Benedictine (spread)

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Benedictine (condiment).JPG
Benedictine used as a dip, with sesame crackers
Alternative names Benedictine spread
Type Sandwich filling, condiment, or dip
Place of origin United States
Region or state Louisville, Kentucky
Created by Jennie Carter Benedict
Serving temperature cold or room temperature
Main ingredients Cucumbers, cream cheese
Ingredients generally used onion, cayenne pepper, salt
Variations Mayonnaise
Cookbook: Benedictine  Media: Benedictine

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] or combined with meat in a sandwich.[5][6] This spread can be obtained pre-made from some Louisville area grocery stores.[7]

Although benedictine is rarely seen in restaurants outside the state of Kentucky, it has been written about in articles in national publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Saveur Magazine, and also reported about on multimedia outlets such as the Food Network and NPR.

A benedictine-based sandwich was featured on the Food Network's 50 States 50 Sandwiches program in 2012,[8] on the television shows of celebrity chefs Paula Deen[9] and Damaris Phillips,[5] in Southern Living magazine as one of June's "2011 Best Recipes" for their corresponding issue,[10] in Garden & Gun magazine,[11] and in PopSugar.[12][13]


Benedictine was invented near the beginning of the 20th century by Jennie Carter Benedict, a caterer, restaurateur and cookbook author in Louisville, Kentucky.[14] Benedict opened a kitchen for providing catering services in 1893, and in 1900 opened a restaurant and tea room called Benedict's.[14] It was probably during her catering period when she invented and originally served benedictine.[15]

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 most recently in 2008.[16] Although early editions of this book do not contain a recipe for the spread,[17] the most recent edition does.


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 common spread ingredients. They also use significantly less salt.[1][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Benedictine Recipe Details | Recipe database". The 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". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b Phillips, Damaris (May 11, 2014). "Borage, Benedictine and Bacon Sandwiches". Southern at Heart. Season 2. Episode ZD0209H. Ladies' Tea Party. Food Network. 
  6. ^ Schrambling, Regina (April 30, 2003). "They're off and partying: The Derby bash is a Kentucky tradition worth duplicating in the West. Try these race-day classics". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Gray, Lori (March 18, 2002). "Derby Delight: Everybody wants the spread in Louisville". Saveur. 
  8. ^ Thompson, Sharon (August 15, 2012). "Food Network declares a Benedictine sandwich one of country's best". Lexington Herald-Leader. 
  9. ^ Deen, Paula (May 6, 2006). "Benedictine Sandwiches". Paula's Home Cooking. Season 6. Episode PA0713H. Mother's Day. Food Network. 
  10. ^ "2011 Best Recipes: June - Kentucky Benedictine Tea Sandwiches". Southern Living. June 2011. 
  11. ^ Portman, Jed (March 28, 2013). "Pimento Cheese's Kentucky Cousin". Garden & Gun. 
  12. ^ Einhart, Nancy (May 7, 2008). "'Wich of the Week: Benedictine Cheese Tea Sandwiches". PopSugar. 
  13. ^ Benedictine Sandwiches Recipe - Between the Bread - Food How To. PopSugar. May 15, 2013 – via YouTube. 
  14. ^ 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 – via Google Books. 
  15. ^ Stinnett, Donna (October 2, 2006). "Claim to fame Kentucky restaurant owner, caterer contributes". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  16. ^ Cox, Larry (November 26, 2008). "Storied Kentucky cookbook still has relevance today". Tucson Citizen. 
  17. ^ Benedict, Jennie C. (1904). The Blue Ribbon Cook Book (2nd ed.). Louisville: John P. Morton.