Food named after famous people: OPQ
Potatoes O’Brien – possibly William Smith O’Brien (1803-1864), who led the Irish revolt subsequent to the 1844 Potato Famine is the source of the name.
Bath Oliver biscuits – Dr. William Oliver (1695-1764) of Bath, England concocted these as a digestive aid for his patients. Oliver had opened a bath for the treatment of gout, and was largely responsible for 18th-century Bath becoming a popular health resort.
Oufs sur le plat Omer Pasha – the Hungarian-Croatian Mahalya Lattas known as Omer Pasha Latas (1806-1871), commander-in-chief of Turkish forces allied with the French and English during the Crimean War had this sort of Hungarian/Turkish dish of eggs named for him. In the U.S., Ranhofer made a dish of hashed mutton Omer Pasha, as well
as eggs on a dish.
Veal Prince Orloff – Count Gregory Orloff, paramour of tzarina Catherine the Great is often cited. Much more likely, Urbain Dubois, noted 19th-century French chef, created the dish for his veal-hating employer Prince Nicolas Orloff, minister to tzar Nicolas I, hence the multiple sauces and seasonings. Stuffed pheasant la Prince Orloff was created by Charles Ranhofer.
Veal Oscar – Sweden’s King Oscar II (1829-1907) was fond of this combination of veal, white asparagus, lobster and barnaise sauce. Contemporary versions may substitute chicken and crab.
Selle d’agneau la Paganini – Niccol Paganini (1782-1840), Italian opera composer and brilliant violinist, has this lamb dish named after him, probably by Charles Ranhofer.
Peach Melba – Nellie Melba (1861-1931). Chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel in 1892 or 1893 heard her sing at Covent Garden and was inspired to create a desert for her, and which he named after her.
Potatoes Parmentier – Antoine Auguste Parmentier (1737-1817), chief proponent in reversing the French public view about the once-despised potato. Parmentier discovered the food value of the vegetable while a prisoner of war in Germany, where the potato had already been accepted.
Pastilles – Giovanni Pastilla, Italian confectioner to Marie de Medici, is said to have accompanied her to Paris on her marriage to Henri IV, and created some form of the tablets named after him there.
Poularde Adelina Patti – probably not the only dish named for 19th-century singing superstar Adelina Patti. Adela Juana Maria Patti (1843-1919), born in Spain of Italian parents, grew up in New York City, singing on stage at 7 and debuting at the opera at 16. Patti quickly went on to become a sensation in Europe, and was eventually world-famous.
Pavlova – Anna Pavlova (1881-1931), famous Russian ballerina. Both Australia and New Zealand have claimed to be the source of the meringue (“light as Pavlova”) and fruit dessert. New Zealand is now the accepted source [since 2000].
Dr Pepper – Dr. Charles Pepper. The soft drink invented by pharmacist Charles Atherton in 1885 at a Waco, Texas drugstore owned by Wade Morrison is said to be named for Morrison’s first employer, who owned a pharmacy in Virginia.
Galantine of pheasants Casimir Prier – Casimir Prier (1847-1907) was a French politician working under Sadi-Carnot, who briefly took office after Carnot was assassinated. Prier was president for six months, until he resigned in 1895 under attacks from the leftist opposition party. Charles Ranhofer named this dish and one of palmettes after him.
Dom Perignon (wine) – Dom Perignon (1638-1715), (Pierre) a blind French Benedictine monk, expert wine maker and developer of the first true champagne in the late 17th century.
Veal cutlets Pojarski – Pojarski is said to have been a cook/innkeeper favored by tzar Nicholas I because of his version of minced veal or beef cutlets. Sometimes called meat balls Pojarski, the originals were reformed on veal chop bones for presentation.
Sole Marco Polo – the great explorer and traveler Marco Polo (1254-1324) has this dish of sole with lobster and, somewhat oddly, tomato, named after him.
Rissoles Pompadour – the Marquise de Pompadour, Jeanne Poisson (1721-1764), official paramour of Louis XV from 1745 until her death, has had many dishes named after her besides these savory fried pastries. Mme. Pompadour’s interest in cooking is remembered with lamb, sole, chicken, beef, pheasant, garnishes, croquettes, cakes and desserts, created by a number of chefs during and after her life.
Praline – Csar de Choiseul, Count du Plessis-Praslin (1598-1675), by his officer of the table Lassagne, presented at the court of Louis XIII. The caramelized almond confection was transformed at some point in Louisiana to a pecan-based one. This praline has gone on to be known by another eponym in the U.S. – Aunt Bill’s Brown Candy. Aunt Bill’s identity is apparently unknown.
Toronchino Procope – Charles Ranhofer named this ice cream dessert after the Sicilian Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, whose Caf Procope, opening in Paris in 1689, introduced flavored ices to the French.
Queen Mother’s Cake – in the 1950’s, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (1901-2002) was served this flourless chocolate cake by her friend Jan Smeterlin (1892-1967), well-known Polish pianist. Smeterlin had acquired the recipe in Austria, and the Queen Mother’s fondness for the cake produced its name, via either Smeterlin, food writer Clementine Paddleford or dessert maven Maida Heatter.
Queen of Sheba cake – the originally French gateau de la reine Saba, a chocolate cake, is named for the 10th century BC African Queen of Sheba, famous guest of King Solomon of Israel.
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