Peach Melba

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Peach Melba
Peach Melba.jpg
Created byAuguste Escoffier
Main ingredientsPeaches, raspberry sauce, vanilla ice cream

Peach Melba (French: pêche Melba, pronounced [pɛʃ mɛ]) is a dessert of peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream. It was invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honor the Australian soprano Nellie Melba.[1][2]

Creation of the dessert[edit]

In 1892, operatic soprano 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, after he had been quietly sacked from the Savoy for embezzlement along with the CEO. Escoffier omitted the ice swan and topped the peaches with raspberry purée.


Other versions substitute pears, apricots, or strawberries instead of peaches or use raspberry sauce or melted redcurrant jelly instead of raspberry purée.[1] The original dessert used simple ingredients of "tender and very ripe peaches, vanilla ice cream, and a purée of sugared raspberry". Escoffier himself is quoted as saying, "Any variation on this recipe ruins the delicate balance of its taste."[3]

Cultural significance[edit]

In tribute to Escoffier an elaborate deconstruction of the peach Melba was served as the last dish at elBulli prior to its closure in 2012.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Prosper Montagne, eds. (2001-10-02). "Melba". Larousse Gastronomique (Rev. Sub. ed.). New York City, New York: Clarkson Potter. p. 733. ISBN 978-0609609712.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Avey, Tori. "Opera, Escoffier, and Peaches: The Story Behind the Peach Melba", August 22, 2012, accessed 9 April 2015
  3. ^ "Peach Melba - The Auguste Escoffier Way" (PDF). Melba Magazine. Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra: 4. 2017.
  4. ^ "A última valsa do elBulli". Menu. Retrieved 2015-02-03.