Egg salad sandwich with lettuce on whole grain bread cut in half on a plate
Food - Drink
The Hazy History Of Egg Salad
Egg salad is a classic combination of eggs, mayonnaise, and vegetables, often stuffed into bread for an egg salad sandwich. While this dish is as classic as it gets for many Americans, the history of egg salad and how it transformed into a sandwich filling is somewhat hazy, and the earliest known egg salad recipe didn't even use mayo.
According to The Nibble, egg salad as we know it today may be descended from an 19th-century English salad known as salmagundi, which could include hard-cooked eggs. In the U.S., an early recipe for "egg salad" appeared in an 1899 article in an Ohio newspaper, but it called for butter instead of mayo, and also included chicken.
Mayo didn't become popular in the U.S. until 1905, but whoever first combined mayo with eggs may have done so anytime during the 1800s, when the condiment was brought to America. In addition to salmagundi, salads of boiled eggs with chutney, cream, or herring could be found in the cookbook "The 'Queen' Cookery Books No. 9", released in 1905.
Also, in 1886, "Mrs. Crown’s American Lady’s Cookery Book" was the first text to suggest that boiled eggs make a suitable sandwich filling. These cookbooks, as well as earlier egg "breakfast sandwiches," may have paved the way for mayo-based egg salad sandwiches, though we may never know who invented modern egg salad or when.