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Curious about salad. Yes, really.

gremloBBPTgremloBBPT Posts: 48Member Member Posts: 48Member Member
My curiosity is probably odd, lol, but I'm genuinely curious about this...

1. Growing up, did you have a lettuce-based salad with your dinners at home on most/all days?
2. Was it served before, with, or after dinner?
3. What country did you grow up in? (And if your ancestors were from a different country, were your salad-eating habits from that culture?)

I grew up eating salad with every dinner. It was really unusual for us not to have it. In fact, it was my chore for years to prep the salad when I got home from school. We always ate it before dinner, except for my dad who ate his after (that had been the custom in his family growing up).

Talking with some people in my life about this, I learned that salad with dinner wasn't as ubiquitous as I had thought it was. I also learned that most of the people I've had this discussion with ate their salad with their meal, rather than before as most of my family did.

Both of my parents are Italian-American. For my dad's side, the cultural custom was to eat salad after dinner. My mom's side either stopped that custom or never had it in the first place, because they all ate it before dinner.

I don't know why I find different eating customs so interesting, but I do. :D
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Replies

  • gothchiqgothchiq Posts: 4,533Member Member Posts: 4,533Member Member
    It was standard if we had pizza, pasta, or steak. USA, family of Italian descent. I'm 4 generations in.
  • amtyrellamtyrell Posts: 1,445Member Member Posts: 1,445Member Member
    Before dinner most days
    Italian Irish descent
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 4,939Member Member Posts: 4,939Member Member
    gremloBBPT wrote: »
    My curiosity is probably odd, lol, but I'm genuinely curious about this...

    1. Growing up, did you have a lettuce-based salad with your dinners at home on most/all days?
    2. Was it served before, with, or after dinner?
    3. What country did you grow up in? (And if your ancestors were from a different country, were your salad-eating habits from that culture?)

    1. No. We had it regularly, but not with every dinner. We had non starchy veg as a substantial part of all dinners (about half the plate) and sometimes it was salad (salad was served in a separate bowl, however), and sometimes we had a cooked veg + salad also, but we often had just the cooked veg. (We also always had a starch of some sort -- corn, bread, rice, potato -- and meat.)
    2. It was served with dinner. (Unless at a restaurant, in which case it would be before.)
    3. The US, and my family has been midwestern Americans for a long time.
  • jenncornelsenjenncornelsen Posts: 972Member Member Posts: 972Member Member
    No salad almost ever. Both my parents were born in canada, with grandparents from The netherlands and england
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Posts: 7,914Member Member Posts: 7,914Member Member
    gremloBBPT wrote: »
    My curiosity is probably odd, lol, but I'm genuinely curious about this...

    1. Growing up, did you have a lettuce-based salad with your dinners at home on most/all days?
    2. Was it served before, with, or after dinner?
    3. What country did you grow up in? (And if your ancestors were from a different country, were your salad-eating habits from that culture?)


    I don't know why I find different eating customs so interesting, but I do. :D
    1. I grew up eating wedge salad. This was a Wisconsin Supper Club standard long before it became trendy
    2. It was served before dinner except my Mom always ate hers after dinner.
    3. I am a Wisconsinite with deep roots here. Most of my ancestors were here by 1850 except one great grandfather who came here in 1866. My roots are German, Irish, Scottish, English, and Yankee

    More than salad, we had plates of raw veggies before many meals. Typically it had carrots, celery, green onions, raw cabbage wedges, raw turnips, and radishes. Rarely did we have any kind of dip. Some, like the cabbage and turnips, just got dipped in a little salt. We didn't eat a lot of cooked veggies but when we did it was canned peas or green beans except corn season where we would gorge on fresh picked corn on the cob. When Mom did a roast beef, we would also have carrots, potatoes, and onions cooked with the beef roast.

    I think some of our eating habits, especially the raw veggie platters, comes from the fact that Mom grew up on a farm so picking veggies from the garden and eating them right then was how they got a lot of their veggies in.
    edited February 14
  • missysippy930missysippy930 Posts: 1,894Member Member Posts: 1,894Member Member
    Always had salad, with supper.
    Born and raised in the United States. Second generation Swedish on mother’s side. Swedish/Dutch pre American revolution on father’s side.
  • MikePTYMikePTY Posts: 3,823Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,823Member, Premium Member
    Almost never. But I was very difficult growing up a out vegatables. The two I would eat were broccoli if it was smothered in cheese sauce, or artichoke with butter. I would eat some citrus fruits, but I was not much for produce in general. My mother is a pescatarian, so it wasn't from lack of her wanting me to. I just imagine she got frustrated with the losing battle.

    As an adult, I have gotten better. I don't eat it with every meal, but I eat it more frequently. I wouldn't say I love salad, but I do like a good salad.
  • jjkh5970jjkh5970 Posts: 287Member Member Posts: 287Member Member
    My parents ate salad occasionally, but I would never touch it as a kid, and I still don’t like it. I’ve tried lettuce many ways, with different dressings.. and forced myself to choke down a few. But almost.. and I mean literally almost vomiting, I’ve gave up trying. I try other ways to get my veggies in. I’m just not the salad kinda girl.
  • JessAndreiaJessAndreia Posts: 358Member Member Posts: 358Member Member
    1. Sometimes. Depends if I or anyone wanted salad.
    2. With.
    3. Grew up in Portugal. Moved to Canada as a teenager. Typical Portuguese salad is sadly just lettuce and tomato (sometimes cucumbers) with olive oil and vinegar.
  • holli1chholli1ch Posts: 620Member Member Posts: 620Member Member
    Salad with the meal.

    But can you call just lettuce and dressing a salad?

