Eggs Benedict

EGGS BENEDICT

  • English muffin half, toasted and buttered
  • Canadian bacon
  • poached egg
  • Hollandaise sauce (egg yolks, butter, lemon juice, gently cooked)

Assemble in the order named.

Some recipes have well-documented beginnings or traceable roots and definite methods/components or clear evolutions. Others, like Eggs Benedict, just popped up one day and acquired dueling origin stories.

The two I’ve seen are set in the USA in the last decade of the 1800s:

One says that a hung-over man named Lemuel Benedict went through a buffet line at the Waldorf-Astoria, piling up a slice of buttered toast, bacon, poached eggs and Hollandaise Sauce. The maitre d’hotel saw him, substituted English muffins and ham for the toast and bacon, and named the dish after Mr. Benedict.

The other one says that Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, a regular at Delmonico’s restaurant, came up with the dish in concert with Delmonico’s maitre d’hotel.

Me, I believe the second story. In the first place, I suppose it’s possible to serve nice poached eggs on a buffet, but I doubt it. In the second place, if I were a maitre d’hotel and I substituted two major ingredients in a dish I’d seen someone slap together at random, I’d name it after myself. In the third place, why would there be Hollandaise Sauce on a breakfast buffet? Sausage gravy, yes, but Hollandaise Sauce?

Finally, if you were hung-over, would you willingly choose to eat a pile of stuff including poached eggs and Hollandaise Sauce? Drunk, yes, but hung-over? Now I ask you, would you?

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Come up with dueling origin stories for, say, cream of mushroom soup. No Fight Club references, please.

MA

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

You may also like...

One thought on “Eggs Benedict

  1. jane
    Twitter:

    January 8, 2014 at 10:31am

    We could always attempt to determine the origin of the Hot Brown! I’m betting the closest we can get is: It was first made at the Brown Hotel!

    I love the debate you mention. I totally agree with your reasoning. Did you know: Emile LeGasse (erk, spelling!) bought Delmonico’s some time back in order to preserve the storied restaurant?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      January 8, 2014 at 11:19am

      I did not know that about Emeril — Good for him!

      The Hot Brown did originate at The Brown Hotel, and Jenny Benedict invented Benedictine spread. Between those and bourbon, you got three of my favorite comestibles right there. 😉
      Marian Allen would love to share..SAGEMy Profile

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

Your email will not be published. Name and Email fields are required

CommentLuv badge

This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)