Caesar salad turns 100: the unique story of its origin linked to “Prohibition”

Caesar salad turns 100: the unique story of its origin linked to “Prohibition”
Caesar salad turns 100: the unique story of its origin linked to “Prohibition”

The Mexican city of Tijuana celebrates this weekend the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Caesar salada popular dish that can be found in restaurants around the world and that has its origins in this border city with the United States.

This salad, now featured on restaurant menus around the globe, was created in a pinch at Caesar’s restaurant in Tijuana by Italian chef Cesar Cardini, who emigrated to Mexico in the 1920s.

According to local historians, On July 4, 1924, large numbers of Americans crossed the border to celebrate Independence Day with alcohol, something impossible to do north of the Rio Grande with Prohibition in place since 1920.

Due to the lack of ingredients to prepare food for the numerous customers, the chef placed an oak wood container in front of them, into which he added the ingredients he had on hand and prepared the characteristic dressing that accompanies the salad.

To this day, the restaurant, one of the most emblematic in the city, continues to prepare this salad in front of diners in the same way that Chef Cardini did a century ago.

How to prepare a Caesar salad?

The dressing is made up of olive oil, garlic, mustard, fresh pepper, Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon and the yolk of an egg.

These ingredients are poured into the oak wood container and once dissolved, a little bit of Parmesansaid Efraín Montoya, the restaurant’s “master salad maker.”

The preparation continues by placing the pieces of lettuce, the dressing is added, the “croutons” and finally more Parmesan cheese, the specialist added.

He said the round wooden containers are specially ordered from San Francisco, California, and over time the wood becomes “tanned” and the dressing takes on a better flavor.

Over the course of 100 years, other ingredients, such as anchovies, have been added to Cardini’s salad, but the main elements have remained the same, said Claudio Poblete, author of a book about the salad presented Friday as part of the celebrations taking place in Tijuana.

The author commented that it is a universal salad that is integrated into kitchens around the world because its ingredients are essential in human nutrition, such as olive oil, cheese and lettuce.

To mark the dish’s first 100 years, a two-metre sculpture of Cardini’s silhouette was also unveiled at the entrance to Caesar’s hotel and restaurant.

Source: Ambito

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