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Great names but little fact

FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 04:17 PM

We've all heard about if you ask a Frenchman about "French Toast" or a Brit about "English Muffins" you get a blank stare. Seems, based on a recent thread elsewhere, there are probably a number of dishes that have either no basis in history, or that folks don't know the real history about. We have all heard how pommes frites or at least souffle potatoes came about from the chef to a French king, but iIsuspect many others have "iffy" routes and explanations.

A few that come to mind:

General Tso's Chicken
Beef Wellington
Anadama Bread
Apple Brown Betty
Waldorf Salad (that one might be true..but I bet others made something like it)
"Anything" Florentine (did they not grow spinach anywhere else?)

I wonder how some of these names got started, and how many other "bogus" ones have made it into culinary history?

So, chowies, you have 2 assignments:

1. Another "named dishes" that might not have any relevancy to history or might even have a good story, but little fact
2. Delineating the history to said "named dishes", ....fantasy is as good as fact. Actually documented named dishes get extra credit!

Time's up! Let's see how our contestants did!

(and to all of you........Happy Holidays! I mean this in fun and the spirit of the holidays)

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  1. babette feasts RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 05:41 PM

    I thought that English muffins were English, and that Brits don't call them English muffins because they simply call them muffins.

    15 Replies
    1. re: babette feasts
      FriedClamFanatic RE: babette feasts Dec 16, 2008 05:49 PM

      Nope! And the Thomas of Liverpool thing is all made up. They have scones.....wonderful scones, but no English Muffins over there. Muffins are like ours.. I lived in the UK from 1989 -1994. Never once saw an English Muffin, even though I lived 20+ miles south of Liverpool.

      1. re: FriedClamFanatic
        applehome RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 12:59 AM

        English muffins are crumpets. Crumpets come in several varieties, but there are ones that are very similar to what we call English muffins.


        Similarly, French Toast is Pain Perdue, which I've had in Paris and Karslruhe.

        1. re: applehome
          KevinB RE: applehome Dec 17, 2008 01:07 AM

          Oh, foo. I was brought up in a very English home. A crumpet is an unbaked pastry with a smooth bottom and many holes on top. It is never split before toasting. After toasting - no one ever eats an untoasted crumpet - one applies butter and perhaps jam or marmalade to the top side, and enjoys.

          I have eaten English muffins. I have enjoyed English muffins. But I say to you, English muffin, "You, sir, are no crumpet".

          1. re: KevinB
            applehome RE: KevinB Dec 17, 2008 01:35 AM

            That's exactly how I eat my English muffins - toast, butter, jam... Just cause some American invented a way to make it crispy by baking it and then get 2-for-1 by splitting it, doesn't mean they're not related. I've had crumpets in my trips to the UK - I'd say they are related, and that the link is quite obvious. Now - if you can get an American to modify that hockey puck called blood sausage or those salty kippered herrings, we could all sit down to a proper breakfast!

            1. re: KevinB
              queencru RE: KevinB Dec 17, 2008 03:44 AM

              Agreed. I ate English muffins for breakfast all the time when I lived in London and they were called muffins. They were the kind you cut in half and put into the toaster. My flatmate sometimes got crumpets, and they were not the same thing at all.

              1. re: queencru
                Soop RE: queencru Dec 17, 2008 08:03 AM

                ^ This.

                Muffins are cupcakes in America, right? We kind of call them muffins too now, but crumpet =/= muffin. Look up English muffin in Wikipedia, and that's what we call muffins.

                1. re: Soop
                  Angela Roberta RE: Soop Dec 17, 2008 08:37 AM

                  I thought American cupcakes = English fairy cakes??

                  1. re: Angela Roberta
                    Gio RE: Angela Roberta Dec 17, 2008 09:42 AM

                    Fairy Cakes and Petits Fours are similar, but Fairy Cakes are round like miniature American cupcakes:


                    Thank you John Inman!!

              2. re: KevinB
                maplesugar RE: KevinB Dec 17, 2008 09:25 AM

                English muffin is what holds together an egg mcmuffin (in Canada anyway). An English Muffin is definitely not a crumpet - are they related? sure but like granny smith and gala apples are related.

                1. re: KevinB
                  pikawicca RE: KevinB Dec 25, 2008 03:42 PM

                  No one ever eats an untoasted English muffin, either. English muffins and crumpets are not the same, but they are quite similar. Obviously, the crumpet inspired the creationof the English muffin.

                2. re: applehome
                  alixium RE: applehome Dec 27, 2008 05:01 PM

                  french toast is called "pain doré" here in French Canada. Some restaurants use the term "pain perdu" when it is served for dessert, not for breakfast.

