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10 People Who Gave Their Name To Food

Many of the foods we love were named for their creator or for the inspiration of the recipe. So many foods and recipes we take for granted and don’t even realize have a namesake. Here are ten foods that owe their name and fame to one person’s name. Feel free to mention any others you can think of in the comments.

10

Nellie Melba

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Helen Porter Mitchell (1861-1931) began her opera career and became a famous singer under the stage name Nellie Melba. While staying at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1897, Auguste Escoffier invented Melba Toast in her honor (this is very thinly sliced and toasted bread which is served usually with soups). A great fan of Melba, Escoffier had invented Peach Melba for her four years earlier (1893). It was during this period of time working at the Savoy, that Escoffier and César Ritz met. Just one year later the two would team up to create the first Ritz Hotel.

9

Suzanne Reichenberg

Picture 2-63

Crêpes Suzette (thin pancakes covered with orange liqueur and sometimes set alight) were invented by the famous French chef Auguste Escoffier in honor of the renowned French actress (and Baroness) Suzanne Reichenberg (1853-1924). While this is the most likely origin of the dish (as Escoffier almost single-handedly invented modern French cuisine), other stories claim it was invented by a 15 year old assistant chef serving Queen Victoria’s son. This is most unlikely as an assistant chef would not have been given the chance to cook for royalty.


8

James H Salisbury

Salisbury Steak 1.Jpg

The Salisbury Steak was created by James Salisbury in 1886 as a treatment for many afflictions such as gout, bronchitis and tuberculosis. He believed that well-done ground beef should be eaten three times a day and a glass of hot water be taken before and after each meal. While the medicinal properties can certainly be argued, the fame of this food cannot. During the World Wars, many Americans petitioned for the hamburger to be renamed Salisbury Steak, but efforts ultimately failed.

7

Lemuel Benedict

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New York socialite Lemuel Benedict returned to his hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria, after a long night of drinking and asked the maitre d’hotel for a specific hangover remedy. His request included a piece of toast, a poached egg, bacon and hollandaise sauce. He received his order but an English muffin was substituted for toast and ham for bacon and Eggs Benedict was born. The jury is still out on its ability to cure a hangover.

6

Robert Cobb

Cobb+Salad+5.Jpg

Robert Cobb was the owner of the famous Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood. One lonely night in 1936 he created the Cobb Salad out of necessity. That evening all the employees and guests had gone home and he needed to provide dinner to Sid Grauman of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, so he made a quick salad out of leftovers from the refrigerator. He was so pleased with his results that he added it to the menu.

5

Maria Smith

Granny Smith.Jpg

While working on her farm near Sydney, Australia, Maria Smith found a small sapling growing where she had discarded some rotten apples days earlier. She replanted the tree and it eventually bore fruit, green apples with a tart flavor. She shared these apples with her friends and neighbors and they grew in fame. Maria died in 1870 but her “Granny Smith” apples are more popular than ever.


4

Caesar Cardini

Ccardini.Jpg

It is a common mistake to believe that Caesar Salad is named for the Roman Emperor, but in fact it was named after Caesar Cardini, a Mexican restaurateur in Tijuana, Mexico. On the weekend of July 4th in 1924 Caesar served finger foods by placing garlic-scented leaves on platters. He eventually started shredding the leaves into smaller pieces and it evolved into a salad. The salad became famous when it was a big hit for Hollywood stars who visited Tijuana. Soon it was added to the menus of many famous restaurants such as Romanoff’s and Chasen’s.

3

Alfredo di Lelio

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Di Lelio, an Italian chef, was concerned about his wife who was feeling weak after recently giving birth. He prepared a sauce made from cream, butter and Parmesan cheese to help her regain strength. He then added fettuccine and a wonderful new Italian dish was born, Fettuccine Alfredo. It jumped in popularity in the United States when Hollywood couple Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford tried the recipe at Alfredo’s restaurant on their honeymoon in Rome.


