This is a preview of the content in our French Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play

pêche Melba

peaches, ice cream and raspberries

peach melba

One of the simplest of French desserts, with only three ingredients: fresh ripe peaches, vanilla ice cream and sweetened raspberry purée.

The story is famous: the Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba was performing Lohengrin at Covent Garden in London, after which a dinner was held in her honour. In honour of the swan in Lohengrin, the great French chef Escoffier made a swan of ice to hold Nellie’s dessert of peaches served over vanilla ice cream.

photo of Peach Melba Recreated at The Savoy Hotel by Martin Chiffers Executive Pastry Chef 2012

While later working at the Ritz Carlton, he perfected the recipe by adding sweetened raspberry purée and and named it Pêche Melba. He also invented very thin Melba toast for the singer when she was staying at the hotel and felt ill, although the French call it croûte en dentelle.


Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Martinjohnchiffers, stu_spivack