Posted on July 26, 2019

The History of the Caesar Salad

It is said that the original Caesar salad recipe included a green salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed in olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, parmesan cheese, and black pepper that was originally prepared and served tableside. Over the years, there have been many different variations but the common ingredients don’t stray far from the original. Other common variations including different types of lettuce and toppings such as grilled chicken or shrimp.

This classic can be found on almost every restaurant menu, but do you know where it originated? If you had to guess, you may believe it was created in Italy, but it was actually created in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924.

Italy Comes to Mexico

Caesar Cardini was an Italian immigrant who managed restaurants in Mexico and the United States. Cardini worked in Tijuana, Mexico to avoid the Prohibition happening in the United States. Rosa, Cardini’s daughter, stated that her father invented the salad at his restaurant Cardini’s, at the Hotel Cesar, on July 4th, 1924. It was said that a large dinner rush came in and depleted the kitchen’s supplies, so Cardini decided to create the classic dish tableside to add a dramatic flair.

According to Cardini’s daughter, the original recipe did not contain anchovies. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad. It is said that the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. In the 1970s, Cardini’s daughter said the original recipe included whole lettuce leaves, which were meant to be lifted by the stem and eaten with the fingers, as well as coddled eggs and Italian olive oil. Although the original does not contain anchovies, they are a key ingredient in bottled versions of the dressing.

Caesar Salad at Kevin’s

Caesar salad is also served tableside at Kevin’s Bar & Restaurant just like the original that was created in Mexico many years ago. At Kevin’s, we make our Caesar salad with crisp romaine lettuce, house-made croutons, and shaved Grana Padano.

We believe tableside preparations are an excellent addition to the fine dining experience. If you want to experience this tradition, then you should make a reservation at Kevin’s today! You can make reservations online or by phone: 570-285-3071