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The History of Caesar Salad: A Savory Legacy

Caesar salad is a classic food that many of us enjoy. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, or even a snack, there’s no denying that it always leaves us wanting more. But have you ever wondered where Caesar salad got its name? This month at Stow Cafe, in honor of National Caesar Salad Day on July 4th, we’re discussing the origins of one of our favorite foods!

 

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What’s With the Name?

Caesar salad owes its creation to Caesar Cardini, an Italian-American restaurateur and chef. In the 1920s, Cardini operated a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, just across the border from San Diego, California. On a busy Fourth of July weekend in 1924, Cardini’s restaurant was filled with hungry patrons. His kitchen started to run short of food, and he needed to come up with a new dish using the ingredients he had on hand. 

With a bit of creative culinary resourcefulness, Cardini created what would become the iconic Caesar salad. However, the original recipe may be slightly different from what we know today. It consisted of romaine lettuce leaves, garlic-infused olive oil, raw egg, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and freshly ground black pepper. Cardini would assemble the salad tableside in a giant wooden bowl. This helped create a dramatic and interactive dining experience for his guests!

 

Evolving Variations

Caesar Cardini’s dressing was the heart and soul of his salad. The use of raw egg in the dressing provided a creamy texture, while the Worcestershire sauce added an umami flavor. As time went on, this salad has taken on numerous variations over the years. However, it’s worth noting that the original recipe wasn’t actually made with anchovies in the dressing, although some variations do include them today. 

Today, Caesar salad has been adapted and customized by chefs and home cooks alike. Unique ingredients have been incorporated like grilled chicken or shrimp, roasted vegetables, or even replacing romaine lettuce with kale and other greens. These innovations and alternatives have kept the Cesar salad relevant and exciting as it’s able to cater to diverse palates and dietary preferences!

 

Fun Facts About Caesar Salad

  • The world’s largest Caesar salad was created in Mexico: In 2010, a giant Caesar salad was created in Mexico, weighing over 13,000 pounds. It consisted of over 2,000 heads of lettuce, 2,000 liters of Caesar dressing, and thousands of croutons!
  • The Caesar salad was reportedly Audrey Hepburn’s favorite salad.
  • Caesar salad was inducted into the International Salad Hall of Fame in 2018.

 

Visit Stow Cafe for the Best Food in MA!

If we’ve sparked your cravings for this delicious salad, we invite you to come in to enjoy a bite to eat! For more information on our other delicious food options, check out our online menu for more information. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you!

 

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