Louise tipped me off with her usual list of great and small events in food history. Today's event: “Oscar at the Waldorf” invented Waldorf salad on March 8, 1893. This familiar salad is made from apples, celery, walnuts or pecans, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and in some versions, lettuce, grapes, raisins, or maraschino cherries. It was definitely a classic of my childhood, and I remember that it tastes better with tarter apples than with the mealy sweet kind such as the ubiquitous Delicious Apples.
If I have all or most of the ingredients on hand I still make Waldorf Salad. It's a very likable and forgiving classic. Sometimes I use dried cherries, which obviously date from the late 20th century so they couldn't be authentic to Oscar's version. Sometimes I skip the celery. My major variation is to add bite-sized pieces of cooked chicken breast to the salad, making it into a main course. Not bad at all. Good use for leftovers.
And what about the Waldorf Hotel? I've never been there, but their website says "The Waldorf stands as a unique dining destination, with four distinctive restaurants, three lounges, and of course, 24-hour room service." So it's not just a memory, not just recalled by the Muppets Statler and Waldorf!
Inspired by Louise, I might post other memories associated with food anniversaries this month, just for fun.