I guess I’ve been on a food kick lately, but I can’t help sharing this odd food that I hadn’t ever tried or heard of until moving to Schenectady. It’s greasy, salty, and cloyingly sweet. What am I referring to?
Mozzarella sticks with Melba sauce.
For those not familiar with this regional specialty, Melba sauce is a raspberry sauce, which most likely is the same as that used in the Peach Melba, a dessert named for an Australian soprano from the Victorian era. In case you were curious, Melba toast is also named after her. A quick search for this food reveals an effort by the Times Union to determine its origin. From the comments, it quickly becomes apparent that no one commenting has any idea, but many seem to suggest its origins at the Lexington Grill. My thought is that someone decided to use some leftover sauce from the Peach Melba to dip their mozzarella sticks in. It’s similar to dipping french fries in a Wendy’s frosty.
Having never tried them before, I had to give them a shot. I have a 3 strikes rule for new foods. I need to eat something at least 3 times before I can completely rule it out. I tend to like most foods, but this combo seems like a food best suited for a child. It’s not necessarily the sweet/salty combo that bothers me (I enjoy many other foods that are both), but the sickeningly sweet Melba sauce is too much for me. It reminds me of a casual version of a guava jelly & cheese dessert I had once, which I found more tolerable, but not overly enjoyable.
So far, I’ve had it twice. Both times, I’ve been significantly underwhelmed. I’ve got one more shot, though, so perhaps I will check out one of the best places scouted by more dedicated eaters in the Capital Region.
So, here’s to you, Nellie Melba! You’ve given us a dessert, toast, and (I assume) a regional treat.