Et tu, crouton? Caesar salad, invented in Mexico by Italian immigrants, turns 100

Caesar salad is a staple on menus around the world, but many people may not know that this popular dish was actually invented in Mexico by Italian immigrants. And now, this iconic salad is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The story of Caesar salad begins in the 1920s in Tijuana, Mexico, where Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant and chef, ran a restaurant. Legend has it that on a busy Fourth of July weekend in 1924, Cardini threw together a salad using whatever ingredients he had on hand to feed a group of hungry diners.

The salad consisted of romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and a raw egg to create a creamy dressing. The salad was tossed tableside and served with a flourish, creating a sensation among diners.

The salad was a hit and quickly gained popularity among locals and visitors alike. Soon, word of the delicious salad spread, and it became a must-try dish for anyone visiting Tijuana.

Over the years, Caesar salad has become a beloved classic, with countless variations and interpretations found on restaurant menus worldwide. From grilled chicken to shrimp, avocado, and even kale, Caesar salad has been reinvented in many ways, but the original recipe remains a favorite among salad lovers.

As Caesar salad celebrates its 100th anniversary, it is a testament to the enduring appeal of this simple yet delicious dish. Whether enjoyed as a side salad or as a main course, Caesar salad continues to be a beloved favorite for diners of all ages.

So next time you dig into a crisp and creamy Caesar salad, remember to raise a fork to Caesar Cardini and the legacy he created in that small Mexican restaurant 100 years ago. Et tu, crouton?

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