                3. re: FriedClamFanatic
                  Peg RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 04:24 AM

                  Here (in England) until recently a muffin was always a white crusty yet soft and strangely flat bread roll, with (I believe) cornmeal on the crust. It was always served toasted and hot, with butter. It is nothing like a crumpet.
                  It also in no way resembles an American muffin, which is more like a cupcake. US muffins have now invaded the UK, and no doubt British kids today will never have had an 'English muffin' and will assume all muffins are loaded with blueberries or chocolate and come in a paper case.

                  1. re: Peg
                    mselectra RE: Peg Dec 17, 2008 07:05 AM

                    Peg -- Here in the States an "English muffin" is nothing at all like the cupcake-y "muffin." Flat bread, smooth bottom and holes on top is a good description, not sweet, either -- oh and is a yeast bread.

                    Did somebody already post the wikipedia site?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_...
                    It cites Elizabeth David....

                    (and they do look like crumpets to me, although probably not as good)

                    1. re: Peg
                      Soop RE: Peg Dec 17, 2008 08:03 AM

                      Sorry, just read pegs post after my post. Needless to say, I agree.

                    2. re: FriedClamFanatic
                      drdawn RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 28, 2008 09:00 AM

                      i lived in the UK from 1998-2006 and at at that time (in the south, mind you--it could be a north/south difference) 'muffins' were English muffins and 'american muffins' were the things that could be mistaken for cupcakes. 'fairy cakes' had a particular recipe, involving no blueberries or chocolate chips. Crumpets were the same things americans called crumpets.

                  2. s
                    susabella RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 05:58 PM

                    A few nights ago, a friend, at dinner, was telling me how Caesar salad was created. His version was that there were some Hollywood actors on location in a small town in Mexico. One night, after a long shoot, they went to the only cafe in town. The owner had nothing to feed them except some Romaine lettuce, a few eggs, some anchovies, etc, so he invents this salad. The actors were so taken with it that they named it after the owner. They then went back to Hollywood and told everyone about him and the salad became famous. I asked my friend if he really believed this story and he said he most certainly did. I think it's a food fairytale myself.

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: susabella
                      FriedClamFanatic RE: susabella Dec 16, 2008 06:23 PM

                      And I've heard it was at Caesar's Palace in NV. Wonder which is right?

                      1. re: susabella
                        mselectra RE: susabella Dec 16, 2008 06:38 PM

                        Seems your friend's on to something, if you trust Ruth Reichl (I get the story mixed up with the invention of the margarita, also in Baja California in glamorous golden Hollywood years; Cobb Salad also has a good Hollywood story). I'd actually bookmarked this a while back:


                        "Weekend Edition Saturday, March 11, 2006 • Tijuana chef Caesar Cardini first whipped up the now-ubiquitous dish in the 1920s. Ruth Reichl, editor of Gourmet magazine, tells Susan Stamberg the story and explains what really makes it a true Caesar salad."

                        1. re: mselectra
                          FriedClamFanatic RE: mselectra Dec 16, 2008 06:42 PM

                          Neat! that's why i asked!

                        2. re: susabella
                          mark RE: susabella Dec 17, 2008 07:52 AM

                          that sounds an awful lot like the story behind nachos...


                          1. re: mark
                            mselectra RE: mark Dec 17, 2008 08:02 AM

                            Mark -- Good one! I'm pretty sure I heard that on a Bourdain No Reservations on Mexico, too -- he maybe went to the original place?

                            Really interesting bunch of stories related to "borderlands" studies (popular academic field, that is), somebody should write a book....

                            1. re: mark
                              Soop RE: mark Dec 17, 2008 08:05 AM

                              Agggh! I was gonna say that one :)

                              1. re: Soop
                                Davwud RE: Soop Dec 17, 2008 09:49 AM

                                It's probably the story of a lot of things. It's exactly the same way Buffalo wings were invented.


                                1. re: Davwud
                                  mselectra RE: Davwud Dec 17, 2008 10:18 AM

                                  and how were buffalo wings invented, then?

                                  1. re: mselectra
                                    Davwud RE: mselectra Dec 17, 2008 10:39 AM

                                    Like the nacho and Cesar salad stories. Late night group comes in, not much left, they want food. So the person in the kitchen whips something up.

                                    Necessity being the mother of invention and all


                                    1. re: Davwud
                                      soupkitten RE: Davwud Dec 17, 2008 11:02 AM

                                      oh-- but ask the busboy, or the servers-- and the story will go: the cook whips this easy, gooey, comfort-food stuff up for "staff meal" or after bar-close staff-only snacks all the time-- cheap and fast to put together, often from leftovers. the late party came in right as we were going to close the doors, but the cook was already making everybody's favorite treat, so we offered the special dish, named off the cuff, after the cook or the server, or the server's mom, or whatever, to the late party-- & it was such a hit we ended up adding it to the regular menu. LOL

                                      hmm maybe my curried eggs and rice will be famous someday :)

                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                        Davwud RE: soupkitten Dec 17, 2008 11:10 AM

                                        One can only hope.


