|Main ingredient(s)||Peaches, raspberry sauce, vanilla ice cream|
The Peach Melba (French: pêche Melba, pronounced [pɛʃ mɛl.ba]) is a dessert of peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream. The dish was invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honour the Australian soprano, Nellie Melba.
In 1892, Nellie Melba was performing in Wagner's opera Lohengrin at Covent Garden. The Duke of Orléans gave a dinner party to celebrate her triumph. For the occasion, Escoffier created a new dessert, and to display it, he used an ice sculpture of a swan, which is featured in the opera. The swan carried peaches which rested on a bed of vanilla ice cream and which were topped with spun sugar. In 1900 Escoffier created a new version of the dessert. For the occasion of the opening of the Carlton Hotel, where he was head chef, Escoffier omitted the ice swan and topped the peaches with raspberry purée. Other versions of this dessert use pears, apricots, or strawberries instead of peaches and/or use raspberry sauce or melted red currant jelly instead of raspberry purée.
- Peach Melba
- Larousse Gastronomique (New York City, New York: Clarkson Potter, 2001), page 733.