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National Eggs Benedict Day is on April 16 and it’s a day all about the special American dish. It consists of a poached egg, an English muffin, and Canadian bacon covered in Hollandaise sauce and it’s surrounded by a misconception. Some have assumed that the name originated from Benedict Arnold, the American Revolutionary War traitor, but its origins are a lot more complicated than they appear.
History of National Eggs Benedict Day
There are multiple stories about who first invented Eggs Benedict and one of the earliest was in the eighteenth century. Pope Benedict XII was obsessed with eggs. He loved one egg dish so much that he repeatedly ordered it on a consistent basis. It was said that despite his illness, he still had cravings for it and his love for this egg dish never diminished. From that point on, his name and the dish were bound to one another.
Another story claims that Eggs Benedict came about in 1894 when a Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict created it in an attempt to rid himself of a hangover. He was staying at the Waldorf Hotel and he ordered buttered toast, poached eggs, bacon, and Hollandaise sauce in hopes of concocting a remedy. The chef at the restaurant, Oscar Tschirky, was so impressed with the dish that he added it to the menu and named it after Lemuel Benedict.
In 1967, yet another origin story was created for Eggs Benedict. A man named Edward P. Montgomery wrote a letter to The New York Times Magazine with information about the man responsible for the dish prior to his death in 1920. He named Commodore E.C. Benedict as the inventor and that the recipe from his mother, thus further complicating the true origins of the dish.
Today, there are a plethora of ways to make Eggs Benedict that vary by location. It’s seen a change from Canadian bacon to regular bacon and from English muffins to toast, but the concept very much remains the same. With brunch culture on the rise and food bloggers going strong in the modern age, Eggs Benedict is as popular as ever, no matter who actually created it.
National Eggs Benedict Day timeline
National Eggs Benedict Day is celebrated as different recipes around the country are used to make the dish.
Edward P. Montgomery writes a letter to The New York Times claiming that Commodore E.C. Benedict was the inventor of Eggs Benedict with a recipe from his mother.
It's claimed that Wall Street Broker Lemuel Benedict asked for the dish at the Waldorf Hotel to cure his hangover and the chef named it after him.
Pope Benedict XII loved an egg dish so much that he even ate it through his illness, thus inspiring the name for the dish.
National Eggs Benedict Day FAQs
What is the difference between eggs Benedict and eggs Florentine?
The French are responsible for the coinage of the word “Florentine,” to associate it to spinach. The spinach in Florentine would take the place of the ham in the Eggs Benedict recipe. The sauce used in Florentine is Mornay sauce, which is cheese sauce, essentially. The poached eggs are the same in both recipes.
Are eggs Benedict healthy?
Healthy eggs Benedict is a creative breakfast recipe made up of four delicious layers. Sweet potato toast is topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs and a drizzle of creamy hollandaise sauce. It’s perfect for brunch or a weekend splurge – plus it’s gluten-free, paleo and Whole30 compliant.
Who first ate chicken eggs?
Records from China and Egypt show that fowl were domesticated and laying eggs for human consumption around 1400 B.C.E., and there is archaeological evidence for egg consumption dating back to the Neolithic age. The Romans found egg-laying hens in England, Gaul, and among the Germans.
National Eggs Benedict Day Activities
Do it your way
Experiment with your own style of Eggs Benedict. You can use your favorite toast or English muffin, use flavored bacon, and use your favorite brand of Hollandaise sauces with seasonings like salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper. You can even change the name of your specific creation to put your signature on it.
Holiday for Hollandaise
Hollandaise sauce is a challenge unto itself. If you really want to gain an appreciation for the dish, take the extra step and learn how to make it from scratch. It takes egg yolk, fresh lemon juice, butter, and seasonings of your choice. It might take some time to get it just right, but when you do it’ll be perfect just for you.
If you’re not in the mood to make it yourself that’s understandable, it’s a holiday after all. Go to a local restaurant that specializes in breakfast or brunch and act as if you’re a foodie. Try out the different styles of egg dishes and rank them. Some of them include Eggs Florentine, Eggs Hemingway, and Eggs Blackstone. You might leave with a new favorite.
5 Fun Facts About National Eggs Benedict Day
The longevity of the dish is attributed to the fact that substitute ingredients are easy to find in many different countries.
Hollandaise sauce is one of the five mother sauces that provide the foundation for hundreds of different sauces.
The pope’s eggs
There's a variation made in honor of Pope Benedict XVI that uses German ingredients like rye bread and sausage.
Style of eggs
Poached eggs are eggs that are cooked outside of the shell and yield more delicately cooked eggs than cooking at higher temperatures.
People constructed a narrative that because Eggs Benedict used Canadian Bacon and English muffins, it was less American..
Why We Love National Eggs Benedict Day
To put it simply, it’s delicious. Eggs Benedict feels unique in that it’s a combination of ingredients that makes breakfast time feel more special than the average meal. Eggs Benedict takes effort and that should be appreciated.
Dinner and entrees may seem like the main star of the culinary world, but breakfast can be just as innovative. Many skilled chefs have mastered the art of creating delicious morsels for people to enjoy, and their hard work should be recognized.
The most important meal of the day
National Eggs Benedict Day reminds us to think of breakfast and all the ways we can enjoy it. It’s considered the most important meal because it gives us the sustenance to be productive members of society. Starting the day off right with a nice breakfast increases the likelihood that the rest of your day will go just as well.
National Eggs Benedict Day dates