National Peach Melba Day
annually on January 13th
The dessert Peach Melba is celebrated today. It is made up of peaches poached in vanilla syrup, that are then served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. It was created by renowned French Chef Auguste Escoffier, and named after Australian opera singer Nellie Melba. Accounts differ as to exactly when and where it was invented, but all accounts say it was created around the turn of the twentieth century. One prominent story says that Nellie Melba was performing Wagner's opera Lohengrin at Covent Garden in 1892, and that the dessert was created by Escoffier for a dinner party that was given in her honor for her performance. An ice sculpture of a swan—a bird featured in the opera—carried peaches on top of vanilla ice cream. According to the same story, Escoffier created a new version of Peach Melba in 1900, to commemorate the opening of the Carlton Hotel. It was then that raspberries were used to top the dessert. Sometimes pears, apricots, or strawberries are used instead of peaches today.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by making yourself some Peach Melba! It's probably best to listen to some Nellie Melba as you are enjoying your treat.