Happy 100th Birthday to the Caesar Salad, the Best Thing to Ever Be Born on July 4

The world’s most perfect salad was created in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924 by Italian immigrants in a busy restaurant that was being overwhelmed with American tourists celebrating the 4th of July away from Prohibition.

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Happy 100th Birthday to the Caesar Salad, the Best Thing to Ever Be Born on July 4

The Supreme Court sucks and abortion rights are pretty much permanently threatened at this point, so if you don’t feel like celebrating the birth of America with a hot dog today, don’t worry because Independence Day isn’t the only birthday celebrated on July 4.

Today marks the 100th birthday of the Caesar salad, which was invented in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924 by Italian immigrants in a busy restaurant overrun with American tourists celebrating the holiday away from Prohibition. They were quickly running out of food and, at one point, someone threw whatever they could find—olive oil, Parmesan, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and lettuce—into a wooden bowl, and the world-famous salad was born.

There’s apparently debate as to who exactly combined the ingredients, but the invention is largely credited to Ceasar Cardini, since it was his restaurant the ingredients were combined inside. According to NPR (who suggests it could have been Cardini’s brother who threw everything together), Cardini’s restaurant, Caesar’s, is still in business at its original location on Avenida Revolución, with the original Caesar still on the menu.

Today, about 35% of restaurants in the U.S. also have a Caesar on their menu, according to the Associated Press—which actually sounds kind of low to me. Especially since you can pretty much add anything to a Caesar salad and, as long as there’s still some general combination of lettuce, parmesan, something crunchy, and an anchovy-ish dressing, you can still call it a Caesar salad. In April, Ellen Cushing described this as “living through an age of unchecked Caesar-salad fraud” in a hilarious piece for the Atlantic. I didn’t agree, until today, when I read People‘s headline that suggests having a Caesar salad with hot dog croutons—Americans already have enough nonsense to deal with.

Tijuana is celebrating the salad’s centennial with a three-day food and wine festival and a statue of Cardini. “This is the first time in the 100 years of this Caesar salad that the world is going to know it’s from Mexico,” Claudio Poblete, a Mexican food critic and writer, told the Guardian, adding that the city deserves to be known for some “good news.”

I’m celebrating by buying a pack of hot dogs to dump in the trash and then going out to find the crispiest, crunchiest, freshest, steak Caesar salad New York City has to offer. Leave your recs in the comments! And please enjoy a bunch of silly tweets in honor of the best birthday being celebrated today. Happy 100 years to the Caesar salad, and here’s to 1,000 more!

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