Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Meditation on Salad

We've been trying to do a little spring downsizing of ourselves here at Mustard Seed House with varying rates of success. Toward that effort, we have been consuming quite a lot of green leafy things and bits of plants previously known only to bunnies and "hoggers" (Bean-speak for woodchucks). Now I love a good salad, but frankly, all the parts that make it "good" are all the things that make it bad for you! I hate that! As I was contemplating the irony of salads, I recalled one of my favorite quotes from a very odd and intriguing book called The Debt to Pleasure by John Lancaster. Let me preface it by saying that as much as I am Franco-averse, I am even more passionately an Anglophile. British = Better, except in the areas of dental hygiene and some cuisine. In the case of salad, we Americans have inherited the horrid English version as described below:

". . .a few melancholy slices of cucumber, an approximately washed lettuce (iceberg, naturally), which appeared to have been shredded by wild dogs, two entire radish heads (served whole, presumably to avoid the risk of their proving edible in sliced form), a pale and watery quarter of tomato, the whole ensemble accompanied by a salad cream that at least had the virtue of tasting 'like itself' -- that's to say like the by-product of an industrial accident." (page 145, attributed to Captain Ford, 1846).

Go eat your vegetables!


TropicGirl said...

I used to think I hated salad. I've recently discovered that I don't hate salad. It's the greens that I hate.
An Italian restaurant near here has a Sicilian chicken salad with grapes, pine nuts, mango, chicken, tomato, and some greens with a delicious lime-y dressing.
A Greek place I plan to go to TONIGHT has a salad which I am craving right now--tomato, cucumber, capers, pine nuts, feta cheese, and only a little bit of greens with a Greek vinegrette dressing. You're right--the only way I enjoy salad is to remove the greens!

Anonymous said...

I've recently started to enjoy salad wrapped in a tortilla. Enjoying your blog!!

Biblioteca Chica said...

Tortillas would go over very well at our house. I'll have to remember that trick. . .