A Staff Report from the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

Where did the Caesar salad originate?

September 9, 1999

Dear Straight Dope:

I am having a hard time convincing my phillistine friends that Caesar salad was invented in Tijuana. Can you help me here? Or are you another one who believes it dates back to ancient Rome?

Guest correspondent Judith replies:

Ahem. From The Joy of Cooking, by Rombauer, Becker and Becker, 1997 edition:

"The Caesar is said to have been invented in 1924 by Caesar Cardini at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, where it was made with whole leaves of romaine lettuce and eaten with the fingers. Long a staple ceremoniously tossed at tableside in Continental restaurants, the Caesar is now a salad of choice in restaurants of every type. Whether or not to include anchovies in the salad was once a main point of dicussion. Today the question is whether to top the Caesar with chicken breast, shrimp or sliced beef. Any of these make a fine addition, turning a first course into an entree, but we retain an affection for the pure and genuine article."

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