2

Sylvester Graham

Graham.Jpg

Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) was one of America’s first health food advocates with such theories that white bread and meat should be avoided while pushing for more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. He made enemies out of bakers and butchers but had many powerful friends, such as Thomas Edison and Joseph Smith, the creator of Mormonism, who believed in his healthy recommendations. While Graham’s theories have proven correct, he would be upset to know that his original whole wheat crackers have become sugary treats containing bleached flour.

1

John Montagu
4th Earl of Sandwich

4Th Earl Of Sandwich.Jpg

What is legend and what is fact is up for debate, but the story goes that Montagu (1718-1792) was in a card game when he asked a servant to place some roast beef between two pieces of toast so he could eat with one hand and play cards with the other. Other stories suggest he was writing or hunting when he ordered the first sandwich, but the card game story has the most authenticity as the Earl hosted card games that lasted for days and was a member of the Hellfire Club.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • damien_karras

    Wow… how was a pb + j consumed before the Earl of Sandwich came on the scene?

    • Chang

      This was the best Graham norton show ever, you’ve got matt smith who is awsomee coz he’s doctor who, kara tointon who’s great and easy on the eye, David walliams and matt Lucas who r hilarious and to round it off Ellie goulding singing a great song. They all got on so well too, brilliant show

  • Greggory

    Average list.

  • Owly

    Someday there will be the Roast Lulu Lamb

  • Gabtinha

    Not bad… but Pavlova should be there.

  • maximuz04

    yeah the title sounded more interesting than the list itself. Jamie are you gonna wait till 2009 is over for the top sci fi movies of 2000s? I cant wait for that one!

    Sandwich wasnt his name though (#1) wasnt it just where he was from?

  • maximuz04: in fairness I think we will need to wait – after all, Star Trek is out this week!

  • PhilJohnson

    Thats crazy about the sandwich. Its just become something so familiar to us that Ive never even pondered who invented it. Great list!

  • maximuz04

    Jamie:
    haha yeah I know!!! i cant wait! for once a star trek movie looks better than an above average episode.
    I am also going to see “battle for terra” this week. Looks super corny and low budget CGI but the plot sounds interesting and sadly, plausable in the near future

  • maximuz04: I can’t wait either – I am not a trekkie by any stretch of the imagination (I only ever watched the original series in re-run as a kid) but the film looks excellent.

  • maximuz04

    Jamie: Oh i wasnt a fan of TOS, but ive seen every episode of TNG, DS9, and Voyager. Didnt like Enterprise as much but I am a huge trekkie!
    Well its 2 AM here, gnite

  • maximuz04: night night :)

  • jhoyce07

    im hungry JFrat..waaa..

  • b-rad

    doesnt star trek have harold from harold and kumar in it?
    besides, i avoid new science fiction movies like the plague

  • lab

    Where is Anna Pavlova?
    She’s more famous then any of the others on the list, isn’t she?

  • kiwiboi

    lab – Pavlova (the meringue) is probably much more well known in Oz and NZ. Most of the foods on the list are very well known internationally.

  • kiwiboi

    Interesting list. Good job Shell Harris.

    I did kinda expect to find Beef Wellington or Margerita pizza or Mornay sauce…but I guess there must be a million foods named after people, so you have to draw the line somewhere.

    And, being in London, I’d kill for a cream-filled Lamington right now!

  • damien_karras

    General Tso’s chicken… now that’s a dubious animal to be honored by for a general.

  • nuriko

    nice one! :)

  • Mom424

    It is a nice list – I’ve actually heard Escoffier used as a noun, similar in use to epicure. He definitely seems to deserve that honour.

    Kiwiboi: How wonderful to see you! :)

  • billyshears

    Ahh that's so weird, my mom and I were just discussing about the origins of Caesar salad's name!

    Anyways, cool list 0:)

    • Riad

      the fun and excitement that sdreounurd this very special day. To view the clip on their website, click here. This video is just a sneak peak so watch this space for

  • Cybogen

    Good List – I like to know the history on some of these products. It would be cool to have something named after you that when its spoken you are reminded of what you invented,

  • Randall

    NATURALLY we couldn’t have this list without the famous SNL skit from the 70s:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_b3oPslctA

    “LORD AND LADY DOOOO-SHHHH-AH-BAG!”

