Posts tagged “eggs benedict history

June 4 is National Eggs Benedict Day

Posted on June 4, 2015

An American creation with a feather sorted past.

Perfect for almost any meal of the day.

Did you know…

  1. There are conflicting accounts as to the Origin of Eggs Benedict.  Here are some.
  2. In an interview recorded in the “Talk of the Town” column of The New Yorker in 1942, the year before his death, Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, claimed that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise.” Oscar Tschirky, the famed maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast.
  3. Craig Claiborne, in September 1967, wrote a column in The New York Times Magazine about a letter he had received from Edward P. Montgomery, an American then residing in France. In it, Montgomery related that the dish was created by Commodore E. C. Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920 at the age of 86. Montgomery also included a recipe for eggs Benedict, stating that the recipe had been given to him by his mother, who had received it from her brother, who was a friend of the Commodore.
  4. Mr. and Mrs. Benedict, when they lived in New York around the turn of the century, dined every Saturday at Delmonico’s. One day Mrs. Benedict said to the maitre d’hotel, “Haven’t you anything new or different to suggest?” On his reply that he would like to hear something from her, she suggested poached eggs on toasted English muffins with a thin slice of ham, hollandaise sauce and a truffle on top.
  5. Eggs Provençal replaces the Hollandaise sauce with Béarnaise Sauce.

 

Today’s Food History

  • 1845 Hatch’s sowing machine for wheat, oats and other grasses was first demonstrated.
  • 1872 Robert Chesebrough of New York patented a method for making Vaseline.
  • 1895 African American inventor Joseph Lee patented a machine for “bread crumbing.” It was intended for use by restaurants to crumb large quantities of bread scraps.
  • 1907 The automatic washer & dryer are introduced.
  • 1936 Sylvan Goldman ran a successful chain of grocery stores, where customers could carry hand baskets while they shopped. In 1936, when he was a major owner of the Piggly-Wiggly supermarket chain, he invented the shopping cart. He got the idea from a wooden folding chair. He designed the cart by putting a basket on the seat, another below and wheels on the legs. He and a mechanic, Fred Young put one together with a metal frame, and wire baskets. The frames could be folded up and the baskets stacked, which took up less storage room. Customers were reluctant to use this new contraption, so Goldman hired fake shoppers to wheel the carts around pretending to shop so people could see how useful the cart could be!
  • They became a hit, and he formed a new company to manufacture the carts. It is hard to imagine a supermarket or discount store without shopping carts today.
  • 1970 At the 43rd National Spelling Bee, Libby Childress wins spelling the word ‘croissant.’
  • 1974 The Cleveland Indians were playing bad, and fewer and fewer fans came to watch them play. They had a ‘Ten Cent Beer Night’ to bring out the fans. Only 22,000 fans turned out in a stadium that could seat 60,000, but they made up for the low numbers by becoming so drunk and unruly, going on the field and disrupting the game, that the Indians had to forfeit the game to the Texas Rangers.
  • 1980 Earle McAusland, publisher/editor of Gourmet magazine died at age 89.
  • 2007 Vincent Sardi Jr. died. He operated the famous Broadway restaurant, ‘Sardi’s’ for 50 years. He retired in 1997.

Eggs Benedict History

Posted on April 17, 2010

There are differing accounts as to the origin of eggs Benedict. In an interview in the “Talk of the Town” column of The New Yorker in 1942, the year before his death, Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, claimed that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise.” Oscar Tschirky, the famed maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham and a toasted English muffin for the bacon and toast.

Craig Claiborne, in September 1967, wrote a column in The New York Times Magazine about a letter he had received from Edward P. Montgomery, an American then residing in France. In it, Montgomery related that the dish was created by Commodore E.C. Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920 at the age of 86. Montgomery also included a recipe for eggs Benedict, stating that the recipe had been given to him by his mother, who had received it from her brother, who was a friend of the Commodore.

Mabel C. Butler of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts in a November 1967 letter printed in The New York Times Magazine responded to Montgomery’s claim by correcting that the “true story, well known to the relations of Mrs. Le Grand Benedict”, of whom she was one, was:

Mr. and Mrs. Benedict, when they lived in New York around the turn of the century, dined every Saturday at Delmonico’s. One day Mrs. Benedict said to the maitre d’hotel, “Haven’t you anything new or different to suggest?” On his reply that he would like to hear something from her, she suggested poached eggs on toasted English muffins with a thin slice of ham, hollandaise sauce and a truffle on top.

Another origin of the dish is suggested in Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking, where she describes a traditional French dish named œufs bénédictine, consisting of brandade (a puree of refreshed salt cod and potatoes), spread on triangles of fried bread. A poached egg is then set on top and napped with hollandaise. This story would also explain the distinctly French syntax, where the adjective follows, rather than precedes, the noun (although Oysters Rockefeller has the same syntax without needing a Romance-language origin). Still, it is not clear how this dish would have migrated to America, where it became popular. The combination of cod and eggs suggests it was a Lenten or meatless dish, and the use of salt cod suggests it could be as old as the Renaissance, when salt cod became more plentiful.

Mrs. Isabella Beeton’s Household Management had recipes in the first edition (1861) for “Dutch sauce, for benedict” (p. 405) and its variant on the following page, “Green sauce, or Hollandaise verte”, so it undoubtedly precedes the 20th century claimants above.

  

%d bloggers like this: