Benedictine (spread)

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Benedictine with sesame crackers

Benedictine or Benedictine Spread is a spread made with cucumbers and cream cheese.[1][2][3] Invented near the beginning of the 20th century,[1] it was originally and still is used for making cucumber sandwiches, but in recent years it has been used as a dip.[3][4] This spread can be obtained pre-made from some Louisville area grocery stores.[5]

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[6] and NPR.

A benedictine-based sandwich was featured on the Food Network in 2012[7] and by celebrity chef Paula Deen.[8]


Benedictine was invented near the beginning of the 20th century by Jennie Carter Benedict, a caterer, restaurateur and cookbook author in Louisville, Kentucky.[9] Benedict opened a kitchen for providing catering services in 1893, and in 1900 opened a restaurant and tea room called Benedict's.[9] It was probably during her catering period when she invented and originally served benedictine.[10]


Following are the original benedictine recipe ingredients used by Benedict, as reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal and NPR:[2][3]

The original spread is made by thoroughly blending all these ingredients with a fork.[2][3]

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.[1][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Benedictine Recipe Details | Recipe database". Washington Post. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  2. ^ a b c 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. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Peterson, Erica (July 13, 2013). "A Summery Spread That's As Cool As A Cucumber". NPR. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  4. ^ Schrambling, Regina (May 28, 1989). "Food; Bluegrass Flavor". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Gray, Lori (March 18, 2002). "Derby Delight: Everybody wants the spread in Louisville.". Saveur. 
  6. ^ Phillips, Damaris (May 11, 2014). "Borage, Benedictine and Bacon Sandwiches". Southern at Heart. Season 2. Episode ZD0209H. Ladies' Tea Party. Food Network.
  7. ^ Thompson, Sharon (August 15, 2012). "Food Network declares a Benedictine sandwich one of country's best". Lexington Herald-Leader. 
  8. ^ Deen, Paula (May 6, 2006). "Benedictine Sandwiches". Paula's Home Cooking. Season 6. Episode PA0713H. Mother's Day. Food Network.
  9. ^ a b 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. 
  10. ^ Stinnett, Donna (October 2, 2006). "Claim to fame Kentucky restaurant owner, caterer contributes". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2014-07-04.