  • JUNQUEMAN

    WHAT– No rutabaga??? I’m in a RUT– No Navel oranges? Either named after my NAVEL or the NAVY department??? Alas just kidding–a fun list.

  • Shagrat

    Definitely, 3. Gabtinha: the omission of the Pavlova is criminal – it’s certainly far tatier than bloody Graham Bread – – – -WTF?
    BTW – Kiwiboi – “Pav” may very well be better known in Australia and New Zealand – but I have seen it on menu’s in London, Edinburgh, Paris, Hamburg and Rome – Never saw Frickin “Graham bread” in ANY of those places.

  • oouchan

    I only knew of 3 of these. Interesting info on the rest. I like this list…but then again, I like anything with food! :D

  • scrumpy

    What food is named after Sylvester Graham?

  • Spange

    Graham crackers.

  • S. Davis

    Wake up Scrumpy!!

    The GRAHAM Cracker – get it!

  • S. Davis

    Ssomebody please get poor Scrumpy a quad-shot…

  • scrumpy

    oh right

  • scrumpy

    they’re not very popular here in Britain

  • warrrreagl

    Randall – or the classic “Painful Rectal Itch.” Because with a name like “Painful Rectal Itch,” it HAS to be good…

  • TEX

    Hey, where’s Reuben Kulakofsky? Granted it’s a sub-category of #1 – but the best “sandwich” ever (except maybe BLT with avacado – mmmmmmmmm!)

  • callie_

    I’d kill for a cobb salad right now

  • travisthechimp

    I see that Chef (Boiardi) Boyardee gets no love.

  • Eugene

    I knew most of these but not the granny smith apples. That’s pretty cool.

    I love to cook. I wish I could have something named after me!! ;) I’m just not very creative.

  • Randall

    warrrreagl:

    …or the jam with the name so terrible, we can’t say it on television! (That’s gotta be great jam!)

    (I love it when Bill Murray—I believe as “The Lord of Sandwich” comes up to Buck Henry–as Lord Douchebag–and goes, “Dooouchebaggggg!!!”)

  • TEX

    Speaking of bacon – Sir Francis Bacon, who applied the scientific method to pork bellies

  • Baxter In Action

    I bet #2 would be also be sad to learn that Graham crackers do not put people off masturbating, his stated intention…

  • lo

    as an american, the first time i ever heard of the existence of pavlova was right here on listverse. it may be prepared internationally, but i suspect that this is mainly in restaurants with a new zealander/australian on staff, or going for a “theme restaurant” featuring one of the above countries. it’s certainly not a common menu offering in paris or rome.

    and it’s known as a graham cracker, not graham bread. they’re like cookies/biscuits really. and i freely admit they’re probably just an american thing.

  • Cedestra

    /sigh So dramatic, People. “It’s positively CRIMINAL that x and y were left off the list!”. Really. Criminal? You’re equating forgetting something with grand theft larceny?
    I actually enjoyed the list. There were some I was expecting to see, but didn’t. Hass avocados? I’m unsure if that was his name or town.
    I would like a dessert named after me. Anyone up for creating “Cedestra cakes”?

  • Cedestra

    Graham crackers were invented in the United States as a proper dietary item. They were rather bland, as were all the other items Sylvester Graham offered. Spices and exotic foods were bad.
    Nowadays, graham crackers are mainly used in awesome pie crusts and as one-third of the best camping dessert ever: s’mores. For those unfamiliar with s’mores, you roast a marshmallow and sandwich it between two pieces of graham cracker with a piece of milk chocolate. Nomnomnom.

    • Dawn-Gale

      Try our favorite – two graham crackers with a thin layer of vanilla icing in between.

  • Great list, but I agree that Pavlova should have been included. Nothing is better than a well made Pav, especially with whipped cream and strawberries and kiwi fruit.
    I did know all of the stories except the Grannie Smith one. It’s delightful, and just makes me like the apple more.

