Eggs Benedict: How A Hungover Wall Street Broker Gave Us This Classic Breakfast
- Sushmita Sengupta
Updated : June 15, 2022 03:06 IST
Next time you are looking for something to cure your morning hangover, don't just settle for lemon water please?
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that eggs and breakfast are almost synonymous to each other. It does not take us a total of five minutes to whip up an omelette, and the times when we cannot even get that right, we have scrambled eggs to save the day. But even on days when you are feeling a little extra ‘experimental’ you can rustle up something truly memorable using eggs. Take the Eggs Benedict, for instance, this classic American brunch staple that has found fans across the world, is made with just eggs, English muffins, Canadian bacon and Hollandaise sauce. How can something so simple be so loved? Well, ask the chef who first prepared the dish on the instructions of a hungover wall street broker!
History Of Eggs Benedict
Yes, you heard us. According to a popular legend, in the year 1894, Lemuel Benedict, a Wall Street stock broker went to the Waldorf hotel to find a cure for his morning hangover and he famously placed an order for "buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise", as per his interview recorded in The New Yorker. The idea of the dish impressed Oscar Tschirky, the maitre d’hotel so much that he further developed the dish and placed it in his breakfast and luncheon menus. He apparently substituted toast for the English muffin and removed ham for crispier bacon. And this is how Eggs Benedict came into being, the peculiar name is obviously an homage to the patron who first made this odd demand.
As it happens with almost every classic dish, there are many historians who have contested this popular theory. Delmonica, a popular restaurant chain in New York, claims that the breakfast dish came out of their ovens. One of their former chefs, Charles Ranhofer, also happened to publish the recipe for Eggs à la Benedick in the year 1894.
Much later, in the year 1967, Edward P. Montgomery on behalf of Commodore E. C. Benedict also wrote a letter to then The New York Times food columnist Craig Claiborne, claiming that the original Eggs Benedict recipe was in fact handed over to him by his uncle, who happened to be a friend of the Commodore, the original inventor of Eggs Benedict according to Montogomery. Although, this variant of Eggs Benedicts was slightly different in terms of composition. For instance, the hollandaise sauce, was slightly different, it was also replete with a ham mixture and hot, hard-cooked egg.
There are many variations of Eggs Benedict that are equally as popular. Eggs Florentine, for instance, uses spinach leaves instead of crispy bacon and Eggs Blackstone that includes streaky bacon and tomato slices.
Here’s a recipe of Eggs Benedict that you may enjoy.