Who is the Caesar Behind Caesar Salad?

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Who is the Caesar Behind Caesar Salad?
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Most of you likely think this deliciously zesty salad is named after Julius Caesar. However, credit actually goes to none other than Caesar Cardini.

This story yields a quick anecdote about how fame comes when you least expect it. Ever been in your kitchen and realize you don't have all the ingredients you need? Or worse, ever realize you've prepped a meal and sold yourself short, not having enough food for all of your attendees? Caesar Cardini, an Italian restaurateur and hotel owner, encountered a similar issue in 1924.

After relocating from Italy to California with several of his siblings, Cardini opened up businesses in San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. According to Caesar's daughter Rosa, on the Fourth of July, a crowd of customers rushed to Cardini's hotel restaurant in Tijuana, leaving him with a lack of resources in the kitchen. Determined to use what he had left, he put his originality to the test.

He tossed together a salad of genius: romaine, garlic, croutons, Parmesan cheese, boiled eggs, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. (He never in fact used anchovies, a common Caesar salad ingredient today, but he did use a touch of Worcestershire sauce to exude a slight fishy taste.)

The salad became a popular hit in Hollywood and has long since been a hit around the world. Julia Child is said to have devoured the delicious plate of greens at Cardini's restaurant as a child in the 1920s.

As someone once said, "The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have." Caesar Cardini did just that, creating a dish loved by many to this day.

Want to learn some new Caesar Salad recipes? Check out our slideshow above for some food for thought.