                                        1. re: Davwud
                                          soupkitten RE: Davwud Dec 17, 2008 11:23 AM

                                          oh! and that reminds me that this is supposed to be the same type of story with fettucine alfredo-- legend has it that alfredo was supposed to make this easy but comforting pasta dish for his pregnant wife, who found that she couldn't handle the spicier regular restaurant offerings. . .

                                          1. re: soupkitten
                                            danhole RE: soupkitten Dec 17, 2008 11:36 AM

                                            I read that too SK. It calmed her queasy stomach during her pregnancy.

                                  2. re: Davwud
                                    lagatta RE: Davwud Dec 25, 2008 11:27 AM

                                    Well, yes, of course Buffalo is also a borderland. Though what, west of the border? The Niagara River runs more or less south to north.

                              2. re: susabella
                                normalheightsfoodie RE: susabella Dec 18, 2008 10:36 AM

                                I heard it was at the original Cesears Palace in Tijuana, before gambling was outlawed in Mexico, and Las Vegas became a casino Mecca.

                              3. Caitlin McGrath RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 06:04 PM

                                Waldorf salad was created by the chef of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

                                1. Gio RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 06:09 PM

                                  Regarding General Tso's Chicken:
                                  When we were cooking from the Fuchsia Dunlop book, "Land of Plenty" for COTM in March of this year I came across this explanation of the dish by herself, Fuchsia:


                                  I'll quote here a particular paragraph that I think explains the mystery. I hope it's allowed.

                                  "General Tso’s chicken is named for Tso Tsung-t’ang (now usually transliterated as Zuo Zongtang), a formidable 19th-century general who is said to have enjoyed eating it. The Hunanese have a strong military tradition, and Tso is one of their best-known historical figures. But although many Chinese dishes are named after famous personages, there is no record of any dish named after Tso."

                                  There is more to this at the link that I provided....and she does give the history of the dish.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Gio
                                    FriedClamFanatic RE: Gio Dec 16, 2008 06:26 PM

                                    The article is almost spot-on my post. Folks over there never heard of it, but they have heard of him.

                                    1. re: Gio
                                      mselectra RE: Gio Dec 16, 2008 06:45 PM

                                      I thought of that same article when read OP, I have it saved too because I loved it. The connection with Kissinger and all that is so interesting. Seems like I heard a few interviews with Jennifer 8 Lee when she was on book tour where she also discussed Gen Tso's chicken -- and sure enough just found this one:


                                      1. re: mselectra
                                        FriedClamFanatic RE: mselectra Dec 16, 2008 06:56 PM

                                        It's a classic.....the guy himself never heard of it, probably never ate it, and neither did anyone else in China: Ever. But someone in America must ahve thought it sounded good, and so named it. The Thomas Liverpool English Muffins in Cantonese!

                                    2. Gio RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 06:20 PM

                                      Apple Brown Betty is an old American dessert dating back to Colonial times. A ‘betty’ is a baked pudding, made with layers of sweetened and spiced fruit and buttered bread crumbs. It is usually served with a lemon sauce, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Home made of course.


                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: Gio
                                        FriedClamFanatic RE: Gio Dec 16, 2008 06:32 PM

                                        Yes................but why Betty? Not Abigail or Mehitabel or Julia or even Britany? The link doesn't get to that level........but on the other hand, i don't need to follow deeper into Grunts!<G>

                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                          Gio RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 06:40 PM

                                          Britany, forsooth? Were there any Britanys at that time? I doubt it. And let us not forget the Fool, the Flummery, the Hasty Pudding, Swamp Yankee Applesauce Cafe and the Syllabub.

                                          1. re: Gio
                                            FriedClamFanatic RE: Gio Dec 16, 2008 06:43 PM

                                            And you're on a roll! Why, why and why did they get those names?

                                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                              Gio RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 07:03 PM

                                              I'm thinking the names came from the people who initially made the dish or are some sort of descriptive of the procedure. Just my opinion. Catch you later.....

                                              1. re: Gio
                                                hill food RE: Gio Dec 17, 2008 12:27 AM

                                                or is Betty somehow related to the UK slang term 'butty' for sandwich?

                                                no linguist here.

                                                1. re: hill food
                                                  mselectra RE: hill food Dec 17, 2008 07:25 AM

                                                  Note sure why I'm obsessing about this... but I did a quick OED search for "brown betty" -- hoping it's within rules to quote these short excerpts here -- these are from the entry for "brown", under the section on combinations (includes, eg "brown shirt"....) Then, I believe the examples of it used in sentences would be the earliest they could find, which takes it only back to the mid-19th century.

