Caesar salad has nothing to do with Julius Caesar, Italy, nor, for that matter, Europe at large. There are a number of different stories about its “invention,” almost all of which take place in California. Its first recorded appearance is on a LA restaurant menu from 1946.
Which is why I was a bit surprised to see it on our French Culinary School curriculum, Week 1. But by the time we were back at our desks, chomping on the most substantial food we had made as of yet, I had made a few key discoveries related to Caesar salad:
- There were people in this Professional Culinary Program with me who had never used a whisk.
- Kenny, the self-professed Second Coming of Carême at the back of the class, preferred Earl’s Restaurants’ bottled dressing. (Note to self: disregard any future culinary opinions expressed by Kenny.)
- Chef P was right about the over-powering flavour of olive oil (especially evoo). (Note to self: cut olive oil with an equal amount of vegetable oil.)
- I had a new Caesar dressing to call my own.
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