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The Origins Of Your Favourite Salads

No matter the shape or size, every salad has a story to tell. Take a look at how the most popular salads came to be!

Caesar Salad:

  • Invented by restaurateur Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924
  • The original recipe included romaine, garlic, croutons, and Parmesan cheese, boiled eggs, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce
  • The original salad was prepared at table-side
  • The romaine leaves were coated with the dressing and placed stem side out, so that the salad could be eaten with the fingers

Cobb Salad:

  • Invented by the Brown Derby restaurant in 1937
  • The original recipe for Cobb salad included avocado, celery, tomato, chives, watercress, hard-boiled eggs, chicken, bacon, and Roquefort cheese

Crab Louie/Louis Salad:

  • This famous west coast salad is also called “King of Salads,” and is sometimes written as Crab Louis Salad
  • The salad began appearing on menus between the turn of the 20th century and World War I
  • There are a number of individuals who are credited with its creation
    • Some credit the origin of Crab Louis Salad to the chef at Seattle’s Olympic Club in 1904
    • In 1910 some believe the salad was created in San Francisco at the Solari’s Restaurant
    • In 1914 the Davenport Hotel claims that the original founder and owner, Louis Davenport, created this dish for the hotel restaurant
    • In 1919 famed chef, Victor Hirtzler, is said to have included a recipe in The Hotel St. Francis Cookbook


  • The term coleslaw is a late 19th century term, which originated in the United States
  • Cole slaw (cold slaw) got it’s name from the Dutch “kool sla”- the word “kool” means cabbage and “sla” is salad


  • This Italian salad was likely an invention of necessity
  • Italian cooks waste nothing and this was a way to utilize stale bread and vegetables from the garden
  • In the 1500s, a poem by the famous artist, Bronzino, described the salad
  • The tomato was quite a few years from being introduced to Italy, so the original recipe did not include tomatoes

Salad Nicoise:

  • Nicoise is a descriptive term for dishes served with particular foods used by the chefs of the City of Nice, France
  • This garnish usually includes garlic, tomatoes, anchovies, black olive, capers, and lemon juice
  • Salad Nicoise is the most famous of all these dishes, consisting of potatoes, olives, green beans, and vinaigrette dressing

Salad Olivier:

  • A Russian-origin salad of potatoes with chicken, pickles, green peas, carrots bound with mayonnaise
  • Historians believe that this salad was the creation of a French chef, M. Olivier, owner and chef of The Hermitage restaurant in Moscow, Russia in the 1860s
  • Originally cold roast game was used in the salad instead of chicken

Did You Know?!

  1. Salad comes from the Latin word “herba salta” or “salted herbs,” so called because such greens were usually seasoned with dressings containing lots of salt
  2. Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family
  3. The lettuce we see today actually started out as a weed around the Mediterranean basin
  4. Lettuce is the second most popular fresh vegetable in the US behind potatoes
  5. The average American eats approximately 30 pounds of lettuce each year, which is five times what was eaten in 1900
  6. Lettuce was first eaten by the ancient kings of Persia 2,500 years ago
  7. The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that eating lettuce helped you to have a good night’s sleep.
  8. In commercial terms, romaine is the second most important type of lettuce, iceberg lettuce being the first
  9. In the 1930’s U.S. spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption
  10. China is the largest spinach producer in the world with 90% of global production
  11. Iceberg lettuce got its name from the way it was shipped in old train carriages. Ice was piled on the cartons of lettuce to keep it cold. As the trains bearing the lettuce came through towns, people would call out with excitement, “The icebergs are coming, the icebergs are coming!”
  12. For a short time in 1998, Caesar salad was illegal in California because it contained raw egg
  13. Leonardo da Vinci was the first artist to depict salad in his paintings. In the Leda, 1504, a child, standing next to the goddess of fertility, poses with a bouquet of lambs lettuce
  14. Over 20 million servings of salads are consumed every week
  15. The practice of salad being served first was started by the now famous medical practitioner, Hippocrates, who believed that raw vegetables easily slipped through the system and did not cause obstruction for food that followed
  16. In 2012, the world’s largest salad was made in Romania weighing in at 41,998 pounds

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