5 tasty facts that you might not know about the Caesar Salad

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Culinary Experience)
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Culinary Experience) /

How much do you know about the classic Caesar Salad?

Often a staple on many restaurant menus, the Caesar salad is  many people’s preferred salad choice. Although many chefs have their recipe variations, a few recipe characteristics tend to remain the same. Still, how much do you really know about that salad on the table?

What’s in a name?

While there are many jokes about hail Caesar, the Caesar salad isn’t named after Julius Caesar. The iconic salad gets its name from the person and the place where it was invented. Thanks to Caesar Cardini and the Hotel Caesar, everyone can enjoy this classic salad.

Where’s the anchovies?

In Cardini’s original recipe, anchovies were not part of the recipe. Since the classic recipe uses Worcestershire sauce, there is a component of fermented fish. Today, some recipes use anchovies as a salt component. Other recipes leave them out. If you are following the original recipe, the anchovies are out.

Made while you watch

Going back to the original Caesar salad, waiters would toss the salad tableside. The tradition goes back to 1924 when waiters would make the salad to order in wooden bowls. Today, some restaurants would make the salad as diners watch. But, the tradition of tableside service is going away.

To the heart of the matter

Traditionally, a Caesar salad uses whole romaine hearts. While the other ingredients vary, the type of lettuce does make a difference. The whole romaine hearts tend to stand up to the creamy dressing and offer the contrasting crunch that satisfies.

Only one crouton

While many people think of the Caesar salad overflowing with ingredients, it really should have just one crouton (or crostini) and parmesan cheese. Although there are many versions with chicken, shrimp and other proteins, the classic recipe is much more simple.

Next time you order a Caesar salad, consider going back to the simplicity of the original recipe. While Gordon Ramsay might beg to differ, sometimes the classics deserve to be appreciated.

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What is your favorite salad recipe? When was the last time you had a Caesar salad?