Earl Grey, forever a staple flavor in the tea world, was actually named after a real person. To be remembered in such a tasty way must be an honor!
Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey, was the British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. How the blend was named after him is uncertain, though. Some say a Chinese mandarin gave him the recipe after saving his life. Others say he was given the tea after one of his servants rescued the son of an Indian ruler from a tiger. Another is that the teas from India were very young, as was the tea industry, and the tea did not have the richness that the English were used to. Earl Grey ordered the addition of oil of bergamot, a small acidic orange, to his tea to take away the bitter flavor. The rest is history!
I recently acquired a book titled Tea Cuisine: A New Approach to Flavoring Contemporary and Traditional Dishes by Joanna Pruess. It obviously includes a variety of recipes but also covers some general tea knowledge and history. One of the little bonuses comes from contributor John Harney of Harney & Sons Fine Teas fame. He has compiled a list of teas that pair well with certain types of foods. The theory is that, just like wines, teas can bring out that extra special something in your dishes.