March 23rd recognizes National Melba Toast Day, a food holiday. Melba toast is a dry, crisp and thinly sliced toast. It is sometimes served with salad or soup or may be eaten plain or with a topping.
Chef Auguste Escoffier of the Savoy created Melba toast. He named it after Dame Nellie Melba, the stage name of the Australian opera singer, Helen Porter Mitchell. The singer was quite popular with the chef. He created not just this diet toast for Ms. Melba, but a famous dessert as well – Peach Melba.
Over the years, chefs and cooks have developed recipes for Melba Toast because it’s such an excellent canvas to build appetizers. The sturdy toast holds up well and adds to a beautiful canapé plate. Top it with a variety of spreads, paté, fruits, and vegetables, it makes for a delicious and elegant service.
Another useful benefit of Melba toast’s firmness is it doubles as a teething biscuit for infants when they reach an age old enough to chew.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMelbaToastDay
Melba toast can be eaten much like crackers by adding toppings or spreads. Try seasoning some or include it with your meal. Other ways to celebrate include:
- Reading up about Chef Auguste Escoffier.
- Listen to Dame Nellie Melba Sing.
- Learn to make homemade Melba toast.
- Learn about the history of the Savoy.
- Create a new dish and name it after someone you know.
Use #NationalMelbaToastDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL MELBA TOAST DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this food holiday.
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March 23rd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Elisha Otis installs the first public elevator in the E.V. Haughwout & Co. building located at 488, 490, and 492 Broadway in New York City. The five-story building in SoHo occupied three floors of ornate china, glassware, and textiles. Workers in the top two floors created custom cut glass and painted dinnerware.
The British survey ship, H.M.S. Challenger discovers the deepest known region of the Earth’s oceans when it made its first sounding of the Mariana Trench. The discovery was made during the ship’s global oceanographic expedition.
The United Nations established the World Meteorological Organization.
The first U.S. astronaut arrives at the Russian space station Mir for an extended stay. Astronaut Shannon Lucid boarded Mir after traveling aboard the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis. The biochemist was the first woman to live aboard the space station. Another added achievement included being the first woman to fly in space five times.
After 15 years orbiting the Earth, the Russian space station Mir came to an end when it burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere. The strategic destruction of the first modular space station was a coordinated effort, with communications provided to island nations, ships, and planes in the debris zone over the Pacific Ocean.
March 23rd Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Florence Ellinwood Allen – 1884
On November 2, 1920, Florence Ellinwood Allen became the first woman in the United States elected to a judicial office. She was elected to the judgeship of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. But she wouldn’t stop there. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated her for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for which the U.S. Senate unanimously approved. Allen became the first woman appointed and confirmed to a federal appeals court judgeship.
Fannie Farmer – 1857
In 1896, the American culinary expert published The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Farmer immersed herself in the education of cooking and opened her own school – Miss Farmer’s School of Cookery.
Wernher Von Braun – 1912
The German-born aerospace engineer was a leader in rocket development in the early stages of space exploration. During World War II he was instrumental in the development of V-2 ballistic missiles used by the Nazis. Braun and his team would surrender to Americans before the end of the war and through Operation Paperclip, many of them came to the U.S., including Braun.
Bette Graham – 1924
A single typo used to ruin an entire page. Wads of paper could fill wastebasket, hunting and pecking resume at the typewriter attempting to get it right. Until one day in 1951 when types Bette Nesmith Graham created a white fluid that she could brush onto the paper. Once dry, the experienced typist could retype the correct letter, word, or phrase. Her invention? Liquid Paper.
Robert C. Gallo – 1937
In 1984, Dr. Robert Gallo and researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Paris discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Moses Malone – 1955
Moses Malone played 19 seasons in the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association. The 6’10 center was a 12-time NBA All-Star and named MVP 3 times. Despite his legendary career, his only championship win was in 1983 while with the 76ers.
Amalie Noether – 1882
Cedric Gibbons – 1893
Joan Crawford – 1904
Viktor Korchnoi – 1931
Chaka Khan – 1953