We all know that a mix of ketchup, mayo, and a few other things that tops many burgers is popularly know as the "thousand island dressing". We enjoy this dressing a lot these days. But what we don't really know is its history and origin.
Did you know its origins trace back to the highest ranks of American society?
At least, that's the tale you'll hear from boat tour guides in the Thousand Islands, a chain of islands between northern New York and Canada that are the dressing's namesake. That version of the story begins at Boldt Castle, the palatial summer home that Waldorf-Astoria owner George Boldt built for his wife, Louise, at the turn of the last century – on a heart-shaped island, no less.
According to legend, George and Louise were out for a cruise on their steam yacht, and it was time for lunch. Greens were on the menu, but the Boldts' chef forgot to bring any dressing with him onboard. So, he improvised with what was on hand — whipping together mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, Worcestershire sauce and a hard-boiled egg. Voila! Thousand Island dressing was born.
But is that just a whale of a tale? Actually, when you go on a tour, stories are sometimes made up to make it sound more exciting. There are a lot of variations to the story of how the dressing came to be. Whichever is the legitimate one, that we don't know, I am sure that we are all thankful to whoever invented it.