Wise to the Word: Melba

Saimi Rote Bergmann

Melba (MEHL bah)

Melba toast and peach Melba were both named for opera diva Nellie Melba (1861-1931) and both created by legendary French chef August Escoffier.

After Escoffier heard Melba sing in 1892, he reportedly was inspired to create a dessert just for her. Peach Melba is sliced, fresh peaches topped with ice cream and a fresh raspberry sauce.

Melba toast is believed to have been created in 1897, when the singer was ill and toast was one of the few things she could eat. Thin slices of bread are toasted, then sliced into two thinner slices and toasted again to become almost cracker-like.

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