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 or combined with meat in a sandwich. 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, it has been written about in articles in national publications such as the New York Times, 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, on the television shows of celebrity chefs Paula Deen and Damaris Phillips, and in Southern Living magazine as one of June's "2011 Best Recipes" for their corresponding issue.
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 most recently in 2008. Although early editions of this book do not contain a recipe for the spread, the most recent edition does.
- 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
- "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.
- Phillips, Damaris (May 11, 2014). "Borage, Benedictine and Bacon Sandwiches". Southern at Heart. Season 2. Episode ZD0209H. Ladies' Tea Party. Food Network.
- 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.
- 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.
- "2011 Best Recipes: June - Kentucky Benedictine Tea Sandwiches". Southern Living. June 2011.
- 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.
- Benedict, Jennie C. (1904). The Blue Ribbon Cook Book (2nd ed.). Louisville: John P. Morton.