is a very dry, crisp, thinly sliced toast
often served with soups
or topped with either melted cheese
. It is named after Dame Nellie Melba
, the stage name
of Australian opera singer
Helen Porter Mitchell. The term is thought to date back to 1897
, a year when the singer was very ill and this kind of toast became a staple of her diet
. The toast was created for her by chef Auguste Escoffier
, a big fan of hers, who also created the Peach Melba
dessert. The hotel proprietor César Ritz
supposedly named it in a conversation with Escoffier.
Melba toast is usually made by lightly toasting bread in the normal way. Once the outsides of the bread are slightly firm, it is removed from the toaster and then each slice is cut in half "longitudinally" with a bread knife to make two slices each half the thickness. These two thin slices are then toasted again to make Melba Toast.