Chicken breasts gismonda
We are hosting our gourmet group over the Valentine weekend. I have chosen a romantic Italian theme. Table setting and dishes all with this theme. Pasta puttanesca will be the pasta course becasue of its colorful origin. I have enjoyed chicken breasts gismunda on a bed os spinich for many years. The recipe is in the Italian section of the New York Times International Cookbook. I found out that Gismonda was an opera written for Sarah Berhhart and played in Paris. That didn't help with the Italian beginning of the dish. Could anyone tell me how chicken breasts gismonda was named? Thanks
Just for the record, the opera is/was "Tosca," Gismonda is the female lead and since it wouldn't be much of an "homage" to name it after one of her many, many, many roles, I'd guess it actually has little to do with Berhnhardt per se. And other than perhaps a riff on the already tenously-connected-to-Italy "Florentine-style" dishes - all very much classic French haute cuisine - I'm not at all sure it has much to do with Italy, as such, to begin with. Any more than Peach Melba (Pêche Melba) has anything to do with Australia, other than that's where the opera singer Dame Nellie Melba came from, for whom Escoffier created and named that dish.
FWIW, the dish isn't listed as such at all in the English translation of Escoffier's cookbook nor in the first English edition of Larousse Gastronomique. A quick Google search reveals nothing much helpful, suggesting at least that it wasn't named by anyone who ever achieved lasting fame...