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Don’t do a Basil, learn about the Waldorf Salad

  • By Francesca Rilotelli
  • Published 09/13/2012

Back in 1975 when Fawlty Towers came to prominence, archaic owner Basil famously had a lengthy argument with an American guest about the contents of a Waldorf Salad. Whilst people may have chuckled at Torquay’s most famous hotelier about his more-than-basic culinary knowledge, maybe he did have a point. The Waldorf Salad is a very American dish and, to this day, you’d be hard-pushed to find a Brit who thought putting walnuts and celery together was a good idea. The truth is though, it’s actually delicious – and one of the easiest recipes to prepare.

The salad was first created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. Oscar Tschirky, who was the Waldorf’s maître d’hôtel and developed or inspired many of its signature dishes, is widely credited with creating the recipe. In 1896, Waldorf Salad appeared in The Cook Book by ‘Oscar of the Waldorf’; the original recipe did not contain nuts, but they had been added by the time the recipe appeared in the Rector Cook Book in 1928. The salad became popular enough that Cole Porter featured it in his 1934 song “You’re the Top”.

Whilst at the moment it may not be ‘the top’ of everyone’s salad lists, it may just be the right time to get more closely acquainted with this US classic.

About the Author : Francesca Rilotelli is writing about recipes.

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