Happy 100th birthday to the Caesar salad!

A classic salad turns 100

Happy Birthday, Caesar salad! (Pexels.)

The Fourth of July will forever be remembered as America’s birthday, but it’s also the birthday of a salad that Americans absolutely adore: the Caesar salad!

That’s right, the Caesar salad was officially born on July 4, 1924 in Tijuana, Mexico of all places. And no, that doesn’t mean that the Caesar salad is a salad of Mexican descent. It’s an Italian salad that was created by an Italian chef, Caesar Cardini, who happened to be living in Mexico at the time of its creation, according to NPR.

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The story goes that Cardini’s restaurant (which still runs and operates to this day) was practically out of ingredients because so many folks were celebrating the Fourth of July. Cardini had a few pantry staples left on hand (garlic, olive oil and things like that), so he decided to combine them all to make a dressing for salad. He dressed romaine lettuce spears with the dressing and added croutons and Parmesan. Thus Caesar’s very own salad was born!

If you’ve scrolled on TikTok or Instagram reels over the last year, you already know how much people love Caesar salad, especially if it is served alongside some crispy french fries and a cold Coke. It’s even better if that Caesar salad is served in a wrap with some crispy fried chicken. I’m dreaming of it now!

The classic Caesar salad dressing now consists of a combination of anchovies packed in oil, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, egg yolk, Dijon mustard, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan and lots of olive oil.

There have been plenty of variations over the years, but one consistent that I think must always stay in a dressing in anchovies. I know people are grossed out by them, but once they are blended into the sauce, you don’t even know they are in it. And the salty flavor they bring is key to a classic Caesar dressing.

It’s kind of fitting that the Caesar salad shares a birthday with America, because even though it was created in Mexico by an Italian immigrant, the salad really is synonymous with American culture and Italian-American cuisine. A Caesar salad made table side at an Italian restaurant? There’s nothing better.

So happy 100th birthday, Caesar salad! Let’s hope you celebrate the milestone birthday on the Fourth of July with a giant salad.

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

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