Did you ever wonder what it takes to have a dish named after you? Well, for some people, it’s a matter of inventing some utterly delicious or being in the right place at the right time. From graham crackers and nachos to fettuccine Alfredo, here are 20 popular foods named after people.
1. Sandwich: Named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (he did not invent the sandwich—meat between bread was invented long before his time), but his name was applied to it after he typically served this type of food when entertaining friends.
2. Reuben Sandwich: Reuben Kolakofsky made this hot sandwich of corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut for a poker group that got together in a hotel restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska.
3. Granny Smith apple: Named after Maria Ana (Granny) Smith, it originated in Australia where it was planted by Maria Anna Smith.
4. Bananas Foster: A dessert of caramelized bananas with vanilla ice cream, named after Richard Foster who was a regular customer and friend of owner Owen Brennan at Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans.
5. Caesar Salad: Caesar Cardini (or one of his associates) made this salad at the restaurant at Hotel Caesar in Tijuana.
6. Cobb Salad: Robert H. Cobb invented this salad as a late-night snack at his Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant in the 1930’s.
7. Graham Crackers: Named after Sylvester Graham, a 19th century Presbyterian minister, who lived a puritan lifestyle—he was all about vegetarianism, and whole wheat.
8. Nachos: First created by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya in 1943, the original nacho dish consisted of fried corn tortillas covered in melted cheddar cheese and topped with pickled jalapeños.
9. Cherry Garcia Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry’s flavour, cherry ice cream with fudge flakes, named after the deceased singer Jerry Garcia.
10. German Chocolate Cake: This layered chocolate cake was named after Sam German (not Germany as you may have thought), who invented the formula for dark baking chocolate that was used in this recipe.
11. Margherita Pizza: This fan-fave ( tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil and olive oil), was named after Queen Margarita Savoy from Naples, who was presented with this pizza made—layered with foods with the colours of the Italian flag.
12. Kaiser Rolls: Rolls made by a Viennese baker in the 1400’s, thought to have been named after Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III (aka The Kaiser).
13. Salisbury Steak: Health food advocate, Dr. James H. Salisbury, who was a health food advocate, combined minced beef and other ingredients, threw on some sauce, and told his patients to consume this food three times per day!
14. General Tso’s Chicken: This sweet, spicy deep-fried chicken dish was named after General Zuo Zontang of the Qing Dynasty.
15. Beef Stroganoff: This Russian dish of sautéed beef and sour cream-based sauce, was named in honour of Count Pavel Stroganoff, a military leader in the 19th century.
16. Fettuccine Alfredo: Italian chef Alfredo di Lelio from the early 20th century, invented this dish for his pregnant wife at his Roman restaurant, and began selling (and popularizing it) among tourists.
17. Carpaccio: Named after Italian renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio, the colour of this thinly-sliced raw beef was similar to the red shade this painter commonly used in his work.
18. Chateaubriand: A thick (but tender) cut of tenderloin filet, traditionally served with roasted potatoes and Bearnaise sauce, was named for Vicomte Franois Ren de Chateaubriand, a French writer and diplomat, but his chef Montinireil in 1822.
19. Oysters Rockefeller: This dish of baked or broiled half-shelled oysters topped with various ingredients (herbs, rich melted butter, etc), was named after John D. Rockefeller in 1899 (the richest American of his time) by Jules Alciatore, son of Antoine Alciatore, at New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s. He was short on French snails so he decided to use the locally available oysters instead of snails.
20. Pralines: This caramelized almond confection (which later became pecan-based) was named after Marshall César du Plessis- Praslin, whose cook invented them.