Rich and flavorful Hollandaise sauce, salty and savory ham, perfectly poached eggs, and the fluffy yet crunchy texture of delicious English Muffins. All of this is combined to make the delicious dish referred to as Eggs Benedict!
National Eggs Benedict Day is the perfect excuse to cook up a plate of this delicious breakfast meal–and, even better, go ahead and serve it with a side of fried potatoes on the side. While the origin of the name is sometimes associated with Benedict Arnold, it’s no betrayal of good taste to start the day with the tasty eggs that bear his name. In fact, it may just be the redemption of a reference that is often reviled alongside that of Brutus!
So get ready to learn about and celebrate National Eggs Benedict Day!
History of National Eggs Benedict Day
As mentioned previously, the actual origin of Eggs Benedict is one shrouded in myth and mystery. 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. Other culinary experts think that this is fairly unlikely.
Some of these others say that the origins of Eggs Benedict are far more recent and happened in New York. By some, it is rumored to be the result of a hangover remedy ordered by one Lemuel Benedict, a New York stock broker who celebrated a bit too hard the night before and desperately needed a pick me up.
The original order in this case is believed to be “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of Hollandaise”, and the maître d’hotel was so impressed with it that he made a couple modifications and added it to the menu.
Another, purportedly older, origin story speaks of Pope Benedict XIII and a bit of an obsession with a particular egg dish. Every day he would order this specific meal when the opportunity presented itself, and so it was that it became deeply associated with him. It also was rumored that there was something going on with his health that made eggs be something of a craving as it helped to assuage the effects.
One more story comes from Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City where the chef is believed to have created the dish and named it in honor of a patron, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict. This story happens more than 150 years ago, in the 1860s.
But, really, no matter how it started, National Eggs Benedict Day is a delicious day to be celebrated!
National Eggs Benedict Day Timeline
Delmonico’s Restaurant opens
Legend has it that Delmonico’s is the restaurant where Eggs Benedict was created.
Eggs Benedict is invented
This dish is reportedly created in New York City at Delmonico’s Restaurant for a diner named Mrs. LeGrand Benedict.
First recipe for Eggs Benedict is published
Chef Charles Ranhofer, who created the recipe a few decades earlier, has the recipe published in a cookbook.
Another Eggs Benedict legend emerges
A letter is written to the New York Times including a recipe which claims to be the original Eggs Benedict, but is very different from the traditional with hard cooked eggs.
How to Celebrate National Eggs Benedict Day
Enjoy Eggs Benedict for Breakfast
Of course, the solution to how to celebrate this day is pretty obvious. Start the day off with a big old heaping serving of Eggs Benedict, for starters! The easiest way is to go out to a restaurant and order this delicious meal at a restaurant for breakfast or brunch.
International House of Pancakes (IHOP), Denny’s, and First Watch are just a few of the American restaurant chains that have featured Eggs Benedict on their menus.
Learn How to Make Eggs Benedict
While Eggs Benedict is a fairly simple dish to build, the Hollandaise sauce can be quite tricky to get right. But, for those who have a blender, making the Hollandaise sauce can be a lot easier when you can mix the eggs and the melted butter right inside. The great thing is that the sauce can be made up in advance.
Poaching the eggs can be a bit tricky as well, especially for those who have never tried it, so it may take a bit of practice to get it right. Using fresh eggs is important, keeping the water just at simmering, adding vinegar to the water, and timing the cooking at just four minutes are all important tips when learning how to make poached eggs for National Eggs Benedict Day.
Of course, there is also the toasting of the English muffins and adding of ham, but these are fairly easy steps in the process of making the dish. Once everything is piled together, it’s a delightful and delicious adventure for the taste buds!
Host a National Eggs Benedict Day Gathering
For those who really want to go all out, it’s even possible to invite friends and family and have a gathering for either breakfast or brunch. If National Eggs Benedict Day falls on a workday, perhaps it would be a good idea to postpone the gathering until the following weekend so everyone has time to relax and enjoy the food and fun.
Put on some happy music, poach some eggs, toast some English muffins, and perhaps even pop a cork to create some cheeky Mimosas! This might be a great time for everyone at the party to try all sorts of different varieties of this tasty dish, like some of the ones below.
Try Some Unique Variations of Eggs Benedict
When it comes to making and eating Eggs Benedict, it can be fun to get creative with unique and interesting ideas for variations on the original.
There’s Eggs Florentine, which replaces the ham with spinach (or adds it underneath!). Others might also like to try Eggs Hemingway, which swaps out smoked salmon for the ham (a popular variety in Canada, the UK, and Australia!).
One very personal favorite is the Eggs Blackstone, which replaces the ham with the original bacon, and slips in a tomato slice for the sweet zing it brings. Whatever is chosen in the end, National Eggs Benedict Day brings a delicious breakfast back to those plates!
National Eggs Benedict Day FAQs
When is National Eggs Benedict Day?
National Eggs Benedict Day takes place each year on April 16th.
What is Eggs Benedict?
Eggs Benedict is a breakfast or brunch dish that is made up of eggs served with English muffins, Canadian bacon and sauce.
How to make Eggs Benedict?
Eggs Benedict is made by putting poached eggs and Canadian bacon on top of an English muffin and topping it all with a hollandaise sauce made of egg yolks, melted butter and sometimes lemon juice.
Are Eggs Benedict healthy?
While the eggs contain protein and Vitamin D, the bacon and sauce in the dish will add some fat.