Caesar salad

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A Caesar salad is a salad which has romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. It may be prepared tableside.

Contents

History

The salad's creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini (an Italian-born Mexican).[1] Cardini was living in San Diego but also working in Tijuana where he avoided the restrictions of Prohibition. As his daughter Rosa (1928–2003) reported,[2] her father invented the dish when a Fourth of July 1924 rush depleted the kitchen's supplies. Cardini made do with what he had, adding the dramatic flair of the table-side tossing "by the chef".

A few people among Cardini's personnel claimed the authorship, but without success. [3][4]

The earliest contemporary documentation of Caesar Salad is a 1946 Los Angeles restaurant menu, twenty years after the 1924 origin asserted by the Cardinis.[5]

Recipe

The original Caesar salad recipe (unlike Alex's Aviator's salad)[6] did not contain pieces of anchovy; the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad.[7]

In the book From Julia Child's Kitchen, Julia Child describes how she ate a Caesar salad at Cardini's restaurant when she was a child in the 1920s, and some 50 years later she called Cardini's daughter, in order to discover the original recipe. In this recipe, lettuce leaves are served whole on the plate, because they are meant to be lifted by the stem and eaten with the fingers. It also calls for coddled eggs and Italian olive oil.[8]

The Cardini family trademarked the original recipe in 1948, and more than a dozen varieties of bottled Cardini's dressing are available today. Some recipes include one or more of mustard, avocado, tomato, bacon bits, or garlic cloves. Rochelle Low is credited with the creation of the "nouveau-Caesar" style by adding the hotly contested ingredient of anchovies to the dressing recipe. This style is found in fancy restaurants with the anchovies served on the side. Cardini's Brand original Caesar dressing is somewhat different from Rosa's version.[9][10]

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