A guide to Louisville’s Benedictine spread

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Stock up on Benedictine + other spreads from Lotsa Pasta. | Photo by @theloutoday

In other places, Benedictine might be known for being the French herbal liqueur used in cocktails or possibly confused for being the first name of English actor Benedict Cumberbatch — afterall it is only one letter off — but in these parts, we know it lovingly as a bright green cucumber spread invented right here in the 502.

Most Louisvillians know the sophisticated history of this tea sandwich filling turned modern deli favorite and that it’s a Derby party mainstay for dipping + spreading.

Reader Mary K. said, “I remember growing up anytime you had a shower or a ladies lunch, Bendictine was always a staple.”

But just in case you need to refresh your memory, here are four quick facts to whip out next time you need to school someone in Benedictine history.

  • It was invented by Louisville restaurateur + cookbook author Jennie Carter Benedictwho is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery — in the early 20th century.
  • Jennie created the spread to serve during tea service at her restaurant, Benedict’s Restaurant, formerly at 554 S. 4th St.near The Louisville Palace.
  • Originally, just the juice from the onion and cucumber were used in the recipe, but modern takes and family recipes now include grated veggies + green food coloring to distinguish it from regular cream cheese.
  • It’s rare to find Benedictine outside of Kentucky, but it has made national appearances in the Food Network’s “50 States 50 Sandwiches” + on PopSugar food programs.

Once you’ve spread a little local history, recommend these 10+ local spots to try and buy it.

Where to buy it

Morris Deli, 2228 Taylorsville Rd.

Grab the spread by the half-pound for $5.59 at this made-to-order deli where your sandwich is priced by weight.

Lotsa Pasta, 3717 Lexington Rd.

Made with fresh dill and green food coloring, snag this popular version for $7.99 or try it on a sammie at the deli.

Harvey’s Cheese, Inside Logan Street Market, 1001 Logan St.

Pick up a tub of this non-traditional version made with local goat cheese for $7.99.

Paul’s Fruit Market, Various locations

With four locations in Derby City, we’ll never have to worry about a Benedicitne shortage at Paul’s where you can buy it by the pound for $11.99.

Where to try it

The Café, 711 Brent St.

This Paristown cafe uses its homemade Benedictine on The Queen Anne sandwich made with artisan walnut wheat bread, bacon, sliced cucumbers + lettuce.

Toasty’s Tavern, 158 S. Shelby St.

Roll over Beethoven — Toasty’s Benedictine Cheese Ball is here to disrupt the classic spread. It’s made with white cheddar and cucumber + served with toast points and quick pickles.

Stevens & Stevens, 1114 Bardstown Rd.

Take a bite out of the delicatessen’s Me Turkey You Jane sando layered with turkey, benedictine, bacon, lettuce, and tomato on wheat bread.

Bonus: Try five more Benedictine sandwiches here:

Mix up a batch of your own using Jennie Benedict’s recipe from GotoLouisville.com.

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • 3 tablespoons cucumber juice
  • 1 tablespoon onion juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A few grains of cayenne pepper
  • 2 drops green food coloring

To get the cucumber juice, peel and grate a cucumber. Then wrap with a clean dish towel and squeeze juice into a dish. Discard pulp. Do the same for the onion. Mix all ingredients with a fork until well blended. Using a blender will make the spread too runny. Serve as a dip or a sandwich filling.

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