The Caesar Salad

In which country did the Caesar Salad originate?

And the answer: Mexico.

Photo courtesy: public domain

The Caesar Salad was first created in Tijuana Mexico, at a restaurant named Caesar's. The story goes that on the Fourth of July weekend in 1924, supplies began to run low due to American tourists celebrating the holiday. The kitchen put together a salad with random ingredients it had on hand, which included romaine lettuce, garlic, croutons, egg, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce.

The salad's namesake comes from Caesar Cardini, an Italian chef who immigrated to America before relocating to Mexico to escape prohibition. Little is known of his life up until his relocation to America. After likely landing in northern California, scattered records indicate Cardini making his way south to begin operating a French restaurant in San Diego. Soon, however, 1920 enacted the strict laws of prohibition. While keeping is San Diego business open, Cardini opened another just south of the border in Tijuana.

During prohibition, Tijuana was the place to be. Southern Californian elites and other stars frequented the popular main street for booze and fun, and Caesar's was no exception. It was there (as the story recalls), that Caesar threw together the first (but certainly not last) Caesar Salad.

Soon after its creation, the salad was a hit. Caesar's quickly became a tourist destination in and of itself, with excited visitors flocking in across the border and across the nation. Today, Mexico proudly represents the legacy of the Caesar Salad.

Check out a recipe for this classic dish below.


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