The Eggs Benedict is a classic breakfast dish with a lot of history. Its origins are widely debated over some epicurean circles. The reason is that several credible stories, along with published references to this dish, detailing its origins dating back over 100 years. So how exactly did this beloved dish become so popular in restaurants across Fort Lauderdale and all over America?
Thanks to its delicious flavors, Eggs Benedict is popular in many restaurants all over the world. However, its controversy lies in the many different versions of its origin story. According to several reports, there is more than one “Benedict” who has laid claim to the dish’s paternity, making its history all the more confusing since historians also cannot agree on a single one. However, they all unanimously claim that the birthplace of Eggs Benedict is in New York somewhere between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Now, let’s dive into the different stories:
The earliest report laying claim to the origin of the Eggs Benedict was made back in the 1860s in Delmonico’s Restaurant. This is the first restaurant ever opened in the United States. During that time, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict (a regular patron) told Delmonico’s Chef Charles Ranhofer that she wanted something new to eat for lunch since she didn’t fancy anything on the menu. Ranhofer then came up with Eggs Benedict, and the recipe for his dish (called Eggs a’ la Benedick) was included in his cookbook called The Epicurean.
Back in 1942, Lemuel Benedict (a retired stockbroker in New York) gave his version of the story during an interview with The New Yorker magazine. He claimed that he walked into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894, where he reportedly ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise” as a cure for his morning hangover. Oscar Tschirky (the maître d’hôtel) was reportedly so impressed with the dish that he included it on the hotel’s breakfast and luncheon menus. However, he switched out the bacon and toast for ham and a toasted English muffin. And that’s the dish you see in most restaurants in Fort Lauderdale and everywhere else.
In 1896, Fannie Merritt Farmer’s revised version of Mary J. Lincoln’s cookbook (The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book) contained a recipe for Eggs la Benedict. Here is the recipe: place pieces of cold ham over the split, toasted English muffins, and top it with a poached egg. Pour Hollandaise Sauce diluted with cream over the dish.
Regardless of its confusing history, there’s no denying that Eggs Benedict is a beloved dish all over the world. Some restaurants even serve their own versions of this dish. Try ours at Tower Deli and visit our restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. We make it our goal to use fresh, wholesome ingredients for all of our dishes, so you are guaranteed to love our recipe. We also offer catering and delivery services for those who prefer it. Come visit us today or order online.