How did Thousand Island Dressing get its name?
In the early 20th century, Sophia LaLonde of Clayton, N.Y., served the dressing at dinner for guests of her husband, who was a popular fishing guide. One of the dinner guests was leading actress May Irwin. It was Irwin who christened the dressing with the Thousand Island name, and the dressing was served by Irwin's request at the Herald Hotel in Clayton. The actress also introduced the dressing to the wider world when she gave LaLonde's recipe to the owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Thousand Island Dressing is a variation on the so-called Russian dressing popular around the time, which consisted of a yogurt base with chili sauce or ketchup added for flavor. Early Thousand Island recipes used mayonnaise instead of yogurt and added pickle relish, chives, and sometimes chopped hard-boiled eggs. In the 1950s, Thousand Island Dressing made of mayo, ketchup, and pickle relish became a standard condiment, used on sandwiches and salads alike.
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