Melba Toast

   Many world-famous singers have had gourmet tastes and a gourmand appetite. For example, Luisa Tetrazzini, whose role in Lucia di Lammermoor thrilled opera lovers on many continents, was immortalized by a dish called chicken Tetrazzini, in which chicken is blanketed in pasta and immersed in a rich, creamy sauce of cheese and mushrooms. Enrico Caruso, considered the greatest tenor of all times, is remembered by sauce Caruso, a marinara sauce with sauteed mushrooms and chicken livers.
   Possibly the world's greatest lyric soprano was Dame Nellie Melba. Of the two gastronomic inventions that honored Dame Melba, one was the dieter's delight and the other the dieter's ruination. While staying at the Savoy in London, Melba explained to the waiter that she was dieting and ordered her breakfast toast to be extra thin. The toast she got was not only extra thin but also, by mistake, extra burnt. Nevertheless, Melba found it to be delicious. The maitre d', taking advantage of Melba's prominence as one of the great divas of the nineteenth century, placed the dish on the menu and called it Melba toast. A subsequent story that made the rounds was that the famous French chef, Auguste Escoffier, honored Melba at the Ritz Carlton in London by a concoction of ice cream and peach halves, topped with a sauce of currants and raspberries, and served in a sculptured swan of ice. The dish was named, of course, peach Melba.
   Melba, whose real name was Helen Porter Mitchell, was born in Burnley, Victoria, Australia, on May 19, 1861. She studied voice in Melbourne and then in Paris. She made her grand-opera debut in Brussels in 1887 as Gilda in Rigoletto under the name Melba, taking her name from the city of Melbourne. She went on to become a world-famous coloratura soprano, the celebrated star of London's Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, La Scala, and New York's Metropolitan. Upon her retirement in 1926, she became president of the Melbourne conservatoire. She died in Sydney, Australia on February 23, 1931.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Melba toast — n. [after MELBA Dame Nellie] [also m t ] bread sliced very thin and toasted until brown and crisp …   English World dictionary

  • Melba Toast — This article is about the entertainer. For the food, see Melba toast. Miss Melba Toast 2007 Melba Toast, “The Toast of Country Music” is renowned as a blond ultra maxi bouffant singer/songwriter/comedian/actress/MC and promoter. Ms. Toast has… …   Wikipedia

  • Melba toast — This article is about the food. For the entertainer, see Melba Toast. Melba toast topped with goat cheese and tomato jam Melba toast is a very dry, crisp and thinly sliced toast often served with soup and salad or topped with either melted cheese …   Wikipedia

  • Melba-Toast — mit Ziegenkäse und Tomaten belegt Melba Toast (auch Toast Melba) ist eine sehr trockene, knusprige und dünn geschnittene Toastsorte, die zu Suppen und Salaten serviert wird oder entweder mit geschmolzenem Käse oder Pâté gekrönt wird. Sie ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Melba toast — Mel|ba toast [ˌmelbə ˈtəust US ˈtoust] n [U] [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: Nellie Melba (1861 1931), Australian singer; because she was given it when she was ill] a type of thin dry ↑toast that breaks easily …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Melba toast — Mel′ba toast n. coo narrow slices of thin crisp toast • Etymology: 1920–25; after N. Melba …   From formal English to slang

  • melba toast — noun Etymology: Nellie Melba Date: 1925 very thin crisp toast …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Melba toast — narrow slices of thin, crisp toast. [1920 25; named after N. MELBA] * * * …   Universalium

  • Melba toast — /mɛlbə ˈtoʊst/ (say melbuh tohst) noun very thinly sliced bread, baked in the oven until crisp; fairy toast. {named after Dame Nellie Melba} …   Australian English dictionary

  • Melba toast — noun very thin crisp brown toast • Hypernyms: ↑toast …   Useful english dictionary

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