Samui Wining & Dining
Immortalised In Food

A short A-Z of dishes named after people.

P12-P13Menus abound with strange and wonderful names for dishes. And many of them relate to famous people in history. Some you might remember, others are long forgotten – until now that is! Here’s an easy A-Z of foods named after people, and an opportunity for you to come up with a brand new creation for one of the letters.

So let’s start at the beginning with Amundsen’s Dessert. Roald Amundsen (1872–1928), the great Norwegian polar explorer, was served this dish by Norwegian-American friends in Wisconsin not long before he died in an Arctic plane crash. I might give this one a miss! Battenberg Cake was probably named after one of the late-19th-century princely Battenberg family living in England, who gave up their German titles during World War I and changed their name to Mountbatten. Chateaubriand is a cut and a recipe for steak named for Vicomte François René de Chateaubriand (1768–1848), French writer and diplomat. His chef, Montinireil, is thought to have created the dish around 1822 whilst Chateaubriand was ambassador to England.

Du Barry Cream Soup is named after Madame du Barry (1743–1793); a favourite of Louis XV of France. She had several dishes named for her, often involving cauliflower, as in this soup. The cauliflower is said to have been a reference to her elaborate powdered wigs. Mamie Eisenhower Fudge – the wife of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mamie Doud Eisenhower (1896-1979) had this candy named after her when she revealed it was a White House favourite. Frangipane is an almond pastry filling and tart named for Marquis Muzio Frangipani, a 16th-century Italian nobleman. Garibaldi Biscuits are English biscuits named for Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), Italian patriot and leader of the drive to unite Italy, after his wildly popular visit to England in 1864.

Hass Avocado – in the 1920s, California postal worker Rudolph Hass set out to grow a number of Lyon avocado trees in his backyard. One of the seedlings he bought was a chance variant which produced fruit his children found unique. Hass patented the variety in 1935, and it now makes up about 75% of U.S. avocado production. Timbales la Irving is named for Washington Irving (1789-1859), the American author. John Dory is the English name for a saltwater fish known elsewhere in Europe as Saint Peter’s (San Pietro, Saint-Pierre, and San Pedro). Kaiser Rolls were originally rolls made by a Viennese baker in about 1487 for Emperor Frederick V, whose profile was stamped on top. Lord Lambourne Apples were developed in England in about 1907 and introduced in 1923. They are named after the then president of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Mornay Sauce – diplomat and writer Philippe de Mornay (1549-1623), a member of Henri IV’s court, is often cited as the name source for this popular cheese version of Béchamel sauce. An alternative story is that 19th-century French chef Joseph Voiron invented it and named it after one of his cooks and oldest son, Mornay. Napoleon – Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) is usually thought to be the inspiration. However, the pastry is known as milles-feuilles in France, and millefoglie in Italy. It is possible that it originated in Naples, and the French term ‘la Napolitaine’ was garbled in translation. Veal Oscar – Sweden’s King Oscar II (1829-1907) was fond of this combination of veal, white asparagus, lobster and béarnaise sauce.

Pavlova is named for Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) the famous Russian ballerina. Both Australia and New Zealand have claimed to be the source of the meringue and fruit dessert. Queen of Sheba Cake is a chocolate cake named for the 10th century BC African Queen of Sheba. Ronald Reagan’s Hamburger Soup! (Seriously) Ronald Reagan, whilst President, had this recipe issued publicly in 1986, after he had gotten flak for saying he liked French soups. Wild Duckling Walter Scott is named for the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) and includes Dundee marmalade and whisky. Chicken Tetrazzini is named for the operatic soprano Luisa Tetrazzini.

Ujhzi Chicken Soup is said to have been made of rooster originally. This soup was the creation of amateur chef and well-known Hungarian actor Ede Ujhzi around 1900. Van Gogh Potato – artist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) is commemorated by this potato developed in the Netherlands, in 1976. Beef Wellington – Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) and British hero of the Battle of Waterloo, has this dish of beef with pate, mushrooms, truffles and Madeira sauce, all encased in a pastry crust, named after him.

Potage la Xavier – this cream soup with chicken has at least two stories associated with its name. Some sources say that the gourmand Louis XVIII (1755-1824) invented the soup when he was Comte de Provence, and known as Louis Stanislas Xavier de France. Others suggest the soup was named after Francis Xavier (1506-1552), a Basque missionary to Goa and India. Yorkshire Pudding is named after an English county but it really commemorates the people of Yorkshire who had been making it long before it had a name.

And so we come to the letter Z. I couldn’t find any dishes that fitted the bill, so I made one up. How about Zebedee ‘spring’ rolls? You’d have to be a fan of the ‘Magic Roundabout’ to get it. Let me know if you can come up with anything better!


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