Food for Thought: The Story Behind Eggs Benedict
We chomp and chew, chug and glug and savour their deliciousness. But where exactly did these tasty foods and drinks get their name?
There are countless numbers of meals, drinks and foods out there with a title attached to them but did you ever wonder about the origin of their names?
This week we’re bringing you the story behind the delectable dish, Eggs Benedict.
When it comes to this egg dish there are actually a few stories that historians credit to its origin.
One from 1942 goes like this:
On December 19th, 1942, the New Yorker Magazine published a column called “Talk of the Town”. The piece was based on an interview with Lemuel Benedict, a Wall Street Broker, a year before his death.
In the interview, it told the story of how Benedict in 1894 and suffering from a hangover, asked for an unusual request from the Waldorf Hotel in New York.
According to the piece, the Wall Street broker ordered“some buttered toast, crisp bacon, two poached eggs, and a hooker of hollandaise sauce.”
The Waldorf’s famous chef, Oscar Tschirky was so impressed with this new dish that he put it on his breakfast and lunch menus but substituted the bacon for ham.
The second origin story is completely different:
Delmonico’s Restaurant in the US is credited as being the first ever restaurant/dining room ever opened in America.
In the 1860’s, a regular at Delmonico’s LeGrand Benedict, requested something new to eat for her lunch. Chef Charles Ranhofer of the restaurant came up with Eggs a la Benedick, where was also published in his cookbook called the Epicurean in 1894.
Coincidentally (perhaps), 1894 was the same year that Lemuel Benedict claimed to have invented Eggs Benedict.
Eggs Benedict still features on Delmonico’s restaurant menu today.