Thousand Island dressing

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Thousand Island dressing
Thousand Island dressing on salad.jpg
Thousand Island dressing on a salad
Type Salad dressing or condiment
Place of origin United States
Region or state Thousand Islands
Main ingredients Mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, eggs, cream, chili sauce, tomato purée or ketchup
Food energy
(per serving)
370 calories per 100g/ 111 per 2 teaspoons ( 30g)  kcal

Thousand Island dressing is an American salad dressing and condiment based on mayonnaise that can include olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, cream, chili sauce, tomato purée, and ketchup or Tabasco sauce. [1] [2]


It also typically contains finely chopped ingredients, which can include pickles, onions, bell peppers, green olives, hard-boiled egg, parsley, pimento, chives, garlic, or chopped nuts (such as walnuts or chestnuts). [3] [4] [5]


According to The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, the dressing's name comes from the Thousand Islands region, located along the upper St. Lawrence River between the United States and Canada. [6] Within that region, one common version of the dressing's origins says that a fishing guide's wife, Sophia LaLonde, made the condiment as part of her husband George's shore dinner. [7] Often in this version, actress May Irwin requested the recipe after enjoying it. [8] Irwin, in turn, gave it to another. In another, second version of the story, Thousand Islands summer resident, George Boldt, who built Boldt Castle between 1900 and 1904 and who was proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, instructed the hotel's maître d'hôtel , Oscar Tschirky, to put the dressing on the menu in 1894 after he forgot dressing on salads and improvised with what ingredients were on hand at the time. [7] [9] A 1959 National Geographic article states, "Thousand Island Dressing was reportedly developed by Boldt's chef." [10] Despite claims that he was involved in the introduction of the salad dressing at the Waldorf, chef Tschirky did not mention the salad dressing in his cookbook that was published during that time period. [11]

When University of Wisconsin sociologist Michael Bell and his graduate students attempted to determine the origin of Thousand Island dressing in 2010, they found that the story differed among villages and islands in the Thousand Islands region. [7] They discovered the existence of a third origin story in which the original recipe was based upon French dressing, which is supported by a recipe published in the 11th edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (1965). [7] All the claims appeared to be based upon oral traditions without supporting written records. [7] [12] [13]

According to Food & Wine magazine, the dressing was a traditional sauce from the late 19th century in the Thousand Islands region. The wealthy who visited the region carried bottles of the local sauce back to New York City, such as one variant found in Clayton, New York, called Sophia's Sauce found at a local hotel, Herald Hotel run by innkeeper Sophia Lelonde. [14]

Some food writers advance the claim that the dressing was invented by chef Theo Rooms of the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago during the same time period. [12] [15] [16] The food historians at The Food Timeline point out that the earliest print reference to Thousand Island dressing appeared in 1912, [17] and that recipes for different versions of the dressing begin to appear afterwards throughout the U.S. [18]


As a dip Thousand-Island-Dressing.jpg
As a dip

It is widely used in fast-food restaurants and diners in the United States, where it is often referred to as "special sauce" or "secret sauce". An example of this is In-N-Out Burger's "spread", served on burgers and several "secret menu" items; despite its name, it is a variation of Thousand Island dressing. [19] Thousand Island dressing is often used in a Reuben sandwich in lieu of Russian dressing. [20] McDonald's Big Mac sauce is a variation on Thousand Island dressing. [14]

Similar preparations

Rhode Island dressing (Rhode islandsås), introduced by the Swedish restaurateur Tore Wretman, [21] [22] is similar to Thousand Island and very popular in Sweden. Its name is confusing, especially for foreigners, and its origin unclear, since the dressing has no relationship to Rhode Island and the name is not used for preparations outside Sweden.

