4th Nov 2021 | Food
It has to one of the greatest honours you can achieve – a food named after you.
And, in the case of John Montagu, it’s an honour that can live on centuries after you have bitten the dust.
Otherwise known as the fourth Earl of Sandwich, Montagu reputedly couldn’t drag himself away from a card game to eat and so asked for meat between two slices of bread to be brought to him.
Others asked for “the same as Sandwich” and so a culinary legend was born and survives today, nearly 230 years after the death of its namesake.
November 3rd marked World Sandwich Day so that got us thinking of other foodstuffs named after individuals.
You might think Caesar salad dates back even further than a sandwich to ancient Rome – in fact its origins are 1924 Mexico and this classic salad isn’t named after an emperor but a famous restaurateur.
One particularly busy July 4 Caesar Cardini found himself running short of ingredients at his hotel in Tijuana so made do with what he had – lacing romaine salad leaves with garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, grated Parmesan cheese and croutons. Anchovies were optional.
Some food is so delicious it’s worth singing about and that’s definitely the case with the luxurious desert – the peach melba. A glorious marriage of peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream, it was invented in the 1890s by the French chef Auguste Escoffier in honour of the celebrated Australian soprano Nellie Melba.
And yes, the granny smith apple really was named after a granny called Smith. Ann Smith was a keen fruit grower who lived in New South Wales, Australia. In 1868 she cultivated a new strain of apple which proved tasty, hardy and very popular at the local market.
From this original sapling, it’s fame – and seedlings – spread and continued to do so long after granny Smith had passed away. So, much so that by 1975 40% of Australia’s apple crop were granny smiths.
Since its opening in 1931, the Venetian restaurant Harry’s Bar has been the haunt of films stars and celebrities ranging from Charlie Chaplin to George Clooney.
But possibly its greatest claim to fame is the invention of carpaccio by chef Giuseppe Cipriani, who first served up the thin cuts of raw meat and fish to a visiting countess after doctors recommended she eat raw meat for a stomach complaint.
The deep red colour of the raw meat reminded Cipriani of the work of the Venetian artist Vittore Carpaccio and so he named the new dish in his honour.
If you like slivers of raw food then perhaps enjoying them between slices of bread could be the ideal way to celebrate Sandwich Day.
Alternatively, you’ll find our wide range of sandwich fillers cater for every taste and are equally delicious in those close relatives, panini, baguettes, wraps and toasties.