  • smithstar15

    What about Mr. Potato Head?–Why is he being left out?–Must be another right wing conspiracy.

  • TEX

    How about a hot platter of goodness from Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya?
    (with cheddar and HOT peppers – not that cheese like matter)

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  • Afternoon all! God, I’m so hungry now! Thanks for not filling the list with food pics J. or I’d be licking the screen by now.

    Harking back to the mysteries lists – who is Uncle Ben? Nobody knows, but he was a real person; probably worth his weight in rice by now. ;)

  • scotjock

    not my cup of tea but kudos for puttin in the effort. I thought it was going to be paul newman,linda macartney.

  • The other Darren

    theres a deli in boston(or near an eastern seaboard university) that names certian sandwiches after customers…not sure if they catch on tho…btw who was the reuben named after?

  • Jams a Tin

    Shagrat stop being a dick, learn to be polite to other people, the sun doesn’t shine out your ass as you think.

  • Looser

    ok

  • CJ

    9. maximuz04 and jamie: a) it’s Trekker, not Trekkie. b) Max, TOS wasn’t the original Star Trek.

    Nice list. Made me hungry. :)

  • kertamen

    Julius Caesar was not an emperor of Rome- just a “dictator perpetuo.” The first emperor was Augustus. Other than that, great list.

  • illegal_immigrant

    WOW…

  • illegal_immigrant

    WOW… Uhh… people found time to petition the name of a meat item in the middle of a world war? That’s… kind of sad, and slightly unnerving. That reminds me of a South Park episode where the gang rescues a bunch of calves from a slaughterhouse and orders that their marketed name in the form of meat be called “Dead Baby Calf” or something like that, instead of “Veal”… except for the petition over the name of Salisbury steak is just pretty much retarded. I sincerely hope that there was a legit, logical reason for that.

  • msulli222

    Illegal_immigrant: I just finished watching that episode on the Internet 10 minutes ago. Hilarious.

    Also, thanks a lot, guys. I am now really hungry. But, alas, it is 1 am here, and also, I don’t really have any food. Damn.

  • samfishers

    what about Schneider ??

  • Mabel

    Great list!

    I knew about Melba, Graham and Montague, but not the others.

    One time I made a Cobb salad for a work party. I got the recipe out of a magazine, and it made up so you arranged the cubed stuff so it looked like an American flag. The people ate the heck out of it. :)

  • Eugene

    Baked Alaska

    Elmers Glue

    Teasin!!
    What about Sara Lee
    Beef Stroganoff
    Beef Wellington

    And if you include Uncle Ben (as suggested above) what about Colonal Sanders?

  • ChicagoChef

    I was surprised Escoffier was only mentioned twice. The one notable omission I can think of is Louis Pasteur. He invented, and lended his name to, the process of pasteurization. Other then that, great list.

  • bigski

    ChicagoChef- Sorry to tell you but Pasteurization is not a food last time I checked.

  • krchuk

    I am a trekkie and a foodie, so great list Jamie.
    :)

  • M

    What about Béchamel sauce? Named after the marquis de Béchamel.

  • Shagrat

    Damn you Kertamen #53 – There was something bugging at me when I read the reference to Julius Caesar in the Caesar Salad write-up; but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that was ‘off-key’: It was the Emperor bit – as you quite correctly said, Caesar was never emperor; simply ‘dictatoria perpetuo’ – andhis nephew became the first of the true emperors.
    It should be added that Caesar was, in fact, assassinated the day he was to be named emperor!

    I’ve even visited the Forum and placed a flower on the rock upon which his ashes were scattered.

  • Freshies

    What about Aunt Gemima and Betty Crocker (don’t know if I spelled those right)

  • chicagochef

    bigski: i believe that there are enough differences between paseurized products and raw (unpasteurized) products that, in my opinon, they can be considered different products. meaning, pasteurized milk is completely different from raw milk. however, technically speaking, yes, pasteurization is a process, not a product. therefore you are correct.

  • Ginger Lee

    What about the bellini?

