Having something edible named after you has to be the ultimate accolade, right?

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Image: These foods are actually named after people

Charles Haynes / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: haynes

Pizza Margherita – but who was she?


Peach Melba

What: a summery peach, raspberry and ice cream dessert combo
Named after: Dame Nellie Melba, opera singer
What’s the story: invented in the 1890s, Nellie sent the godfather of French cooking Auguste Escoffier a ticket to her show, which happened to featured a boat in the shape of a swan. In return, Escoffier gave her fresh peaches served over vanilla ice cream and a swan carved from ice. Hello new dessert


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Peach Melba

Photo: Shutterstock


Beef Wellington 

What: fillet beef slathered in a mushroom mixture and baked in buttery puff pastry 

Named after: Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington 

What’s the story: well, this depends on which old wives’ tale you’re listening to. It ranges from a dish created to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Waterloo and being the Duke’s favourite fuel for fighting the French to resembling his beloved Wellington boots (well, only if it's made badly, non?)

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What: an almond-flavoured sweet pastry cream used in French pastisserie
Named after: Marquis Muzio Frangipani, Italian nobleman 
What’s the story: after he invented a bitter almond scented fragrance used to perfume gloves (obviously), French pastry chefs cottoned onto the fact that this flavour combo might work rather well in desserts. The rest is sweet, sweet history

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Frangipane tart

decor8 Holly / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: decor8


Oysters Rockefeller

What: baked oysters topped with a buttery green sauce and breadcrumbs
Named after: John D Rockefeller, the richest man in America (well, in 1889) 
What’s the story: when looking for an alternative to the French dish, escargot, the chefs at Antonie's restaurant in New Orleans came up with the creamy oyster creation. But what does this have to do with Mr Rockefeller we hear you cry? Well, the name came from the incredibly rich sauce, apparently. Hmm ...


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Oysters rockerfeller

Larry Hoffman / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: dinesarasota


Tarte Tatin

What: the upside-down French dessert
Named after: Stephanie and Caroline Tatin, sisters and hotel owners
What’s the story: a weary Stephanie was making an apple tart but overcooked the apples (we’ve all been there, Steph). She tried to salvage her pud by putting the pastry base over the top of her apples – flipped it and voilà, it was a hit

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Tarte tatin

Photo: Jan Baldwin


Eggs Benedict

What: two halves of an English muffin topped with ham, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce
Named after: Lemuel Benedict, New York stockbroker
What’s the story: this Wall Street worker was known for his heavy partying. After one raucous night, Benedict went for breakfast at the Waldorf Hotel where he invented his own breakfast sandwich: two poached eggs, bacon, buttered toast and a pitcher of hollandaise sauce. This caught the eye of the maître d’hotel (aka head waiter) Oscar, who made some alterations and popped it on the menu

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The Sandwich

What: two slices of bread with pretty much any filling you like
Named after: Earl of Sandwich
What’s the story: during a marathon poker game, the Earl couldn’t be bothered to leave the gaming table for dinner. What did he do? Well, he asked his servant to bring him a piece of meat sandwiched between two slices of toast (so he wouldn't get his hands dirty, obviously) and the sandwich was born

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Beef Carpaccio

What: thinly sliced raw beef
Named after: Vittore Carpaccio, Renaissance painter
What’s the story: inspired by the meaty shade of red used at an exhibition dedicated to the artist, the owner of the famous Harry's Bar in Venice went into his kitchen, sliced super thin slithers of raw beef and christened the creation "carpaccio". This is art at its beefy best, people

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beef carpaccio

Photo: Laura Edwards


Caesar salad

What: a salad of romaine lettuce and croutons with a creamy dressing and good grating of parmesan
Named after: Caesar Cardini, an Italian-American restaurateur
What’s the story: the dish was created when a sudden 4 July rush led to low stock in a Californian restaurant. Cardini threw together the few remaining ingredients in the kitchen and, hey presto, the Caesar salad was created

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Margherita pizza

What: the classic basil, mozzarella and tomato pizza
Named after: Queen Margherita
What’s the story: when she visited Naples in 1889, the most famous pizza maker in the area at the time, Raffaele Esposito, created the pizza especially for the Queen using the colours of the Italian flag and the rest, as they say, is history

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margherita pizza

Charles Haynes / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: haynes