Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Dame Nellie Melba and Luisa Tetrazzini


Chicken Tetrazzini and Melba Peach

What are Chicken Tetrazzini and Melba Peach?

They are actually two different things; one is a dish, the other is a summer dessert.

Why Melba Peach? Why Chicken Tetrazzini?

Well, these two contrasting food items were named after two of my favorite long-ago opera prima donnas; Dame Nellie Melba, Australian nightingale, and Luisa Tetrazzini, Italian-born opera star. The rivalry between the two well-reknown sopranos even extended to the invention of the famous dish and dessert.

It is widely believed that Chicken Tetrazzini dish was to have been invented in 1908 by Ernest Arbogast then chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, where Luisa Tetrazzini was a long time resident. Melba Peach, on the other hand, is a classic dessert invented in 1892 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London.

Melba Peach is a combination of two summer fruits: peaches and raspberry sauce accompanying vanilla ice cream. The chef heard the performance of Dame Melba at the Covent Garden and was inspired to create a dessert just for her.

Chicken Tetrazzini usually involves a non-red meat, mushrooms, almonds in butter or cream and parmesan sauce flavored with wine or sherry, over spaghetti. More specifically, it tends to include diced fowl, seafood, or another non-red meat, served with mushrooms over spaghetti or another thin pasta, with a thickened butter and cream-based sauce. The sauce is generally flavored with wine or sherry and well-cooked stock vegetables, such as onions, celery, and carrots. It is served hot, often garnished with lemon or parsley, topped with almonds and/or parmesan cheese.

I haven't tried Melba Peach; Chicken Terazzini, well, I enjoyed a plateful at a despedida party of a lady friend last night.


NagulatsiMon said...

Melba Peach looks creamy and delicious. I want to try it!

Are you saying you have records of the two prima donnas?

Bay Martin said...

Let's go to Baskin's and ask the guys if they could do the Melba Peach recipe for us. What do you think?

Yes! I told you before, I have a good colletion of records of long-ago artists. The latest addition is the CD record of Adelina Patti. She was a very famous opera singer, too!

Mon said...

Call ako! Tell me when!

Bay Martin said...

Let's go to the ice parlor on Sunday. I just hope the Piano Teachers Guild members won't schedule a meeting.

Mon said...

Sorry, I didn't make it. So busy! I promise to show up next week.

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