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Tossed Salad (you know what I'm talking about)


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Chris, I am hardly an expert on the history of the salad, but I offer the following links as clues to solving the mystery of the iceberg and tomato wedge phenomenon:

History of the American Salad - Not so much the "why's" as the "what's."

The New Salad Crop Revolution - This guy says that iceberg became popular because it was firm and therefore easier to ship in large quantities (less bruising of delicate and tender leaves by early shipping techniques).

Do we believe him, or think something more sinister may have been at work? :raz:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Chris, I do know that in the early 1960's, the tiny grocery stores in the tiny towns of Milford and Utica, NE had iceberg, cukes and tomatoes in the dead of winter. They didn't have much other fresh produce at that time of year. I think they ship and store well. Never mind the texture of the tomatoes...They did add color.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Chris, I am hardly an expert on the history of the salad, but I offer the following links as clues to solving the mystery of the iceberg and tomato wedge phenomenon:

History of the American Salad - Not so much the "why's" as the "what's."

The New Salad Crop Revolution - This guy says that iceberg became popular because it was firm and therefore easier to ship in large quantities (less bruising of delicate and tender leaves by early shipping techniques).

Do we believe him, or think something more sinister may have been at work?  :raz:

The iceberg argument makes sense, but this "history" of the salad seems bogus:

The great salad revolution began in the sixties and matured in the seventies like so many other American social upheavals.

Puh-leez. I don't know a single soul on the east coast who ate organic anything until the 1980s, and my mom would have been more likely to try S&M than to try putting nuts or yogurt in salad in 1968.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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We had roasted nuts in salads AND Mom made killer yogurt, lemon and garlic dressing a few times, in our very cool early 60's ranch house during the mid 60's. Mom was American, 2nd generation, Italian 'n' European Jewish. The leather bustier, now I couldn't say, but we DO know there was use of funny masks and wigs occasionally! Hey, my parents were typical 60's suburbanites.

More Than Salt

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Chris, I am hardly an expert on the history of the salad, but I offer the following links as clues to solving the mystery of the iceberg and tomato wedge phenomenon:

History of the American Salad - Not so much the "why's" as the "what's."

The New Salad Crop Revolution - This guy says that iceberg became popular because it was firm and therefore easier to ship in large quantities (less bruising of delicate and tender leaves by early shipping techniques).

Do we believe him, or think something more sinister may have been at work?  :raz:

The iceberg argument makes sense, but this "history" of the salad seems bogus:

The great salad revolution began in the sixties and matured in the seventies like so many other American social upheavals.

Puh-leez. I don't know a single soul on the east coast who ate organic anything until the 1980s, and my mom would have been more likely to try S&M than to try putting nuts or yogurt in salad in 1968.

Agreed - it's a little overblown, no?

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I too grew up with the iceberg, tomato, cucumber salad, and to this day the only salad my father will eat is iceberg lettuce, with well chilled tomatoes cut in wedges, covered with Kraft french dressing, sprinkled liberally with table salt.

We had a garden and grew all of our vegetables, but for some strange reason all of the salad components had to be nearly frozen before they could be made into a salad. Blech.

Dawn aka shrek

Let the eating begin!

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We always had salad when I was growing up. Both of my grandmothers also served salad at every meal. Generally they were iceburg, tomato, red onion, cucumber affairs. Sometimes my mom would do fruit salad (which was always just cut up fruit- no dressing) or a fancy salad like carrot and raisin or apple and banana in Hellman's.

It was a huge right of passage to become the salad maker in the house. The duties went, in order of age and ability: table setter; table clearer; salad maker; dish washer; and cook. I loved being the salad maker. I used to add items to the grocery list for my creations. I also keenly remember the first time I got and emulsion to take. Plus, you got to use knives and the first few times got a lesson one on one from mom. It was a big deal.

We eat salad with dinner several times a week. I like the cold cruncy, slightly acidic component- I think it aids in digestion. My oldest son doesn't like salad, but he does like to make them. It is a nice time together in the kitchen.

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Salad in the 50's on Long Island. Usually reserved for Sunday dinner with the roast chicken and mashed potatoes. Other 6 nights it was meat and 2 plus bread product. Mom was from Scottish stock, raised in a lumber camp in British Columbia by a Victorian grandmother-the camp cook :blink: Lettuce was a treat with the mealy tomatoes and carrot shavings (using the peeler of course) for visual appeal. The dressing was bottled Italian in the freebie bottle with the measurements printed on the side. In the Summer, the Italian green grocer with the open-sided truck would drive through the neighborhood and ring his bell. The neighbor women would congregate around the truck picking out truck-farm fresh veggies and fruits. That was my first taste of "salad" In the 60's she began to add "Waldorf Salad" as a holiday treat. Was it ever! Green grapes, cocktail cherries, celery, walnuts, mini marshmallows all awash in a mayo/sugar bath. Even better the next day with the turkey sandwich on Wonder bread with lettuce and Hellmans and a dusting of pepper.

Mom's gone now, but the Waldorf Salad lives on for holidays and I'm still eating the iceburg once a week-usually on Sunday with the chicken. Funny, how some things never change.

Edited by Joann (log)
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Growing up we had some sort of salad most nights. While my parents were hardly adventurous eaters or particularly scrupulous about high quality ingredients, they did (and still do) maintain veggie gardens 3 seasons of the year. So while there was the ubiquitous iceberg most of the time, there was also homegrown toms, cukes, radish, peppers, carrots. Later my dad got into growing his own leaf and bibb lettuces and spinach. Never saw dressing made by hand at home -- I mainly went for the Wish Bone Italian those days, or Marie's Creamy Italian. And I never did care for a whole lot of dressing.

What I get a kick out of though is thinking about the influenced-by-canned-foods-revolution salads my mom would churn out. Canned pears topped with a dab of mayo and a bit of shredded velveeta (I kid you not). Canned asparagus with a bit of mayo (I think, I never actually ate that one). And something involving canned peas and the orange "French" dressing.

I too love salads, and will throw just about anything into them. I also like making my own dressing, but more often rely on Brianna's and the like. I like them as a meal -- grilled meat on some nice greens is oh-so-easy. And I like them as a side or first course as a convenient way to get my veggies in.

As a tribute to my mom I feel compelled to add something she has probably told me about at least ten times in the past year. When she washes her lettuce, she dries it by putting it into a zippered mesh lingerie bag and tossing it into the dryer on the air/no heat setting. I stick to my zyliss spinner.

Bridget Avila

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I also like making my own dressing, but more often rely on Brianna's and the like.

Mmmmm, Brianna's. I'm partial to the blush wine vinaigrette and the French vinaigrette. How about you, Bavila?

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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