots grounded in Italian heritage. However, that doesn’t mean that seafood cuisine is strictly Italian! Mignonette sauce actually was made right here in the United States. It was first served at a hotel in New York City in the 1930s and became popular around the world in the decades that followed. It sounds a bit deceptive, as the word mignonette is actually French!

Oysters and Seafood at Mare Oyster Bar

Now that you know that you’ve had mignonette before, have some of Boston’s best at Mare Oyster Bar! We specialize in oysters in addition to a variety of seafood dishes and Italian cuisines to make sure the whole family is satisfied. We have some of the freshest seafood in the North End all year long. To experience it for yourself, click here to make a reservation!