Monday, March 08, 2010

Waldorf Salad Day

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.


Jeanie said...

When I was a kid, this was one of my "I hate" foods. Now, quite wonderful!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mae, First let me send a HUGE apology your way. After further investigation, I'm a bit confused as to the exact date of the creation of Waldorf Salad. According to this article Famous Foods Legendary Lodging, it was first created on March 8, 1893 which is the date I first used. Since the article quoted book author, food writer Linda Stradley, I didn't question the date. However, according to the Waldorf Astoria Cookbook in my collection, the Waldorf opened on March 13, 1893. You think I would have checked my book first but I was convinced when I saw the date on the website. I do apologize, and promise to verify, verify, verify in the future.

I'm delighted you are considering sharing anniversary memories. I can't wait to see what you post about next. I do aplogize, Mae. Thank you so much for sharing...