In Germany, a similar salad dressing is called "American dressing". [23] [24]

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. Honberger, Maud Mitchell, ed. (1914). Tried Receipts of Pasadena. p. 41. OCLC   898435934. (Note: 2 different recipes are offered in this book)
  2. Weaver, Louise Bennett; LeCron, Helen Cowles, eds. (1917). Thousand Island Dressing. A thousand ways to please a husband, with Bettina's best recipes. New York: Britton Publishing Company. p. 89. OCLC   657073250.
  3. Grimes, Etta (May 1915). "Home Economics: Some choice recipes". The Oregon Countryman. p. 325. OCLC   42327071.
  4. Woodland, Mrs. F.B. (1919). Hurlbut, Mrs. William D. (ed.). Stevenson Memorial Cook Book. Chicago: Sarah Hackett Stevenson Memorial Lodging House Association. p. 75. OCLC   679915543. (Note: 3 different recipes are offered in this book)
  5. Hirtzler, Victor (1919). Thousand Island dressing, for salads. The Hotel St. Francis Cook Book. Chicago: The Hotel Monthly Press, John Willy, Inc. p. 335. OCLC   682274960.
  6. Smith, Andrew F., ed. (2007). The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. Oxford University Press US. p. 514. ISBN   978-0-19-530796-2. OCLC   71833329.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Stiles, Kaelyn; Altıok, Özlem; Bell, Michael M. (March 28, 2010). "The ghosts of taste: food and the cultural politics of authenticity". Agriculture and Human Values. 28 (2): 225–236. doi:10.1007/s10460-010-9265-y. S2CID   144478103 . Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  8. McNeese, Tim (2005). The St. Lawrence River. Infobase Publishing. p. 113. ISBN   978-0-7910-8245-4. OCLC   56591404.
  9. "Thousand Island Dressing, Enjoyed around the world and... "Made in Clayton!"". Thousand Islands Inn. Archived from the original on June 27, 2007. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  10. Brown, Andrew H. (March 1959). "New St. Lawrence Seaway opens the Great Lakes to the world". National Geographic Magazine . Vol. 115, no. 3. p. 336. Today, this dressing is still being served at Oscar's in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel
  11. Tschirky, Oscar (1896). The Cook Book by "Oscar" of the Waldorf. Chicago & New York: The Werner Company.
  12. 1 2 Cazentre, Don (September 3, 2011). "Three versions of the origin of Thousand Island dressing". Syracuse Post-Standard .
  13. Smith, Susan W. (September 13, 2013). "Evidence found for the origin of the Thousand Island Dressing!". Thousand Islands Life.
  14. 1 2 Matt Blitz (June 22, 2017). "Who Invented Thousand Island Dressing?". Food & Wine.
  15. Parsons, Russ (August 25, 1994). "Salad : Unfashionable Dressings: Which Thousand Islands?". Los Angeles Times .
  16. "Iceberg Lettuce with Thousand Island Dressing". Saveur . May 7, 2007.
  17. "Thousand Island Dressing" . Coast Beacon (Pass Christian, Mississippi). December 28, 1912. p. 6 via Take one cup mayonnaise dressing, mix with one-half cup whipped cream, add small amount of tarragon vinegar, one-half teaspoonful of Imperial sauce, then chop one hard boiled egg, one green pepper, one pimento, one pinch chives, mix well together and squeeze the juice of one lemon before serving.
  18. Olver, Lynne (January 3, 2015). "Thousand Island dressing". The Food Timeline .
  19. López-Alt, J. Kenji (July 23, 2010). "The Burger Lab: The Ins-n-Outs of an In-N-Out Double-Double, Animal-Style". Serious Eats . Archived from the original on September 26, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  20. DiSpirito, Rocco (2010). Now Eat This! 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories. Random House. p. 75. ISBN   978-0-345-52090-6. OCLC   851387051.
  21. "1900-talets viktigaste matprofil i Sverige" [The most important food profile of the 20th century in Sweden] (in Swedish). Sveriges radio. October 15, 2015.
  22. Larsson, Håkan. "Bästa såserna till skaldjuren och en lättgjord äppelpaj" [The best sauces for the seafood and an easy-to-make apple pie] (in Swedish). Sveriges television. Archived from the original on April 5, 2019.
  23. Kochbuch, Marions. "American Dressing". Marions Kochbuch. Folkert Knieper. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  24. Meena, Ava (January 29, 2016). "American Food According to Germany". My Meena Life. Retrieved August 7, 2018.