Thousand Island Dressing Secret: Good Lakes origins of one particular of America’s preferred sauces

Bottles of Thousand Island dressing on a grocery shop shelf Impression: Natasha Blakely, Fantastic Lakes Now

By Rachel Duckett

What do you get when you combine mayonnaise, a vaudeville star, two swanky lodges and a fisherman’s spouse?

If you guessed Thousand Island dressing and an age-aged secret, you’d be suitable.

Now, Thousand Island dressing is bottled and marketed in grocery stores nationwide. You may even locate a simplified model of the dressing (mayonnaise, ketchup or tomato puree, and pickle relish) at your favored burger spot, masquerading as their “special” or “secret” sauce.

For those wanting to recreate the dressing at residence, there are a slew of recipes on- and off-line, every single with different ingredients and ratios. Standard recipes involve diced boiled eggs and Worcestershire sauce.

Numerous recipes also contain an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, and some contact for mustard or scorching sauce. Additional elaborate recipes might involve chopped onion, garlic, herbs, peppers, olives or nuts.

“All of that stuff… no… it does not have any of that things,” mentioned Brad Minnick, owner of the Thousand Islands Inn. “At the very least the primary one doesn’t.”

But what is the first recipe? It is a distinct story dependent on who is requested.

The authentic recipe can mostly be traced back again to the early 1900s in Thousand Islands, New York, where by the tangy pinkish condiment got its namesake.

There, in close proximity to Lake Ontario, amongst the United States and Canada, you can find 4 distinctive origin tales for Thousand Island dressing, 3 of which contain a girl named May possibly Irwin.

Sophia’s Sauce

This principle, extensively approved in the Thousand Islands region, claims the dressing started with a female named Sophia LaLonde. Sophia, the wife of George LaLonde, a fishing captain, would put together “shore dinners” for him.

“The tale was handed down from Sophia.” Minnick mentioned.

It was in the course of 1 of these dinners that Sophia established Thousand Island dressing, originally to be served as a dipping sauce with fish.

At some point, she shared her recipe with the Bertrand relatives, who owned the Herald Resort in Clayton, New York, at the time.

The Herald Hotel, now named the Thousand Islands Inn, transformed hands over the a long time. When it was purchased in 1972, the proprietor observed a single sheet of paper in a protected, titled “Sophia’s Sauce.”

The paper, which was a letter from LaLonde to her groundskeeper and has the unique recipe, now belongs to Minnick, who promises himself, his companion and the former operator are the only kinds who have seen it.

“None of the dressing that are out there on the current market are the unique recipe for Thousand Island dressing,” he stated.

Ella Bertrand passed the recipe on to Might Irwin, a vaudeville star, when Irwin stayed at the resort, in accordance to Minnick.

Irwin, the to start with girl in cinematic background to share a kiss onscreen, in Thomas Edison’s The Kiss, also documented the original recipe in a letter which now sits in the Thousand Islands Museum, said museum director Sharon Bourquin.

Quite a few in the area believe that Irwin, a fixture in significant society at the time, then brought the recipe to Boldt Castle.

“In the letter, it says served at the Boldt and the Herald,” claimed Minnick.

Boldt Castle

In Alexandria Bay, the tale starts at Boldt Castle.

Boldt Castle, which sits on a heart-shaped island, was developed by George Boldt, proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria Resort, for his wife, Louise.

In this version, the few were being on their boat with the hotel’s maitre d’, Oscar Tschirky, who supposedly forgot salad dressing, forcing him to improvise with the substances they had on board.

A 1959 National Geographic article noted, “Thousand Island Dressing was reportedly designed by Boldt’s chef.”

Even though it is achievable that Might Irwin and other individuals bought their most loved dressing from Boldt Castle, quite a few outdoors of Alexandria Bay doubt this tale, particularly thinking of chef Tschirky published a cookbook for the duration of this time that did not involve the dressing.

Blackstone Hotel

The third theory will take us to Chicago to the Blackstone Resort, an additional favourite of May Irwin.

Listed here, Chef Theo Rooms claimed he produced Thousand Island Dressing for the Blackstone Hotel’s grand opening in 1910.

For supporters of this theory, it is supported by an award, housed at the Chicago Culinary Museum, that was supplied to Rooms in 1925 for making the dressing. Food stuff historians have traced this idea back to 1915, when a newspaper in Duluth released a recipe for “Blackstone Dressing.”

The French Relationship

The closing concept was very first circulated by sociologist Michael Bell.

Bell discovered a recipe published in 1965, in the 11th edition of “The Fannie Farmer Cookbook,” which claimed that Thousand Island dressing was based mostly on French dressing.

Bell discovered that this idea was generally centered on oral custom.

This tale was generated by a partnership involving Terrific Lakes Echo and Good Lakes Now.