                                                  I also looked up "betty" -- which is both a noun and a verb and seems to be have been used sometimes for making fun of men for being too womanly (as in calling a man a "betty" who did domestic work) and also was once considered a fashionable pet name for a lady, but then became more rustic -- and that's when it became a way to make fun of men, too, as in teasing someone for "bettying around" in unimportant matters.

                                                  1. re: hill food
                                                    mselectra RE: hill food Dec 17, 2008 07:27 AM

                                                    And here are the brief excerpts from the OED, hoping it's legal to quote them:

                                                    "Brown Betty chiefly U.S., a baked pudding containing apples and breadcrumbs"

                                                    "1864 Yale Lit. Mag. XXIX. 187 (Th.), [In training,] tea, coffee, pies, and ‘*brown Betty’ must next be sacrificed. 1911 S. E. WHITE Bobby Orde (1916) x. 126 It was the season of..apple-tapioca and Brown Betty. 1948 ‘J. TEY’ Franchise Aff. xv. 164 Brown-betty with thick cream."

                                                    ETA: Gio, sorry, I just saw that the website you posted also cites that Yale Literary Magazine as the first published reference to it. Cool.

                                                    1. re: mselectra
                                                      Gio RE: mselectra Dec 17, 2008 07:46 AM

                                                      No apologies necessary Ms E. The web abounds with this kind of trivia. I love it!

                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                        mselectra RE: Gio Dec 17, 2008 08:04 AM

                                                        That's for sure -- and I appreciate when they're well-cited....

                                        2. Gio RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 06:28 PM

                                          This gives an account of Anna, a sea captain's wife who baked a bread of molasses and cornmeal which was greatly appreciated by all her husband's crew because it was so delicious.: Her grave stone reads..."Anna wes a lovely bride, but Anna, Damn'er, up and died. "

                                          1. m
                                            mpalmer6c RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 16, 2008 08:24 PM

                                            The sandwich, of course. That's like saying the Pilgrims invented the turkey.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: mpalmer6c
                                              hill food RE: mpalmer6c Dec 17, 2008 12:28 AM

                                              Turkey: well I don't think the Hessians or Huguenot did.

                                              1. re: mpalmer6c
                                                applehome RE: mpalmer6c Dec 17, 2008 01:05 AM

                                                The sandwich IS named after the Earl of Sandwich, although he did not invent it. He was so fond of it as it allowed him to play cards while eating, that he became famous for it.

                                                Similarly, Beef Wellington is named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, either by himself, or by an English chef who served him. It is an older French dish (boeuf en croute), which the Duke liked very much.

                                                I don't know if there's any "false claim" or "little fact" behind these kinds of namings - these people didn't necessarily claim to have invented them, and they were in fact real, historical people who apparently truly enjoyed the dish. Let them go down in history peacefully, I say.

                                                1. re: applehome
                                                  mpalmer6c RE: applehome Dec 17, 2008 08:06 PM

                                                  The common myth is that the earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich when he cleverly thought to put a piece of meat between two slices of bread. Stems from the time when only the English (and western Europe) could be given credit for anything.

                                              2. k
                                                KevinB RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 12:49 AM

                                                OK, I'll bite:

                                                The fantastic Quebec treat known as "poutine", which is freshly made french fried potatoes, covered with cheese curds, and then doused with brown gravy, supposedly got its name when a travelling salesman in rural Quebec, in a hurry, asked the owner to throw the gravy over his fries after he (the salesman) had put the curds on. "Ca va faire une maudite poutine!", the owner is alleged to have replied. ("That's going to make a damn mess!").

                                                Poutine is now enjoyed, and enriching heart surgeons, throughout Canada and the US Northeast.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: KevinB
                                                  FriedClamFanatic RE: KevinB Dec 17, 2008 04:29 AM

                                                  Sort of like the alternative to cream chipped beef on toast! <G>

                                                2. s
                                                  smartie RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 03:53 AM

                                                  there is Peach Melba and Melba toast. Are they named after Dame Nelly Melba? Who knows.
                                                  is Pavlova named after Anna Pavlova?

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: smartie
                                                    Gio RE: smartie Dec 17, 2008 05:02 AM

                                                    Peach Melba and Melba Toast were named after Dame Nellie Melba, the great Australian soprano. In the late 18oo's she stayed at the Savoy Hotel in London. César Ritz and Auguste Escoffier were the managers of the hotel. During an illness the singer asked for some very dry toast and thus Melba Toast was born. It is said that Escoffier himself created the Peach Melba in her honor.

                                                    As for the Pavolova there is some controversy as both New Zealand and Australian hotel chefs clam ownership. It is generally believed that the meringue represents Pavlova's tutu, the green kiwis represent the green decoration of her costume which were green cabbage roses.

                                                    1. re: Gio
                                                      Caralien RE: Gio Dec 22, 2008 11:47 AM

                                                      Regarding Melba...I was told that Peach Melba was first invented for the diva by Escoffier, then, as she started getting fat in later years, Melba Toast was invented.