  • nyys

    I knew that sandwich would be on this list!!!

  • Eugene

    Ritz crackers

    Petri dishes ;)

  • 69. Eugene: Petri dishes
    ****
    lol! Petri dishes always remind me of the “Dick VanDyke Show” and the main couple, the Petrie’s.

  • deeeziner

    69 & 70: Petri dishes…

    The chinaware in Rob Petrie’s sideboard. lol

  • cah2256

    What about Kellogg?

  • CatChick1964

    This is interesting …

    So many don’t seem to know much about graham crackers …

    I know nothing about pavlova…

  • 73. CatChick1964: Pavlova is the food of the gods.

  • Silvio Guspini

    Crêpes Suzette arent just “pancakes with liquor”. they are, as the name says….crepes. thin, very thin. the batter is different,too.
    also you forgot about orange wedges, and the only liquor that can be used is gran marnier. and the liquor is not “sometimes” set on fire. its always set on fire. to lose the alcohol. but the crepes is not in the pan at this time, its already on the plate.

    apart from that technicality, wonderful list.

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  • stephen5

    “Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) was one of America’s first health food advocates with such theories that white bread and meat should be avoided while pushing for more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. He made enemies out of bakers and butchers but had many powerful friends, such as Thomas Edison and Joseph Smith…”

    Edison wasn’t born until 1847, small children are not much help against bakers and butchers. Joe Smith may have approved of his ideas. But Joe was having his own troubles, and wouldn’t have been a lot of help either.

  • Apocolypse18

    what about dom perignon?

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  • catalin

    I’d like to tell about two examples of food named after people here in Romania.

    The first one is a cake named in honour of French Marechal Joffre. It’s a case in form of a artillery shell of chocolate, filled with chocholate truffle, about 2 inch heigh, sitting vertically on a chocolate biscuit.

    The second one is a coffee cup named Marghiloman, after a conservative politician of the end of nineteenth century and the begining of 20st. It’s made of turkish dark roasted coffee beans, hand grinded end boiled in original French Cognac. Tried it at home.
    Best wishes,

  • astrid

    Sachertorte, Dobostorte, Beef Stroganoff, Bismarck steak are missing.

  • samfishers

    @63 m.

    hopefully there is just marquis de bechamelle and not marquis de sade!! ahaha

  • SmartMonkey

    Actually, the original fettuccine Alfredo had no cream. It was butter, parmigiano reggiano and noodles only. He would slice the butter into pats on a large warm serving tray, and mix the fettuccine and shaved cheese together on the platter at table-side in his restaurant. Cream was added later to make it “richer” and less expensive by using less of the pricey cheese.

  • Daniela

    Hey, I’m from Chile and we have a sandwich named after Ramón Barros Luco, a former president. He always ordered a sandwich with beef and cheese.

    And, as a bonus, the president’s cousin, minister Ernesto Barros Jarpa, asked for a different sadwich, ham and cheese.

    check this wikipedia articles:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barros_Luco
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barros_Jarpa

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  • JV

    Also not mentioned – Chef Boyardee, and Kellogg’s.

  • Eiffel

    How about Baby Ruth? XP

  • Julius

    How about Margherita of Savoy, the famous pizza Margherita was dedicated to her ( it also features the italian colors (tomatoes=red mozarella = white basil = green)?
    Also another addition IMO would be Franz Sacher, the inventor of the Sachertorte? Honestly if you ever happen to be in Vienna, Salzburg or Bolzano, you gotta try one, best cake in the world!

  • ravin

    What about Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, who obvioulsy invented Nachos and Lord Lamington the 1900 Govenor of Queensland and the delicious Australian small cake made after him

  • TATAENDUTTY

    Name

    • Chiara

      I agree with Sharon that this is the salad to eat on a daily basis. We in my family are also obeesssd with it. We even have relatives invite us over to make it at their house. I love the idea of the croutons but wonder, could they also be baked after being tossed with olive oil? That might be yummy too. I also like the idea that you don’t require that the croutons be made from scratch hash browns, the frozen ones are so convenient!

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