Tournedos Rachel – from singing in the streets of Paris as a child, Swiss-born Elisa-Rachel Flix (1821-1858) went on to become known as the greatest French tragedienne of her day. Her stage name Rachel is used for a number of dishes – consommé, eggs, sweetbreads, et al. – many created by Escoffier. In New York City, Charles Ranhofer created “artichokes la Rachel” in her honor.
Ramos Gin Fizz – Henry C. Ramos, New Orleans bartender, created this famous cocktail c. 1888, at either Meyer’s Restaurant or the Imperial Cabinet Saloon, and named it after himself.
Ronald Reagan’s Hamburger Soup – Ronald Reagan, while President, had this recipe issued publicly in 1986,
after he had gotten flak for saying he liked French soups.
Salad Rjane – Gabrielle Rjane was the stage name for Gabrielle-Charlotte Reju (1856-1920), a famous French actress at the turn of the century. Escoffier named several dishes for her, including consommé, sole, and oufs la neige.
Reuben sandwich – possibly Arnold Reuben, a New York restaurateur (1883-1970), created and named it c. 1914, or Reuben Kolakofsky (1874-1960) c. 1925 may have made it for a poker group gathered at his Omaha, Nebraska
Rig Jancsi – the Viennese chocolate and cream pastry is named after the famous Gypsy violinist, Rig Jancsi (by Hungarian use, Rig is his last name, Jancsi his first). He is perhaps best known for his part in one of the great late-19th century scandales. In 1896, Clara Ward, the Princesse de Chimay, saw Rig playing in a Paris restaurant in 1896 while dining with her husband. She ran off with him, married him, dumped him, and married two other men after that. She was American.
Oysters Rockefeller – John D. Rockefeller or family, by son of Antoine Alciatore Jules, 1899, at New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s. The original recipe remains a family secret, but the mixed greens are not the spinach that now characterizes most versions.
Strawberries Romanoff – although there are a number of claimants for the creation of this dish, including the Hollywood restaurateur self-styled “Prince Michael Romanoff”, credit is most often given to Antonin Creme, when he was chef to tzar Alexander I around 1820. Romanoff was the house name of the Russian rulers.
Tournedos Rossini – Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868), famous Italian composer known almost as well as a gastronome. A friend of Creme, Prince Metternich, et al., Rossini had many dishes named for him – eggs, chicken, soup, salad, cannelloni, sole, risotto, pheasant, and more. Escoffier was responsible for many of these. Charles Ranhofer created “Meringued pancakes la Rossini.”
Souffl Rothschild – a dessert souffl created by Antonin Creme for Baron James Mayer de Rothschild (1792-1868) and Baroness Betty de Rothschild (1805-1886) in the 1820’s. The Baron was a notable French banker and diplomat.
Runeberg-pastry (Runebergintorttu / Runebergstrta) : named after the Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877). The 5th of February is in Finland Runeberg-day and it is celebrated with this almond-pastry that is said to have been invented by Johan Ludvig’s wife Fredrika. There is also a variation of this called the Fredrika-pastry.
Baby Ruth candy bar – most likely, Babe Ruth (1895-1948) was the inspiration for the name. Although the Curtiss Candy Co. has insisted from the beginning that the candy bar was named after a daughter of Grover Cleveland, Ruth Cleveland died in 1904 at the age of 12, while the Baby Ruth was introduced in 1921 right at a time when George Herman Ruth, Jr. had become a baseball superstar. It is interesting to note that very early versions of the wrapper offer a baseball glove for 79 cents. Babe Ruth’s announced intent to sue the company is probably what drove and perpetuated the dubious cover story.
Flan Sagan – Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Prigord held the title of Prince of Sagan. This flan of truffles, mushrooms, and calves’ brains was one of several Sagan-named dishes, usually involving brains, including a garnish and scrambled eggs.
Salisbury steak – Dr. James H. Salisbury (1823-1905), early U.S. health food advocate, created this dish and advised his patients to eat it three times a day, while limiting their intake of “poisonous” vegetables and starches.
Chicken saut George Sand – George Sand, the pseudonym of French author Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin, Baronne Dudevant (1804-1876), a major figure in mid-19th century Parisian salons, had several dishes named for her, including fish consommé and sole.
Sandwich – John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792) did not invent the sandwich. Meat between slices of bread had been eaten long before him. But as the often-repeated story goes, his title name was applied to it c. 1762, after he frequently called for the easily-handled food while entertaining friends. Their card games then were not interrupted by the need for forks and such.
Schillerlocken – two quite distinct foods named after the curly hair of the German poet Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805). One is cream-filled puff pastry cornets; the other is long strips of dried, smoked shark meat. Ranhofer named a dessert of pancakes rolled up, sliced, and layered in a mold Schiller pudding.
Wild Duckling la Walter Scott – the dish named for the Scottish writer Walter Scott (1771-1832) includes Dundee marmalade and whiskey.
Seckel pear – although little is known about the origin of this American pear, it is generally believed that a Pennsylvania farmer named Seckel discovered the fruit in the Delaware River Valley near Philadelphia, in the 18th or early-19th century.
Lobster cutlets la Shelley – Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), the great English poet, drowned off the coast of Italy. Charles Ranhofer remembered him with this.
Woodcock salmis Agnes Sorel – one of the dishes Agnes Sorel (1422-1450) is reputed to have created herself; she was the first mistress of a French king (Charles VII) to be recognized officially. A garnish, soup, timbales, and tartlets all bear her name, as later chefs remembered her for her interest in food. She died of acute mercury poisoning.
Big Hearted Al candy bar – early-20th century presidential candidate Al Smith (1873-1944) had this candy bar named after him by a candy-company owning admirer.
Granny Smith apple – named for Mrs. Maria Anne Smith of Ryde, New South Wales, Australia, who is said to have found it in her backyard c. 1868.
Sydney Smith’s salad dressing – Salad dressing named after founder of the Edinburgh Review, Sydney Smith (1771-1845). He was a clergyman who wrote a poem which describes how to make this salad. Popular in the 19th century among American cooks.
Soubise sauce – the onion pure or bechamel sauce with added onion pure is probably named after the 18th-century aristocrat Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise, and Marshall of France.
Eggs Stanley – Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904), the famed British explorer, has several dishes named for him, usually with onions and a small amount of curry seasoning. A recipe for these poached eggs has a sauce with 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder.
Stroganoff – named for a Count Stroganov (possibly Count Pavel Alexandrovitch Stroganov or Count Grigory Stroganov)
Consommé Marie Stuart – Mary Stuart (1542-1587), Queen of Scots (Mary I of Scotland), was appropriatedly Frenchified by Ranhofer in naming this dish. She, herself, had adopted Stuart vs. Stewart while living in France.
Crepes Suzette – said to have been created for then-Prince-of-Wales Edward VII on 31 January, 1896, at the Caf de Paris in Monte Carlo. When the Prince ordered a special dessert for himself and a young female companion, Henri Charpentier, then 16 (1880-1961), produced the flaming crepe dish. Edward reportedly asked that the dessert be named after his companion (Suzette) rather than himself. However, Larousse disputes Charpentier’s claim.
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