Caesar Salad 100th Birthday Celebrations Across America: From Delightful Classics to Innovative Twists

New Orleans, Louisiana – The Caesar salad, born 100 years ago on July 4, 1924, in Tijuana, Mexico, continues to evolve across the United States. From fine dining restaurants to fast casual chains and even at McDonald’s, variations of the classic Caesar salad are enjoyed by many.

Chef Nathanial Zimet of the New Orleans restaurant Boucherie insists on using marinated white Spanish anchovies called boquerones in his grilled Caesar salads. He believes these anchovies are superior to the salt-cured kind. Zimet also highlights the use of romaine spears, which he claims remain crisp even after being subjected to flames.

Zimet describes the process of grilling the romaine lettuce, explaining how it intensifies the crunchiness of the leaves. He assembles the salad by placing the lettuce on a plate, drizzling it with a dressing made of lemon, garlic, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, and garnishing it with basil croutons and parmesan shavings.

Culinary historian Jeffrey Pilcher underscores the Italian origins of the Caesar salad. He points out that Caesar Cardini, the salad’s creator, was an Italian immigrant residing in Mexico, where there was a significant Italian immigrant community at the time.

The inception of the Caesar salad in 1924 in Tijuana, Mexico, is linked to the lack of a distinct indigenous cuisine in the city. During Prohibition, tourists visited Tijuana for its legal cocktails, spas, bullfights, and nightclubs, contributing to its cultural diversity.

Despite variations to the classic Caesar salad recipe over the years, Boucherie chef Nathanial Zimet believes that these innovations strengthen the dish’s appeal. Zimet views the salad as a symbol of creativity and adaptability in the kitchen, making it relevant in contemporary culinary culture.