                                                  2. f
                                                    FriedClamFanatic RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 04:31 AM

                                                    Exactly, smartie. Who gets the credit for them? And where are those thousand islands that warranted having a salad dressing named after them?

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                      Sooeygun RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 05:26 AM

                                                      The Thousand Islands are in Eastern Ontario and New York state. There are some stories that relate the dressing to this area through George Boldt, one time owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. He owned a few of those 1000 islands as well (the story of Boldt Castle on Heart Island is a very sad love story).

                                                      Of course, whether the dressing/geographic link is true or not???

                                                      1. re: Sooeygun
                                                        Davwud RE: Sooeygun Dec 17, 2008 09:50 AM

                                                        It is. George Bolt had a guest up to his 1,000 Islands home and had his executive chef devise a salad for said guest. The dressing would become known as 1,000 Islands Dressing.


                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                          FriedClamFanatic RE: Davwud Dec 17, 2008 10:40 AM

                                                          And I"ll bet the guest wasn't even Russian or close to it!..LOL

                                                    2. Gio RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 05:11 AM

                                                      Here are a couple for you:
                                                      A Shirley Temple and Chicken Tetrazzini......

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                        soupkitten RE: Gio Dec 17, 2008 10:08 AM

                                                        a shirley temple, when made for a young gentleman, is a roy rogers :)

                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                          JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: soupkitten Dec 23, 2008 12:36 AM

                                                          Almost. Shirley Temples are made with Sprite or ginger ale, Roy Rogers is made with Coke. To throw an extra one on there, grenadine with club soda and lemonade is a Queen Charlie. I'd love to know where THAT one came from.

                                                      2. f
                                                        FriedClamFanatic RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 05:51 AM

                                                        And there seems to be some dispute over the origin of the Caesar Salad:


                                                        And i had heard it was invented in Las Vegas!

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                          MMRuth RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 05:56 AM

                                                          I had always heard/read that it was invented in Mexico - maybe even Tijuana?

                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                            mselectra RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 07:02 AM

                                                            But even with the various stories, the connection with Baja and that particular family seems to stand, it's just debate about the details (the Chicago etc. stories don't seem to hold much water).

                                                            MMRuth -- I cited an interview with Ruth Reichl above with the Tijuana story :)

                                                            1. re: mselectra
                                                              MMRuth RE: mselectra Dec 17, 2008 09:33 AM


                                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                                mselectra RE: MMRuth Dec 17, 2008 09:44 AM

                                                                No worries! I'm a little too into this thread....

                                                          2. f
                                                            FriedClamFanatic RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 06:02 AM

                                                            There also seems to be a contoversy over the origin of the Caesar Salad:



                                                            And I had heard it was invented in Las Vegas!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                              lattelover RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 07:43 AM

                                                              No self-respecting Frenchman would eat or even recognize that orange-y "French" salad dressing. In France the normal salad dressing is a vinagrette.

                                                            2. danhole RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 07:37 AM

                                                              Cobb Salad was created by a manager of the Brown Derby in LA, Bob Cobb.


                                                              The Reuben sandwich has a lot of different claims as to who it is named after:


                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: danhole
                                                                Soop RE: danhole Dec 17, 2008 08:13 AM

                                                                The Reuben was another one I was gonna say.

                                                                Ok, what do I have left? Hope I'm not missing the point, but:
                                                                Oysters Rockefeller, named after rockefeller. I think I remember them being created especially for him, and I've also heard that though he liked him, they're considered an awful combination.
                                                                Beef Wellington, I'm pretty sur the Duke of Wellington LOVED that, and it was named after him.
                                                                The Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich at a card game (or more likely a servant invented it for him)
                                                                Errmm... That's it for now...

                                                                1. re: Soop
                                                                  jumpingmonk RE: Soop Dec 18, 2008 04:45 AM

                                                                  Actually from what I understand, Oyster Rockefeller have little, or nothing to do with the Rockefellers directly (although undoubtedly Rocekfeer have eaten it from time to time). from the section on its history in the book Bigger Secrets (it's in there because of how carefully Antoine's (the orginal resturaunt) keeps the ingredients in the sauce secret). The chef simply wanted to pick a name to emphasize how rich the dish was and thereby draw some interest (at the time, dishes invovling cooked oyerst were not popular in fine cusine; oysters were for easting raw, on the half shell.) Incidentally while in france the same chef (probably Antoine himself, but I dont have the book in from of me) prepared a dishe invoving very rare beef. Whne the diner asked what the dish was called (since he had enyoyed it a lot) Antione promptly, in tribute to its bloody appearance, cristen it Boef al al Robespierre (after the infamous character of the French Revoution)
                                                                  Here are a few more
                                                                  Tournedos Rossini are actually named after Rossine (the opera composer) he was said to have ordered the dish (after complaing that a resuturants beef offerings were boring) only to be told that such a dish was not elegant to be presented in such a resturaunt. He is then said to have said "well, then let it be made where no one can see it." Hence the Tournedos part (from a term meaning "to turn the back.) and the tradtion that it is never to be prepared where the patrons can see it.

