by Fred McMillin
I sing the praise of Hollandaise,
...Ogden Nash (from the delightful Ogden FOOD Nash published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, NYC, around $10.)
Alright, our holidays will include Hollandaise. What is it? Where did it come from? What wine do we pour with it?
1600s—The towns of Delft and Leyden in Holland ran out of their own, coveted butter and had to import inferior supplies from Ireland and England. Why? The French had invented Hollandaise Sauce, a warm, seasoned blend of egg yolks and butter...and Holland's was the best.
A new treat appeared in 1732. German farmers had developed white asparagus, and records show it was served with Hollandaise Sauce. Eighty years later the great chef Careme (See June 8, 1999 WineDay's, "King of Cooks") was serving the sauce; two of his recipes are in Larousse Gastronomique. My wife's 1911 Escoffier Guide To Cookery calls for six egg yolks to be mixed with one and one-half pounds of butter. Today there are lower-cholesterol versions! Now, to the wine for Hollandaise on asparagus.
Wine of the Day
To pick a wine, let's turn to The Wine Avenger, by Willie Gluckstern, founder of Wines for Food, a New York City wine school...
Mike Grgich(pictured), says his '97 is "crisp, with a long, palate-cleansing finish [aftertaste]." My panel felt it clearly was one of the best Blancs of the year.
'97 Grgich Hills Fume Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc)
Eleven countries competed in the Tenth International Culinary Olympics for professional chefs. of course, France triumphed...NO. The U.S.A. came out on top, and one of the dishes on their award-winning menu was broccoli hollandaise!
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