The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”
For today’s Did You Know fun food facts we will look at Eggs Benedict.
The Facts: Eggs Benedict is a dish that primarily consists of a poached egg. Specific recipes vary, but the most common version of eggs Benedict also includes half of an English muffin and bacon covered in Hollandaise sauce.
- April 16th and June 4th are National Eggs Benedict Day.
There are conflicting accounts as to the origin of Eggs Benedict.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Eggs Blackstone substitutes streaky bacon for the ham and adds a tomato slice.
- Eggs Florentine substitutes spinach for the ham. Older versions of eggs Florentine add spinach to poached or shirred eggs Mornay – eggs covered in Mornay sauce.
- Eggs Hemingway (also known as Eggs Royale) substitutes salmon for the ham. This is a common variation found in Australia and New Zealand.
- Huevos Benedict substitutes avocado for the ham, and is topped with both salsa and hollandaise sauce.
- Eggs Hussarde substitutes Holland rusks for the English muffin and adds Marchand de Vin 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.
- Artichoke Benedict replaces the English muffin with a hollowed artichoke.
- Country Benedict, sometimes known as Eggs Beauregard, replaces the English muffin, ham and hollandaise sauce with a American biscuit, sausage patties, and country gravy. The poached eggs are replaced with eggs fried to choice.
- Irish Benedict replaces the ham with corned beef or Irish bacon.