                                                                2. re: danhole
                                                                  mpalmer6c RE: danhole Dec 17, 2008 08:20 PM

                                                                  The Cobb salad was certainly named after Tex Cobb. But certainly he was not the first to put a variety of ingredients in a salad. The story goes he would go around to the cold locjers after the workday and put in whatever was available, rather than following a recipe.

                                                                  1. re: mpalmer6c
                                                                    mselectra RE: mpalmer6c Dec 18, 2008 07:44 AM

                                                                    Do you have a source? I thought the invention of the cobb salad at the Brown Derby was pretty solid (and has already been mentioned by somebody in this thread): http://www.kitchenproject.com/history...

                                                                    There's an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" all about somebody named Cobb falsely claiming his grandfather invented it which drives Larry David to distraction, I thought it was pretty hilarious.

                                                                3. Soop RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 08:16 AM

                                                                  Oh yeah:

                                                                  Margarita Pizza and coronation chicken have similar backgrounds; both were invented as a food that the nation could eat to celebrate something with Queens

                                                                  "The Margherita is attributed to baker Raffaele Esposito. Esposito worked at the pizzeria "Pietro... e basta così" (literally "Peter... and that's enough") which was established in 1780 and is still operating under the name "Pizzeria Brandi". In 1889, he baked three different pizzas for the visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The Queen's favorite was a pizza evoking the colors of the Italian flag – green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella), and red (tomatoes).[8] This combination was named Pizza Margherita in her honor."
                                                                  From Wikipedia

                                                                  "Florist Constance Spry and chef Rosemary Hume are credited with the invention of coronation chicken.[2][3] Preparing the food for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Spry proposed the recipe of cold chicken, curry cream sauce and dressing that would later become known as coronation chicken.[4]

                                                                  Coronation chicken was likely inspired by jubilee chicken, a dish prepared for the silver jubilee of George V in 1935, which mixed chicken with mayonnaise and curry. Additionally, for the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, another celebratory dish was devised, also called "jubilee chicken".[2]"

                                                                  Also from Wikipedia

                                                                  1. Sam Fujisaka RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 09:05 AM

                                                                    Although I worked on rice for years and although "Fujisaka" is a relatively uncommon Japanese surname, the rice variety, Fujisaka 5, has nothing to do with me. It was bred at the Fujisaka cold tolerance testing station in northern Japan. If any of you were wondering.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                      FriedClamFanatic RE: Sam Fujisaka Dec 17, 2008 09:37 AM

                                                                      Darn, Sam...........and here i thought you were independently wealthy, living off the dividends, travelling around the world at liesure and sampling all those great foods!<G>

                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                        Gio RE: Sam Fujisaka Dec 17, 2008 09:45 AM

                                                                        Of course we were wondering, Sam. We hang on your every word.

                                                                      2. Davwud RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 09:52 AM

                                                                        Canadian Bacon.

                                                                        I'm a Canadian and let me tell you, we don't eat it. What we eat is a pickled/brined pork loin that is then rolled in corn meal. It's called peameal bacon. It's definitely different than Canadian Bacon.


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                          FriedClamFanatic RE: Davwud Dec 17, 2008 10:42 AM

                                                                          Good point! And the stuff we call bacon down here in the States is called, "streaky bacon" in the UK. The stuff they call bacon is a different cut all together (and much better IMHO). Much leaner

                                                                        2. danhole RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 11:03 AM

                                                                          What about Cajun Fried Turkey? Is that really a cajun originated dish or just a marketing ploy to sell the Cachere's injector seasoning?

                                                                          1. s
                                                                            Sal Vanilla RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 04:22 PM

                                                                            I know that Chicken Tetrazzini was named for Luisa Tetrazzini (an italian opera singer). The chef at the Palace hotel in San Fran. made it up for her so she could keep weight ON. Why? If you are fat it keeps the wrinkles at bay! I love that.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                                                              Will Owen RE: Sal Vanilla Dec 17, 2008 04:46 PM

                                                                              The impression I got from reading James Beard's preface to the dish was that Tetrazzini simply had an enormous appetite, and needed nobody's help to keep her weight on! And I gotta say, that dish will do it for you...

                                                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                Sal Vanilla RE: Will Owen Dec 18, 2008 10:19 AM

                                                                                Tomato Tomahto. The funny part was the wrinkle cure.

