National Caesar Salad Day occurs on July 4 each year, and just the fact that we have yet another food holiday is enough to get us on board. One of the most universally loved (and known) salads is the Caesar salad, so let’s first have a look at what the salad actually is. A classic or traditional Caesar salad consists of croutons, fresh romaine lettuce, parmesan, and a zippy dressing containing raw egg, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. The best part is that there isn’t a restaurant in the country that does not serve the Caesar salad, or some version of it, especially if that restaurant is an Italian one.
History of National Caesar Salad Day
Contrary to popular belief, the salad is not, in fact, named after any of the emperors of Ancient Rome. Rather, it is named after the Italian chef, Caesar Cardini, who created this delectable salad after immigrating to the U.S. with his brother Alex and opening a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico (called Caesar’s). This happened during the Prohibition in the U.S. in the 1920s, which is the reason that Cardini opened his restaurant in Mexico in the first place. We bring you the most popular origin story of this famous salad, as it’s also the most entertaining one — perfect to relate to guests as they dig into their salads at your table.
It was during the Fourth of July holiday rush in 1924, that Cardini’s restaurant began to run out of supplies. Not wanting to disappoint a list of elite Hollywood clientele dining at his restaurant that day, Cardini rustled up what he could find in the way of a salad, and proceeded to make a show of preparing the salad live in front of his audience. This added touch of a live chef performance, while not winning him an Oscar, thrilled his guests. The salad also managed to do justice to all the pomp and flair that went into the making of it. It was the smash success of this that catapulted Caesar Cardini to fame and gave the Caesar salad its name.
Today the Caesar salad is one of the most popular salads throughout the world. American chef Julia Child recalls that one of her earliest childhood restaurant memories was going to Caesar’s and trying out the salad, which she mentions in her book “From Julia Child’s Kitchen.” While variations exist all over, one thing is for sure, everyone loves a good Caesar salad. So we guess we have Prohibition (and necessity, the mother of invention) to thank for this.
National Caesar Salad Day timeline
Chef Caesar Cardini thinks on his feet to create a salad that tantalizes the taste buds till today.
The American socialite, for whom King Edward III gave up the throne, introduces the salad at Windsor Palace and spreads its popularity.
The Cardini family patents the famous salad dressing.
The International Society of Epicures, in Paris, laud the Caesar salad as the ‘greatest recipe to originate in the Americas in the last 50 years.’
A local family, the Plascencias, reopen and restore Caesar’s after it fell into disarray and closed down.
National Caesar Salad Day FAQs
Did Julius Caesar eat salad?
Julius Caesar did not eat salad, and especially not Caesar salad, since that was invented by Caesar Cardini in 1924. There is no record or evidence to show that any of the Caesars (Roman Emperors) ate salads akin to what we know them as today.
Why is Caesar salad so expensive?
Since the original Caesar salad is made from only the freshest ingredients, the price is higher than most. The dressing is also made from scratch and uses some exotic ingredients, like anchovies or Worcestershire sauce.
What’s the most expensive salad in the world?
The ‘Florette Sea and Earth Salad’ prepared by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc at the Hempel Hotel in London, 2003, is the most expensive salad. Priced at approximately $1, 013, it took six hours to make and uses only the finest ingredients, such as beluga caviar, truffle, gold leaf, Cornish crab, etc.
National Caesar Salad Day Activities
Tuck into a Caesar salad
Choose to go the authentic route by going to your nearest Italian restaurant and trying out their Caesar salad. It’s bound to be on the menu of half of the restaurants around you, Italian or otherwise. Maybe even do your own survey, by sampling the Caesar salads in all your favorite eating joints.
Create your version
The best part about cooking is that you can take a recipe and make it your own. Feel free to experiment with making your own Caesar salad, adding more ingredients, and tweaking it to suit your diet or lifestyle choice. We recommend adding some chicken and smoky bacon, but you’re free to dress it as you like.
Make an Insta-worthy salad and post a picture online
Make a beautiful classic Caesar salad, put it in your most beautiful salad bowl, choose an aesthetically pleasing background, and take some beautiful photos of it to post on your social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtag, #NationalCaesarSaladDay.
5 Surprising Facts About Caesar Salad
Largest Caesar salad record held in Tijuana
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, in 2007, the largest recorded Caesar salad was made in Tijuana, Mexico, weighing more than three tons.
Caesar salad increased lettuce farming
Thanks to its popularity, the demand for romaine lettuce increased and led to more than 600% increased consumption in the U.S.
One large crouton
The original Caesar salad just had one large crouton in the middle of it.
First salad to become a meal
Before the invention of the Caesar salad, salads were considered a side, and never the main dish in their own right.
Fingers, not forks
The original salad had the ingredients on a bed of romaine lettuce with the stalks facing out and was eaten with one’s fingers.
Why We Love National Caesar Salad Day
Caesar salad is delicious
This is a no-brainer. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who hates Caesar salad, which is a testament to the fact that this salad is a crowd-pleaser the world over. Not only is it hearty and filling, but the dressing itself can be used for a variety of other salads and dishes.
Caesar salad is versatile
This iconic dish can be modified to suit almost every diet type and is bound to satisfy. Plus, it’s a salad, and we all know salads are healthy, so let’s keep it at that.
It supports lettuce farmers
Thanks to the huge rise in popularity of the salad, the demand and consumption of romaine lettuce had increased in the U.S. alone by about 600%. Hence more acres of farmland are devoted to growing romaine lettuce, which helps support local farmers.
National Caesar Salad Day dates