Are You Savvy to These Bits of Food
Caesar Salad - Was
originally called the Aviator Salad. It was not named for any of
the Roman Caesars but rather invented by a Alex Cardini at his
brother’s restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. He named the salad
Aviator since the restaurant was near an airfield. But later
the name was changed to honor his brother.
Eggs Benedict - is named for Mrs.
LeGrand Benedict, a wealthy
woman who frequented Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City. One
day she complained that there was nothing new on the menu, so the chief
came up with the new dish and named it for the woman who inspired it.
Lobster Newburg - was originally
named ‘Lobster a’ la Wenberg’
after the salty old sea captain Ben Wenberg, who first prepared
dish. But after Ben was involved in a brawl in the restaurant,
the owner changed the name to Newburg.
Melba Toast - is named for Dame
Nellie Melba, a famous
opera singer who loved the burnt toast.
Salisbury Steak - Dr. James
Salisburn was a British doctor
who became well known as a health expert. He preached that eating
ground beef three times a day would cure tuberculosis, hardening of the
gout, colitis, asthma and other ills. His specially prepared meat
known as Salisbury steak.
Nutmeg - Although Connecticut is
known as the Nutmeg state,
there is no nutmeg grown or processed in Connecticut! Years ago,
traders from Connecticut made counterfeit nutmegs out of wood and sold
as the real thing. Thus, the state earned its nickname.
Sardines - Ever see a Sardine in
the water? And you
never will! Sardines are not Sardines until they are
packed. Any one of twenty different species might end up as a
canned sardine. The most common are young herring and
pilchard. The name comes
from the island of Sardinia, where sardines were first canned in 1834.
Hush Puppies - the little fried
cakes of corn meal got
their name the logical way. One evening, a group of southern
hunters were frying catfish over the campfire. The hounds were
hungry and when
they smelled the catfish cooking, they began to whimper and beg.
One of the hunters rolled up some balls of the cornmeal that they were
to bread the catfish and dropped it in the hot grease. When
brown, he threw it to the dogs and said “hush puppies!”
Hors d’ Oeuvre - This French phrase
literally means ‘outside
the main work.’ It was originally used by architects. It
to an outbuilding - a building not included in the architect’s primary
design. Chefs borrowed the term to label food not usually served
Lollipop - comes from the old
English term for tongue ‘lolly’
and the sound the tongue made when eating or sucking on the candy on a
Po Boy, Hoagie, Submarine - many
names, same sandwich. During a streetcar workers strike in New
Orleans in 1929, a sandwich shop
called Martin Brothers offered free food to any poor-boy, or union
member. After the strike was settled, the shop posted a sign that
of the Poor Boy Sandwiches.”
Selling Like Hotcakes - in the
early 1600's hotcakes (pancakes)
were sold at fairs, carnivals and other festive events. They
became the bestselling snack at these celebrations. By the
century, the term had come into general use in the language and any
purchase was said to be selling like hotcakes.
• In Joliet, Illinois, it is against the law to put
in a cookie jar.
• Banana peels can’t be tossed on the street in Waco,
• It’s against the law to sell bologna on Sunday in
• In California, it is illegal to peel an orange in a
• Give your sweetheart a box of candy weighing less
50 pounds in Idaho and you could get a fine.
• In Massachusetts, it is illegal to put tomatoes in
• In Gary, Indiana, it is against the law to ride a
or attend a theater within four hours after eating garlic.
• Don’t share your hamburger in Oklahoma, you could
• In Greene, New York, it is illegal to eat peanuts
walk backward on the side walk while a concert is playing. (Try
to figure that one out!)