                                                                              2. re: Sal Vanilla
                                                                                tracylee RE: Sal Vanilla Dec 18, 2008 03:11 PM

                                                                                Bwahahaha, and I thought I made that up about being heaviers means less facial wrinkles! I've been saying that for years!

                                                                              3. s
                                                                                Sal Vanilla RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 17, 2008 04:27 PM

                                                                                Boston Butt: In Boston during/before revolutionary times lesser prized pork pieces were packed into barrels called "butts". You know who does not call pork shoulder "Boston Butt"?

                                                                                Yep. Bostonians.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                                                                  applehome RE: Sal Vanilla Dec 17, 2008 04:49 PM

                                                                                  The butt isn't the shoulder. It's the blade - the piece that the shoulder connects to. I've certainly seen pieces labeled butt here, 30 miles from Boston. Go to Butcher Boy in Andover - they'll know exactly what a butt is. It may be the Boston part of the moniker that doesn't apply here, but butt is butt.

                                                                                2. Caralien RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 22, 2008 11:57 AM

                                                                                  Salisbury Steak was not invented in England, but by American James Salisbury:
                                                                                  (Oddly enough, we ordered a burger in Salisbury, England, and it actually did taste like Salisbury Steak, much to our dismay)

                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                    SFDude RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 22, 2008 09:40 PM

                                                                                    My parent recently were traveling in the Thousand Islands region of Canada (sorry i don't know exactly where), and I made jokes about the dressing. It turns out the the dressing was, in fact, first prepared there. Apparently someone from New York had a place up there and his chef made the dressing there. The boss like it so much that he had the chef make it in NYC and the rest is history.

                                                                                    1. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 23, 2008 12:52 AM

                                                                                      One of my favorite origin tales is one of the few popular foods native to Arizona, namely the chimichanga. The people at the regional chain Macayo's claim their founder invented it by putting some burritos in the deep fryer and serving them up. The much better tale comes from Tucson's El Charro restaurant. In 1922, the owner, Monica Flin, accidentally dropped a burrito in the deep fryer. She was about to exclaim "¡Ay, chingada!" (a Spanish F-bomb) but caught herself and exclaimed "chimichanga" (loose English translation: "Doohickey") instead. They tried it, liked it, and your cardiologist's boat payment was born.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
                                                                                        jumpingmonk RE: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Dec 25, 2008 12:14 PM

                                                                                        Here's a story I heard:
                                                                                        If you go to an "upscale" Chinese resturaunt, you may bump into a soup whose name is translated as "West Lake Soup" (Its basically an egg drop soub with minced beef and cilantro (as well as sometimes mushrooms and tofu cubes) added) From what I understand the soup takes its name from the West Lake region in China which was a favorite vacation/resort spot in China. The soup howder does not orginate from the West lake region; it is Cantonese in orgin (the West Lake region itslef is in Zhejiang not Guandong) as one might suspect by how similar it is to egg drop (also Cantonese in orgin) According to what I have read the was named "West Lake" by returning Cantonese tourists becuse they felt is was as simple and beautiful as the lake they had just come back from visitng. There are also such things as "West Lake Fish" and "West Lake Duck" but I do not know whethere they are also of Canonese orgin.

                                                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk
                                                                                          applehome RE: jumpingmonk Dec 25, 2008 12:46 PM

                                                                                          Although not in Zhejiang, there is a famous restaurant in Changsha called the West Lake Restaurant, that is the largest restaurant in the world. Is it possible that these dishes are from there? There was a BBC documentary on it that was shown in the US not long ago.

                                                                                          1. re: applehome
                                                                                            jumpingmonk RE: applehome Dec 25, 2008 03:34 PM

                                                                                            I'm not saying its impossible, but the Cantonese have called the soup "west lake soup" for centuries, the resturaunt would have to be extremely old. The fish and duck could be from there, though.

                                                                                      2. johnb RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 27, 2008 03:35 PM

                                                                                        German chocolate cake. Has nothing to with Germany. Name is based on the use of German brand baking chocolate, invented by a fellow named Samuel German. May have been a recipe that was concocted by the company to promote the chocolate. The chocolate is different because it already had the sugar added, ie it was sweeter than other brands.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: johnb
                                                                                          rednyellow RE: johnb Jan 3, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                                                          Years ago, I phoned a friend in Germany and asked him where in Germany the coconut trees grew. He asked what the hell I was talking about and I told him German Chocolate Cake had coconut frosting, which is what made it German Chocolate Cake. He had no idea what I was talking about. I offered to ship him a German Chocolate Cake that he could serve as imported, local cake. I later found out the truth about the recipe, as you mentioned.

                                                                                        2. pikawicca RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 27, 2008 05:31 PM

                                                                                          In your view, what would it take to make Apple Brown Betty non-bogus? Would one have to produce a brown apple aunt?

