Eggs Benedict – The History of a Great Breakfast

Eggs Benedict, or poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and ham on an English muffin, is an American breakfast stabple. There are several theories behind the history of eggs benedict, dating as far back as the 1860s.

One of the first stories of the origin of eggs benedict credits Delmonico’s Restaurant for the breakfast recipe. Delmonico’s is the first restaurant to open in the U.S., and in the 1860s, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, a patron of the eating establishment, couldn’t find anything she liked on the menu. She talked to Chef Charles Ranhofer, who created eggs benedict for her on the fly.

Years later, in 1967, New York Times columnist Craig Claiborne wrote about a letter he’d received from Edward Montgomery, an American who was living in France. Montgomery stated in the letter that the recipe for eggs benedict had been passed down to him from his mother, whose brother was good friends with the man who was believed to have created the dish, Commodore E.C. Benedict.

Another theory suggests that Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking cookbook featured the recipe for eggs benedict, which was derived from the original French dish oeufs benedictine, which was a combination of potatoes and salt cod pureed and and eaten on top of toast.

Whether you believe the original recipe for eggs benedict was created by one of the U.S.’s first restaurant chefs or passed down among friends, you can enjoy your meal with variations that you like best. For instance, turkey bacon or ham can be used in place of the pork variety, and whole wheat English muffins and toast are a healthy addition to the dish as well. Enjoy!

About Zia Diner:

The Zia Diner is a true Santa Fe icon, now celebrating 25 years as a part of this community. Serving upscale, down home comfort food, the Zia Diner serves updated renditions of diner classics – think Green Chile-Pinon Meatloaf – along with an eclectic menu of southwestern and international comfort food. This high-energy restaurant and bar prides itself on its professional and friendly service and exceptional food. The Zia uses grass-fed, additive-free beef, free-range and additive-free chicken and eggs, and local, organic, fair-trade Agapao Coffee. Their bread is delivered daily from Fano Bakery in Albuquerque. All pies, cakes, cookies and pastries are baked from scratch in their kitchen.

Contact: Beth Koch