Classic Thousand Island Dressing

Classic Thousand Island DressingClassic Thousand Island Dressing, is the perfect condiment for salads, a secret sauce for burgers, topping Ruben sandwiches, dipping your fries in, and so much more. It has a bold mystery history dating back to 1912 and possibly before.

It seems Thousand Island Dressing, has quit the questionable background of history. When investigating my husband’s favorite salad dressing, I stumbled across 4 very mixed background stories and 4 very different people noted to have been the 1st to make this yummy condiment.

What did I find?

  • The Oxford Companion of Food and Drink claims, In the Thousand Islands area, one common version of the dressing’s origins says that a fishing guide’s wife, Sophia LaLonde, made the condiment for her husband George’s dinner. In this version, actress May Irwin requested the recipe. Mary Irwin in turn gave it to another summer resident, George Boldt, who built Boldt Castle between 1900 and 1904. Boldt, the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, instructed the hotel’s maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, to put the dressing on the menu in about 1894.
  • A 1959 National Geographic article states, “Thousand Island Dressing was created by Boldt’s chef.” Despite the earlier claims he was involved in the introduction of the salad dressing at the Waldorf, the chef failed to mention the salad dressing in his famous cookbook that was published during the time period in question.
  • When students of the University of Wisconsin tried to investigate the origin story for Thousand Island dressing in 2010, they found that the story often varied depending on who they spoke to. They discovered a third story, where the original recipe was based upon French dressing, supported by a recipe published in the 11th edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook dated 1965.
  • A few food writers also claim that the Thousand islands dressing was invented by chef Theo Rooms, of the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago at the same time period any case, the food historians at the Food Timeline point out that the earliest print references to Thousand Island dressing do not appear until 1912.

You may all be thinking…

Where in the Sam Hell are the Thousand Islands located? The Thousand Islands are an archipelago of 1,864 islands that straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River, as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. They stretch for about 50 mile downstream from Kingston, Ontario. The Canadian islands are in the province of Ontario, the U.S. islands in the state of New York.

Which story is true? I wish I could tell you myself, I left more baffled then educated on the mysterious Thousand Island Dressing, that’s for certain.Like any vintage  food background of a recipe, one will truly never know which is the truth.

Classic Thousand Island Dressing

  • 1 hard-boiled egg, minced
  • 3 cups of Dukes mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons of quality ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons of minced pimentos
  • 2 tablespoons of minced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons of minced onions
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, to thin dressing
  • A dash of smoked paprika
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Place 1 hard-boiled egg in a large food processor, pulse a few times to mince.
  2. Add 3 cups of Dukes  mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons of quality ketchup, 3 tablespoons of minced pimento, 2 tablespoons of minced green peppers, 2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish, 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, A dash of smoked paprika, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
  3. Pulse food processor 3-4 times to combine ingredients.
  4. Place in a non-reactive container with tight-fitting lid and place in refrigerator till ready for use.

Note: If stored properly this should store safely for about 7days.

© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.

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