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|Course||Hors d'œuvre, salad|
|Place of origin||Mexico|
|Region or state||Tijuana, Baja California|
|Created by||Caesar Cardini|
|Serving temperature||Chilled or room temperature|
|Main ingredients||Romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper|
|Cookbook: Caesar Salad Media: Caesar salad|
In its original form, this salad was prepared and served tableside.
The salad's creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States. Cardini was living in San Diego but he was also working in Tijuana where he avoided the restrictions of Prohibition. His daughter Rosa (1928–2003) recounted that her father invented the salad 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 number of Cardini's staff have said that they invented the dish.
The Hotel Caesar's and Caesar's restaurant are still operating on Avenida Revolución in Tijuana today.
Julia Child said that she had eaten a Caesar salad at Cardini's restaurant when she was a child in the 1920s. In 1946, newspaper columnist Dorothy Kilgallen wrote of a Caesar containing anchovies, differing from Cardini's version:
The big food rage in Hollywood—the Caesar salad—will be introduced to New Yorkers by Gilmore's Steak House. It's an intricate concoction that takes ages to prepare and contains (zowie!) lots of garlic, raw or slightly coddled eggs, croutons, romaine, anchovies, parmeasan [sic] cheese, olive oil, vinegar and plenty of black pepper.
According to Rosa Cardini, the original Caesar salad (unlike his brother Alex's Aviator's salad) did not contain pieces of anchovy; the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad.
In the 1970s, Cardini's daughter said that the original recipe included whole lettuce leaves, which were meant to be lifted by the stem and eaten with the fingers; coddled eggs; and Italian olive oil.
Bottled Caesar dressings are now produced and marketed by many companies.
The trademark brands "Cardini's", "Caesar Cardini's" and "The Original Caesar Dressing" are all claimed to date to February 1950, although they were only registered decades later, and more than a dozen varieties of bottled Cardini's dressing are available today, with various ingredients.
Many variations of the salad exist; for example, by topping a Caesar salad with grilled chicken, steak, or seafood. Certain Mexican restaurants may improvise on items such as substituting tortilla strips for croutons or Cotija cheese for the Parmesan.
Common ingredients in many recipes:
There are limitless variations. However, some of the more common are
There is inherent risk of infection by salmonella bacteria occasionally found in raw egg from cracked or improperly washed eggshells. However, some countries such as the UK have eliminated this risk through vaccination and tracking strategies. This is a concern with many similar dressings that are emulsified with eggs, though generally the pH level is thought to be acidic enough to kill those bacteria. Nevertheless, later versions of the recipe call at least for briefly cooked coddled eggs or pasteurized eggs. Recipes may omit the egg and produce a "Caesar vinaigrette". Many variations of this salad exist; yogurt is sometimes substituted for the eggs to maintain a creamy texture and others call for using mayonnaise(n.b. modern commercial mayonnaise is prepared using pasteurized eggs).
Caesar Cardini, 60, credited with the invention of the Caesar salad, died [...]
Rosa Cardini, who has died in California aged 75, turned the salad dressing created by her father, Caesar, into a staple of modern dining and a million-dollar business. Although the origin of the Caesar Salad is a topic hotly debated by epicures, the generally accepted version is that it was first popularised in the United States in the late 1920s by an Italian immigrant, born Cesare Cardini. He and his brother Alessandro moved to San Diego from Milan after the Great War and then decided to open a restaurant just across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, to attract Americans frustrated by Prohibition.