National Eggs Benedict Day is observed annually on April 16. It is a day set aside to enjoy poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce and Canadian bacon or ham on English muffin halves.
There are different stories as to how Eggs Benedict came to be.
- In 1894 stock broker Lemuel Benedict ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a side of Hollandaise” at the Waldorf Hotel. They were so impressed with the dish that they put it on the menu substituting ham and English muffins in place of the bacon and toast.
- In the early 18th century, Pope Benedict XIII liked an egg dish so much that he requested it time and time again. It is also believed that Pope Benedict XIII had an illness which added to his desire for this particular egg dish, hence the name Eggs Benedict.
- There are those that profess that it was the favorite breakfast of the notorious betrayer Benedict Arnold, and became a favorite of the British after his defection from the American Revolutionary forces.
- In the 1860’s, a regular patron of the restaurant, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, finding nothing to her liking and wanting something new to eat for lunch, discussed this with Chef Charles Ranhofer(1936-1899), Ranhofer came up with Eggs Benedict.
- The creation of Eggs Benedict was circuitously made by Edward P. Montgomery on behalf of Commodore E. C. Benedict. In 1967 Montgomery wrote a letter to then The New York Times food columnist Craig Claiborne which included a recipe he claimed to have received through his uncle, a friend of the commodore.