    In the summers we had cucumbers and tomatoes out of the garden but other than that it was just lettuce and dressing.

    Michigan born, raised and still live.
    edited February 15
  • gremloBBPTgremloBBPT Posts: 48Member Member Posts: 48Member Member
    holli1ch wrote: »

    But can you call just lettuce and dressing a salad?

    Yes. :)
    That's actually my preferred way to have a salad with dinner. Growing up we'd sometimes have it like that, but far more often I was expected to add to it tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and shredded carrots. I must've made that combo about 1,000 times. Occasionally, things were fancy and we'd have artichoke hearts and/or olives.

    Thank you all for answering. I've really enjoyed the extra details, too. I should read some books about food customs bc I seem to be endlessly interested in various aspects about it--culture, region, time period, individual habits. I watched a series of YouTube videos where a lady showed the meals her family would eat during the Great Depression. Some people binge watch Game of Thrones; I binge watch a grandma cooking. :D
    edited February 15
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 14,228Member Member Posts: 14,228Member Member
    gremloBBPT wrote: »
    My curiosity is probably odd, lol, but I'm genuinely curious about this...

    1. Growing up, did you have a lettuce-based salad with your dinners at home on most/all days?
    2. Was it served before, with, or after dinner?
    3. What country did you grow up in? (And if your ancestors were from a different country, were your salad-eating habits from that culture?)

    (snip)

    1. No. Sometimes, but not always. There was pretty much always lettuce and other salad-suitable veggies in the house, though. (Sometimes they were put on sandwiches or something, too.) We nearly always had vegetables of some sort with dinner - only rare exceptions.

    2. With dinner.

    3. USA, Great Lakes/Midwest. Mother's family USAian back as far as I know, father's parents were immigrants from Sweden & Norway (or maybe Grandpa was the child of an immigrant, not 100% sure). I don't know the source of the salad habits. Parents were born in 1912 & 1917, so food culture in general was pretty different then.
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Posts: 4,880Member Member Posts: 4,880Member Member
    I'm thinking we ate salad a lot. With dinner...we didn't do "courses". Chicken breast, broccoli, baked potato, and salad would be a totally normal dinner at my house growing up. I'm American.
  • ElizabethKalmbachElizabethKalmbach Posts: 1,416Member Member Posts: 1,416Member Member
    Almost never. We had sliced raw veggies around almost all the time for grazing, but dinner was usually just a single pan hot meat/potatoes kind of affair. Usually pretty poorly done until my brother and I were old enough to kick Mom out of the kitchen and cook things more adventurous than Hamburger Helper. >_<

    My Mom is from Tokyo and grew up with a cook. Dad is an upper-midwesterner (US) taught her how to make the 3 meals he would eat. He's probably somewhere on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum and ridiculously picky. Mom only eats because she has to and doesn't appear to have any preferences about the content or flavor of her food. She put healthy stuff in the fridge and sliced up the veggies and we just ate carrot sticks and cheese for snacks when we were hungry, because it was WAY better than anything Mom ever attempted to cook or Dad was willing to eat.
  • sardelsasardelsa Posts: 8,955Member Member Posts: 8,955Member Member
    Almost always after dinner or with second course. Italian-Polish decent born in Canada
  • corinasue1143corinasue1143 Posts: 3,114Member Member Posts: 3,114Member Member
    Almost always. Iceberg lettuce with tomatoes and/or cheese, bottled dressing. Same old same old every. Single. Day.
    With dinner.
    Scottish/Irish on dads side. Mostly German-American grandma on moms side lived with us and did some of the cooking.

    I had an aunt that I thought made the best salads! She put things like pickles, peas, carrots in it and homemade dressings with no recipe. I thought she was the most fantastic cook!
  • MelanieCN77MelanieCN77 Posts: 3,911Member Member Posts: 3,911Member Member
    Almost never, maybe at Christmas some iceberg would show up under some prawn cocktail. I do remember one time being given some iceberg salad as a side when I was between height growth spurts, shall we say. North of England.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 6,746Member Member Posts: 6,746Member Member
    Yes. With. Greek. :smile:
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,497Member Member Posts: 3,497Member Member
    Salad with dinner. My mom grew up in the US (as did I), but we are descendants of slaves from somewhere in Western Africa.

    Most of my salads were lettuce (likely romain), tomato, and cucumber and I quite liked them. That said, my dinners were typically pretty vegetable heavy, mostly in the form of legumes but I also was, and still am, a big fan of broccoli. I typically ate it steamed and squeezed a slice of lemon over it. I also ate a lot of winter squash and yams.
    edited February 15
  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey Posts: 10,018Member Member Posts: 10,018Member Member
    I only had salad with certain meals growing up, and this is still the case. Lettuce based salads less often than other kinds - lettuce was more of a "munch food". Salad was almost exclusively served with lunch, not dinner, because that's our main meal. Usually served with the meal, in most cases to break the starchiness of a super starchy meal. The main meal itself usually has vegetables so salad isn't always necessary, and I grew up eating vegetables for almost every snack and still do. I'm half Russian half Arab and my eating habits are a mix of both.

    I understand finding these things fascinating. I find the concept of "child friendly food" fascinating, and the stereotype that children don't like vegetables even more fascinating. When we were children we ate what everyone else ate and loved it, and I don't remember any other child I knew who hated vegetables - most children at school brought vegetables with their lunch and we snacked on fruits and vegetables on playdates. I think this is still the case. My cousin's son is 2.5 years old and his favorite meal has lots of green leafy vegetables, and when we have family get togethers, all the children in the family eat just as many vegetable sticks as chips.
    edited February 15
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