Mr. and Mrs. Benedict, when they lived in New York around the turn of the century, dined everySaturday at Delmonico's. One day Mrs. Benedict said to the
maitre d' hotel
, "Haven't youanything new or different to suggest?" On his reply that he would like to hear something fromher, she suggested poached eggs on toasted English muffins with a thin slice of ham, hollandaisesauce and a truffle on top.
However, the most likely origin of the dish is suggested in Elizabeth David's
French Provincial Cooking
, where she describes a traditional French dish named
, consisting of brandade (a puree of refreshed salt cod and potatoes), spreadon triangles of fried bread. A poached egg is then set on top and napped with hollandaise.Still, it is not clear how this dish would have migrated to America, where it became popular. The combination of cod and eggs suggests it was a Lenten or meatless dish, andthe use of salt cod suggests it could be as old as the Renaissance, when salt cod becamemore plentiful.
Many variations on the traditional eggs Benedict are available in some restaurants or locations. With the exception of the Egg McMuffin, none of these are as widely known aseggs Benedict.
replaces the bacon with crab and/or shrimp and/or lobster and/or baby scallops.
substitutes streaky bacon for the ham and adds a tomato slice.
substitutes spinach for the ham. Older versions of eggsFlorentine add spinach to poached or stirred eggs Mornay – eggs covered inMornay sauce.
substitutes Holland rusks for the English muffin and addsMarchand de Vin sauce.
(Also known as Eggs Pacifica, Eggs Montreal, Eggs Royal or Eggs Royale) replaces the bacon with smoked salmon.
Pacific Northwest Eggs Benedict
Poached Egg over Wild Alaskan SmokedSalmon on a Toasted English Muffin Covered with Hollandaise Sauce. Can alsosubstitute Dungeness Crab Cakes for English Muffin.
substitutes artichoke bottoms and crossed anchovy fillets for theEnglish muffin and ham, then tops the hollandaise sauce with chopped ham and atruffle slice. The dish was created at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans inhonor 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 drops the ham.