Eggs Benedict

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Jun 25 03:33:20 UTC 1999

     "Eggs Benedict" has been the greatest etymological mystery since sliced
bread, the hot dog, chicken a la king, the hero, the ice cream sundae, the
ice cream sandwich, the ice cream cone, the milk shake, s'mores, pizza...
     This is from the "revised" FACTS ON FILE word origins book by Robert
"Mr. Reliably Unreliable" Hendrickson:

_eggs benedict._  Oscar of the Waldorf once confirmed the story that _eggs
benedict_ was invented by a man suffering from a hangover.  It seems that
early one morning in 1894, Samuel Benedict, a prominent New York socialite,
tread softly into the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel after a night of
partying--his head hurt that much.  But he had what he thought was the
perfect cure for his splitting headache--a breakfast of poached eggs served
on buttered toast and topped with bacon and hollandaise sauce.  Oscar, the
maitre d'hotel, thought this combination excellent, but substituted an
English muffin for the toast and ham for the bacon, naming the dish in
Benedict's honor.  Whether the cure worked or not isn't recorded, and another
version of the tale claims that the dish was created between Oscar and New
Yorker Mrs. Le Grand Benedict.

    From the OED:

_eggs Benedict_ Cookery (orig. U.S.), a dish consisting of poached eggs
placed on a slice of ham on toast, with a covering of hollandaise sauce.
1898 A. MEYER _Eggs & how to use Them_ 43 _poached *eggs...Benedict_, split
and toast some small muffins; put on each a nice round slice of broiled ham,
and on the ham the poached egg; pour over some Hollandaise sauce.

     No etymology!
     There is a very good "Eggs Benedict" page at
      The web page makes it clear that Eggs Benedict wasn't named after
Benedictine monks or Benedict Arnold.
      Cutts Benedict of Watkinsville, Georgia wrote a very nice reply at
      It was LEMUEL Benedict!

"Eggs is eggs."

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