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                            jumpingmonk RE: pikawicca Dec 27, 2008 06:14 PM

                                                                                            Actually now that it think of that, EVERY confection labelled as being, or containing "marshmallow" is bogus. as to my knowledge true marshmallows, that is versions actually containing tincture of Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis) have probably not been made or sold for well over a century, likely longer. Indeed should anyone want to sell an "original formula" marshmallow, I very much doubt the USDA would allow it (as I understand it Marsh Mallow extract is good for curing sore throats, so an "orginal" marshmallow would likey be classifed as some sort of cough drop or herbal supplment and as such not something kids should be encouraged to eat in the en masse method of a candy)

                                                                                          2. danhole RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 29, 2008 11:17 AM

                                                                                            Spanish peanuts are primarily grown in Texas and Oklahoma.

                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                              MoxieBoy RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 30, 2008 06:08 AM

                                                                                              How about all the ham and bacon sandwiches on the menu at "Kosher STYLE delis?"

                                                                                              1. Caralien RE: FriedClamFanatic Dec 30, 2008 06:23 AM

                                                                                                Au gratin dishes in the US being synonymous with "baked with cheese"; a gratin dish is simply a casserole which can be baked at high temperatures with fillings which may or may not include cheese.

                                                                                                1. c
                                                                                                  CocoaNut RE: FriedClamFanatic Jan 3, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                                                                  Australian for beer = Fosters

                                                                                                  Nope - they've never heard of it as I found on a trip there a few years ago. However, the mostly male group that I asked were quite amused, entertained and *flattered* by the portrayed image.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: CocoaNut
                                                                                                    Caralien RE: CocoaNut Jan 5, 2009 11:42 AM

                                                                                                    What I heard was that Foster's is Australian for Coor's

                                                                                                  2. lupaglupa RE: FriedClamFanatic Jan 3, 2009 12:03 PM

                                                                                                    We hosted an exchange student from Denmark who was astounded by people constantly asking her about or offering her a danish! She said they call the similar pastry a viennese pastry in Denmark. Anyone know how the US came to call the danish a danish?

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: lupaglupa
                                                                                                      ideabaker RE: lupaglupa Jan 5, 2009 01:36 PM

                                                                                                      See L. C. Klitteng's Influence on the "Danish" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_p... .

                                                                                                      1. re: ideabaker
                                                                                                        lupaglupa RE: ideabaker Jan 7, 2009 05:54 AM

                                                                                                        So, a pretty classic story - when it came to America it changed from 'vienna bread' to 'Danish pastry'! Thanks for the link ideabaker.

                                                                                                    2. ideabaker RE: FriedClamFanatic Jan 5, 2009 11:31 AM

                                                                                                      Stilton Cheese (the blue vein variety which was so hard to find- I tried- due to a recall from one area during the Christmas season) of all types doesn't come from Stilton, England, and in fact legally cannot be made there... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stilton_... . Of course I don't care what it's called or where it comes from it just tastes great, and, the story fit the thread :-).

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: ideabaker
                                                                                                        jumpingmonk RE: ideabaker Jan 6, 2009 04:29 AM

                                                                                                        And Cheddar doesnt really come from Cheddar

                                                                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk
                                                                                                          Soop RE: jumpingmonk Jan 6, 2009 07:27 AM

                                                                                                          It does, doesn't it?

                                                                                                          1. re: Soop
                                                                                                            jumpingmonk RE: Soop Jan 6, 2009 12:27 PM

                                                                                                            No, Cheddar (the village) is in a region (Somersetshire) where a lot of cheddar (the cheese)( was (and still is) made but Cheddar itself has no cheese industry, and hasn't for ages. Cheddar and Cheddaring (the cheesemaking method by which Cheddar is made which invove slicing and stacking the curds repeatedly) probably got associated with Cheddar due to large number of tourists who ate it while in Cheddar (usally to see the Cheddar Gorge). and upon going home spoke of the "Cheese they had in Cheddar" the rest, as they say is history

                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk
                                                                                                              Soop RE: jumpingmonk Jan 7, 2009 01:43 AM

                                                                                                              just checked, Wikipedia; "The name 'Cheddar cheese' has become widely used internationally, and does not currently have a protected designation of origin (PDO). However, the European Union recognises West Country Farmhouse Cheddar as a PDO.[16] To meet this standard the cheese must be made in the traditional manner using local ingredients in one of the four designated counties of South West England: Somerset, Devon, Dorset, or Cornwall."

                                                                                                              but according to Cheddar Valley's official website, there is a visitor center where you can see the cheese making process: http://www.cheddarsomerset.co.uk/

                                                                                                      2. f
                                                                                                        FriedClamFanatic RE: FriedClamFanatic Jan 24, 2009 07:15 PM

                                                                                                        And since I live on the East coast and had a wonderful sandwich today, I hope that San Francisco Sourdough bread was either flown in, or at least the starter was!

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