in various food preparations, especially peach Melba (by 1905) and Melba toast (by 1913) is in honor of Nellie Melba, stage name (based on her hometown of Melbourne, Australia) of Australian-born operatic soprano Helen Mitchell (1861-1931).
city in western New York state, U.S., of disputed origin (there never were bison thereabouts), perhaps from the name of a native chief, or a corruption of French beau fleuve "beautiful river." Buffalo wings finger food so called because the recipe was invented in Buffalo (1964, at Frank & Teressa's Anchor Bar on Main Street).
ancient king of Phrygia, 1560s; the name is of Phrygian origin. He was given by the gods the gift of turning all he touched to gold, but as this included his food he had to beg them to take it back again. Hence Midas touch (1883). But the oldest references to him in English are to the unrelated story of the ass's ears given him by Apollo for being dull to the charms of his lyre.
peninsula of southern Greece, from Latin, from Greek Peloponnēsos. The second element apparently is nēsos "island" (see Chersonese); the first element is said to be from Pelops, name of the son of Tantalus, who killed him and served him to the gods as food (they later restored him to life). The proper name is probably from pelios "gray, dark" (from PIE root *pel- (1) "pale") + ōps "face, eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). But the association of the proper name with the peninsula name likely is folk etymology.
Related: Peloponnesian (late 15c. as a noun, "a native or inhabitant of the Peloponnesus"). The Peloponnesian War (1570s) was the great struggle for hegemony between Athens and her maritime empire and Sparta and her allies on the Peloponnesus, waged from 431 B.C.E. to 404 B.C.E.
c. 1200, frensh, frenche, "pertaining to France or the French," from Old English frencisc "French," originally "of the Franks," from franca, the people name (see Frank). A similar contraction of -ish is in Dutch, Scotch, Welsh, suggesting the habit applies to the names of only the intimate neighbors.
In some provincial forms of English it could mean simply "foreign." Used in many combination-words, often dealing with food or sex: French dressing (by 1860); French toast (1630s); French letter "condom" (c. 1856, perhaps on resemblance of sheepskin and parchment), french (v.) "perform oral sex on," and French kiss (1923) all probably stem from the Anglo-Saxon equation of Gallic culture and sexual sophistication, a sense first recorded 1749 in the phrase French novel. (In late 19c.-early 20c., a French kiss was a kiss on each cheek.) French-Canadian is from 1774; French doors is by 1847. To take French leave, "depart without telling the host," is 1771, from a social custom then prevalent. However, this is said to be called in France filer à l'anglaise, literally "to take English leave."
place in Wiltshire, Middle English Salesbury, Old English Searobyrg, Searesbyrig, Roman Sorbiodoni, Sorvioduni. The first element is a British Celtic word of uncertain sense; the second is *dunon "a hill, fort" or else Gaulish *duro- "fort, walled town." The first element was altered in Old English by folk etymology and the second replaced by its native translation, burh.
Salisbury steak (1885) is named for J.H. Salisbury (1823-1905), U.S. physician and food specialist, who promoted it.
In the Philadelphia Medical Reporter for January 10th, Dr. Hepburn describes the way in which the steak is prepared in the "Salisbury" treatment, which has acquired a great reputation in America for disordered digestion, and widely different diseases of a chronic kind, few drugs being employed simultaneously, and those chiefly of a tonic kind. The best slices of a round of beef are chopped off with dull knives, the object being rather to pound than to cut the meat. [from a report reprinted in several U.S. and British medical journals in 1885 that goes on to describe the method; this version from Homeopathic World, Aug. 1, 1885]
Incorrect use for "hamburger" generally traces to World War I and the deliberate attempt to purify American English of German loan words.