The history behind National Melba Toast Day, a thin crisp toast, on March 23, is equally crisp. Do you know it all started with a chef who was enamored by an Australian opera singer? Whether you eat it plain out of the box or with salad and soup, none of us can deny loving the bland little treat that’s an absolute delight to crunch on. And knowing it was cooked out of love adds another dimension to its taste!
History of Melba Toast Day
Melba Toast Day is a potent reminder of the fact that the best things come in small packages — this time, an act of love, cooked and baked into a slender crunchy toast.
The creation of Melba toast dates back to around 1897 when a French chef of the Savoy Hotel, Georges Augustus Escoffier, who was smitten with an Australian opera singer named Nellie Melba, baked a dry toast for her just because she truly enjoyed having grilled slices of bread (and wanted to lose weight).
Before being known as Melba toast, it was named ‘Toast Marie.’ When Dame Nellie Melba fell sick and had to watch her diet, she switched to the crunchy treat to get her necessary carbs. And so, the toast was readily named after her, including many other dishes that the same fellow cooked to honor his favorite singer.
Melba Toast tastes heavenly with a dessert of raspberry sauce, peaches, and vanilla ice cream, also known as ‘Melba peaches.’ What’s more, the legendary cook concocted ‘Melba sauce’ of raspberry puree and red currant as well as the scrumptious ‘Melba garniture,’ consisting of chicken, truffles, and mushrooms. Melba toast, however, remains unbeatable and is a staple of the snacks inventory at our homes. Dame Nellie Melba died in 1931 at the age of 69, yet continues to live on in the form of a sturdy slice of crispy toast. We celebrate this day to toast this thin, baked bread and Escoffier’s gastronomical token of love.
Melba Toast Day timeline
Legendary chef Georges Augustus Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, makes the famous dessert to honor Nellie Melba’s performance at Lohengrin opera featuring a swan-like ice sculpture topped with spun sugar.
Escoffier bakes the perfectly thin and yummy toast for Dame Nellie Melba’s weight-loss diet.
The American Academic Medical center prescribes Melba toast as part of the ‘18-day reducing diet’ to actress Ethel Barrymore, making the food item more popular than ever.
At the age of 69, Dame Nellie Melba breathes her last breath but remains immortalized in food.
Melba Toast Day FAQs
Why is it called Melba toast?
Previously, the toast was named ‘Toast Marie,’ which soon changed to ‘Melba toast’ after the famous Australian opera singer, Nellie Melba, fell ill and the toast became a staple of her diet. The creator of the toast, a French chef, was a big fan of the singer.
Is Melba toast a healthy snack?
It was cooked to be included in a diet of an ill woman, which tells us that it is packed with healthy nutrients. Melba toast is a good source of fibers and carbohydrates.
Is Melba Toast Day a real holiday?
Well, you wouldn’t get a day off on March 23, but make sure you enjoy a Melba toast diet on this day.
How To Celebrate National Melba Toast Day
Finish a box of Melba toast
Why not? Munch on this treat at breakfast, in the evening, and round the clock — you know you can do it without asking for permission! Melba toast is famous for being light as a feather and able to be paired with almost anything — soups, salads, cheese, creamy desserts, tea, and so forth.
Make a dish using Melba toast
Besides a healthy treat to gnaw on as you walk around, Melba toast can come as a primary ingredient to various delicious dishes. Google or rack your brains to come up with a dish that uses the crispy toast such as canapes, wild mushroom toasts, or a Melba toast quiche!
Cook Melba toast at home
It’s quite easy. All you need is bread, an oven, and a love for Melba — as did its creator. Cut it up in thin slices and serve your family.
5 Facts About Nellie Melba That Will Blow Your Mind
Nellie Melba is a fake name
Nellie Melba was the stage name of the Australian opera singer, Helen Porter Michelle, who took up the nickname to honor her hometown, Melbourne, in Australia.
The singer lives on, not just in food
She has around five biographies, two films, and a mini television series made in her name and about her extraordinary life.
Nellie Melba appeared on Australian banknotes
She is one of the two people to have their faces printed on the $100 Australian banknote.
Coombe Yarra Valley
Once the home of Dame Nellie Melba, Coombe Yarra Valley has now been transformed into a gourmet and cultural destination in Coldstream, Australia.
Six months of Melba toast
Alanis Morissette, a Canadian-American singer, lived on Melba toast, carrots, and black coffee for six months.
Why We Love Melba Toast Day
It tastes yummy with everything!
Who does not love the Melba toast? It’s just the perfect amount of crunchy, thick, and sturdy to be used with various toppings and dipped in numerous foods. Melba Toast Day is just another excuse to stock up our homes with our favorite bread!
Food for baby teething
Besides us munching on the Melba toast, it is the best teething biscuit for babies when they reach the age to chew. The thin firmness of the toast is ideal for tiny infant teeth.
It is a love token
We adore love stories and Melba Toast Day reminds us that even a century later, true love prevails. This day drives us to cook something new and name it after the one we admire!
Melba Toast Day dates