Benedictine or Benedictine Spread is a spread made with cucumbers and cream cheese. Invented near the beginning of the 20th century, it was originally and still is used for making cucumber sandwiches, but in recent years it has been used as a dip. This spread can be obtained pre-made from some Louisville area grocery stores.
Although benedictine is rarely seen in restaurants outside the state of Kentucky, articles written about benedictine have recently appeared in national publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Saveur Magazine, and also been reported on multimedia outlets such as the Food Network and NPR.
Benedictine was invented near the beginning of the 20th century by Jennie Carter Benedict, a caterer, restaurateur and cookbook author in Louisville, Kentucky. Benedict opened a kitchen for providing catering services in 1893, and in 1900 opened a restaurant and tea room called Benedict's. It was probably during her catering period when she invented and originally served benedictine.
Benedict's cook books are still being sold a century after they were first published. For example, her The Blue Ribbon Cook Book, which first published in 1902, has been reprinted numerous times and as recently as 2008. This book also contains a recipe for the spread.
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsps. cucumber juice
- 1 tbsp. onion juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- A few grains of cayenne pepper
- 2 drops green food coloring
Modern variants of the recipe use grated or chopped cucumber and onions rather than juice, as well as dill and other ingredients commonly used to make spreads. They also use significantly less salt.
- "Benedictine Recipe Details | Recipe database". Washington Post. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Popham, Mary (April 22, 2009). "Benedictine spread; Miss Jennie Benedict's famed cookbook is back, with lots of extras". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Peterson, Erica (July 13, 2013). "A Summery Spread That's As Cool As A Cucumber". NPR. Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Schrambling, Regina (May 28, 1989). "Food; Bluegrass Flavor". New York Times.
- Gray, Lori (March 18, 2002). "Derby Delight: Everybody wants the spread in Louisville.". Saveur.
- Thompson, Sharon (August 15, 2012). "Food Network declares a Benedictine sandwich one of country's best". Lexington Herald-Leader.
- Deen, Paula (May 6, 2006). "Benedictine Sandwiches". Paula's Home Cooking. Season 6. Episode PA0713H. Mother's Day. Food Network. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/benedictine-sandwiches-recipe.html.
- Phillips, Damaris (May 11, 2014). "Borage, Benedictine and Bacon Sandwiches". Southern at Heart. Season 2. Episode ZD0209H. Ladies' Tea Party. Food Network. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/damaris-phillips/borage-benedictine-and-bacon-sandwiches.html.
- Birnsteel, Laurie A. (2001). "Benedict, Jennie Carter". In Kleber, John E. The Encyclopedia of Louisville (1 ed.). pp. 85–86. ISBN 9780813128900. Retrieved 2014-07-05.
- Stinnett, Donna (October 2, 2006). "Claim to fame Kentucky restaurant owner, caterer contributes". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- Cox, Larry (November 26, 2008). "Storied Kentucky cookbook still has relevance today". Tucson Citizen.