Who Invented Eggs Benedict?

(Photo: Jon Mountjoy)

Was the breakfast dish named after the infamous American traitor Benedict Arnold? No, not at all. 

Perhaps it was named after Pope Benedict XIII, who was put on a strict diet of eggs and toast? Nope.

Atlas Obscura says that the origin of eggs benedict remains, well, obscure. But the best explanation is that, in 1894, New York City stockbroker Lemuel Benedict staggered into the Waldorf Astoria Hotel restaurant in search for a cure of his hangover:

The story goes that Lemuel went to the Waldorf Hotel one hungover morning in 1894 and asked for “some buttered toast, crisp bacon, two poached eggs, and a hooker of hollandaise sauce.” (A "hooker" is what we now call a "glug" or a "slug.")  

This odd combination became a popular dish in American cuisine.

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