April 16 is National Eggs Benedict Day
Interesting Food Facts about Eggs Benedict
- Eggs Blackstone substitutes streaky bacon for the ham and adds a tomato slice.
- Huevos Benedict substitutes avocado for the ham, and is topped with both salsa and hollandaise sauce.
- Eggs Sardou substitutes artichoke bottoms and crossed anchovy fillets for the English muffin and ham, then tops the hollandaise sauce with chopped ham and a truffle slice. The dish was created at Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans in honor of the French playwright Victorien Sardou. A more widespread version of the dish starts with a base of creamed spinach, substitutes artichoke bottoms for the English muffin, and eliminates the ham.
- Portobello Benedict substitutes Portobello mushrooms for the ham, and is a popular alternative for Catholics observing the Friday Fast.
- Eggs Provençal replaces the Hollandaise sauce with Béarnaise Sauce.
Historians attribute the invention of Eggs Benedict to two different events.
Origin Story 1: In the 1860’s, a regular patron of the restaurant, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, finding nothing to her liking and wanting something new to eat for lunch, discussed this with Chef Charles Ranhofer(1936-1899), Ranhofer came up with Eggs Benedict.
Origin Story 2: In 1894, Lemuel Benedict, a Wall Street broker, who was suffering from a hangover, ordered “some buttered toast, crisp bacon, two poached eggs, and a hooker of hollandaise sauce” at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. The Waldorf’s legendary chef, Oscar Tschirky, was so impressed that he put the dish on his breakfast and luncheon menus after substituting Canadian bacon for crisp bacon and a toasted English muffin for toasted bread.
Today’s Food History
- 1521 Martin Luther arrived at the Diet of Worms. This was NOT the first fad diet.
- 1906 William James Farrer died. An Australian agriculturist, he developed new varieties of wheat.
- 1924 Henry Mancini was born. Oscar winning music composer, he wrote many songs and film scores, including the score for ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’
- 1928 Ellsworth Milson Statler died. American hotel owner, founder of Statler Hotels. His Statler Hotel in Buffalo, New York was the first hotel in the U.S. to have running water and private baths in each room.
- 1941 The original Elsie the Cow died. Elsie the cow was originally a cartoon character appearing in ads for Borden Milk. At the 1939 New York World’s Fair, when people began asking where Elsie was, Borden’s picked a cow originally named ‘You’ll do Lobelia’ from their herd to be Elsie. Elsie stared in commercials, made personal appearances, and even starred in an RKO movie, ‘Little Men.’ Elsie was injured in a truck accident in 1941 and had to be put to sleep. She is buried in Plainsboro, New Jersey.
- 1956 On the ‘I Love Lucy’ show, Lucy stomped grapes in Rome, and wrestled with another female grape stomper. An inspiration for future ‘food wrestling’ entrepreneurs. Actually, this is one of the funniest sitcom episodes ever made.