There are a lot of choices to be made in Louisville when it comes to food. In this installment of our weekly series, we thought we'd take a look at some of the iconic dishes that the city is well known for, form Benedictine to Bourbon Balls.
Jennie Carter Benedict, a Louisville caterer and restaurateur, created a spread made of cucumbers and cream cheese called what else but Benedictine. Created around the turn of the 20th Century, the spread has been served at baby and weddings showers and Derby parties since!
Invented in the 1920s chef Fred K. Schmidt who was tired of making ham and eggs for the evening revelers, the Hot Brown is now a Louisville tradition. First served at Louisville's Brown Hotel, it is an open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich with Mornay sauce. Many Louisville restaurants now offer their own version of this hometown favorite.
The Henry Bain Sauce, a sweet-sour-spicy beef sauce was invented in the early 20th century by none other than Henry Bain, the maitre d' at Louisville's Pendennis Club. Although a closely guarded secret for many years, the original recipe was released by the club in 2009 and it can now be found at local gourmet stores in the Louisville area.
The one and only Derby-Pie® is exclusively baked by Kern's Kitchen. Made with pecans, chocolate chips and Kentucky bourbon, this rich dish is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. On race day at Churchill Downs, around 25,000 slices are served that day alone.
Staying with sweets, the Modjeskas are a candy treat made of marshmallow dipped in liquid caramel. Named after famed Polish actress Helena Modjeska, the treats were created and made in Louisville by Anton Busath in the 1870s after he was impressed by her performance at the old Macauley's Theatre.
Being Bourbon Country, Kentucky has found ways to infuse their native spirit into many delicious recipes, including yummy bourbon balls. These confectionary treats can be found in many candy and chocolate shops all over Louisville – or in ice cream.
The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938, Churchill Downs makes over 120,000 Mint Juleps for Derby fans each year. Try one in Louisville during your visit or mix it yourself:
- Fill ¾ of cup with shaved ice. Add 2 oz. Kentucky Bourbon, 1tsp. Sugar, and ½ tsp. water.
- Stir gently. Add ice to fill cup. Garnish with 2 or 3 mint sprigs.