The hotels that invented the dish
In the UK we’re lucky enough to be able to sample multiple cuisines from around the world right on our doorstep. However, sometimes enjoying the cuisine in the actual place where it originates can’t be beaten.
This is certainly the case for some dishes and beverages whose popularity has made them into foodie icons and there are particular hotels located across the world that we have to thank for their invention.
So if you’re a fan of much-loved options like Peach Melba or the Singapore Sling, the Flexicover team gives you the rundown of the hotels where you’ll find the original versions…
Waldorf-Astoria, USA: Eggs Benedict
The Waldorf-Astoria in New York is rightly famous for turning the unlikely plate-fellows of walnuts, apples, celery, grapes and mayonnaise into the Waldorf Salad. But let’s not forget its, some would say, more important invention: Eggs Benedict. Though Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York also lay claim to it, the Waldorf-Astoria insist that the dish was created there in 1894, after Wall Street high-flier Lemuel Benedict asked the hotel restaurant to serve up the dish that his hangover called for: “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of Hollandaise”. Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’, was so impressed with the flavour combination that he popularised it as the Eggs Benedict we know and love today.
The Savoy, UK: Peach Melba
As the UK’s first luxury hotel, The Savoy was a meeting place for England’s high society. So it was the obvious place for a restaurant that was the cause of much conversation as well as the host of it. Enter Auguste Escoffier, one of the first celebrity chefs. Enamoured by the famous Australian singer Nellie Melba, a frequent visitor to the hotel, in 1893 he invented the Peach Melba, a creamy combination of smooth peaches, refreshing ice cream and sugary raspberry sauce. To mark her appearance in the Wagner opera Lohengrin, the first Peach Melba was served in a silver dish that lay on carved ice in the shape of a swan. The celebrated singer was also responsible for another creation of his: Melba toast.
Raffles Hotel, Singapore: The Singapore Sling
While haute cuisine has been led by inventive chefs, the world of mixology isn’t short of its hotel-pioneers either. As the name suggests, the famous Singapore Sling was created in the Asian country, by Ngiam Tong Boom of the landmark Raffles Hotel. In the opulent surrounds of the Long Bar, he concocted a cocktail of gin, cherry brandy and fruit juices, leading to the sweet, seductive drink we enjoy all over the world today. Note that The Long Bar is closed for much of 2017 for renovation, but to appease thirsty travellers who come from far and wide for a taste of their signature cocktail, it will be served in the Hotel Bar & Billiard Room instead.
Hotel Caesar's, Mexico: Caesar Salad
The Caesar Salad is one of the unhealthiest healthy dishes around and we have Caesar Cardini to thank for creating it at the Hotel Caesar, an upscale establishment in the Mexican border town of Tijuana. The salad was said to have been assembled after a Fourth of July rush in 1924 left the restaurateur in short supply. He improvised with the available ingredients, tossing the salad at the tables for an added wow factor. With whole lettuce leaves, garlic, croutons, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and Worcestershire sauce and an olive oil dressing, the salad has been tweaked since, but the spirit of Caesar’s salad lives on.
Hotel Tatin, France: Tarte Tatin
Now for dessert, but more specifically the delicious sweet of Tarte Tatin. It’s no revelation that the dish was created in France but it might raise an eyebrow that it was created by accident. Hotel Tatin, in Lamotte-Beuvron, was owned by Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin in the 1880s. When a tired Stéphanie attempted to make an apple tart but overcooked the apples, they rescued it by putting the pastry base on top. Et voila, the Tarte Tatin was born.
So if this has whetted your appetite for some culinary adventure it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.