Weird Salads

Another fascinating thing from It’s a Wonderful Life that I discovered at the 17-minute mark is that these horrible restaurant-type “salads” that consist of a ton of carelessly torn lettuce leaves, two chunks of tomato and nothing else already existed in the 1940s! And people ate them at home!

I always wondered about the origin of these bizarre concoctions. Does anybody even really eat them?

4 thoughts on “Weird Salads

  1. Tossed salads were a staple in our family but were more than random lettuce and tomatoes, they usually also had onions, paprika, cucumbers, croutons as well as some other stuff and herbs and spices – and salad dressing.
    The cheap restaurant four pieces of lettuce and a cherry tomato (and weird strip of carrot) is not anything that most people eat at home I think… I hope…


    1. It really is weird how that single small strip of carrot always makes it into the salad. It’s very mysterious.

      I have no idea how any salad can be eaten without onion or garlic. Or at the very least some herbs.


  2. Oh lord yes. My whole life. The lettuce + tomato is sort of the foundation, on which other things can get layered, including some sort of dressing which often contains seasonings like garlic and herbs. It functions as a sort of talismanic addition to the meal: so long as there’s salad (of this sort) it’s healthy! When my dad had to start cooking for himself in his 60’s, after my mother left him, he’d eat, every evening, a TV dinner, a salad of precisely this sort, and a Little Debbie snack cake for dessert, all washed down with two fingers of bourbon. He believed himself to making healthy, balanced choices.


  3. Oh, you can do it with nothing. Take a good head of butter lettuce, tear the leaves into pieces gently (cutting with a knife bruises). Toss in a dressing made of olive oil, wine vinegar, a good mustard, salt, pepper, and a pulverized garlic clove. This is actually good. It comes after the main course. And there are all sorts of tossed salads with more things in them that are good. Even that iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing and a cherry tomato is good if the ingredients are right and well mixed.


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