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Curious about salad. Yes, really.

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  • Katmary71Katmary71 Posts: 3,143Member Member Posts: 3,143Member Member
    Only the adults have salad, and usually after the meal is finished. It was always iceberg lettuce with a little cabbage, maybe some celery. My parents have better salads now with romaine, cabbage, radish, green onion, and celery. I always thought that was weird to eat salad after the main meal, normally you eat it first. We weren't ever forced to have salad as kids and I hated it then, if you'd told me at this age I'd be eating salad daily I would've thought you were crazy!

    I grew up in America. My Dad is the bigger salad eater out of my parents, he grew up in the US but my grandparents grew their own vegetables and the culture eats a lot of produce (and lamb).

  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Posts: 276Member Member Posts: 276Member Member
    We had salad often, eaten with our main meal of the day (which was lunch). Mother is Scandinavian but we lived in the UK mostly. The salad consisted of finely chopped spring onions, lettuce (usually Chinese leaves) and loads of coriander. Home-made oil and vinegar dressing - loads of it. The salad swam! My English grandparents would occasionally serve salad as a side to a cold "high tea". Their idea of salad was one limp lettuce leaf, half a tomato and a slice of cucumber, with salad cream on the side.

    I've always enjoyed salad but the high point of my salad life was when Pizza Hut came along in the 80s. I fell in love with their salad bar.

    Now I tend to eat salad as part of my lunch 2-3 days a week and we have one evening meal a week where salad would act as the veggie component.
  • acpgeeacpgee Posts: 4,726Member Member Posts: 4,726Member 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. Though occasionally we would have raw tomato.
    3. My parents immigrated from Taiwan. The Chinese distrust raw food as being unhygienic, to the point older people refuse to drink cold water. Our veggies were sautees and stir fries.
  • nighthawk584nighthawk584 Posts: 1,770Member Member Posts: 1,770Member Member
    taco salads were the only time I ate lettuce :) We were pretty poor, so my Mom made a LOT of casseroles!
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Posts: 1,248Member Member Posts: 1,248Member Member
    Not as a usual side. I think we ate more potatoes than salad. My mom did serve Chef's Salad for dinner sometimes. Most of our veggies were inside casseroles.
  • gallicinvasiongallicinvasion Posts: 784Member, Premium Member Posts: 784Member, Premium Member
    1. Most of our dinners growing up would be paired with a small salad. Romaine or spinach as a base, plus chopped raw onion, bell pepper, and carrots. My mom would add sliced mushrooms to hers. Wishbone Italian, Balsamic Vinaigrette, or Ranch was on the table; your choice. We would sometimes have a veggie on the plate too (canned/frozen-then-sautéed-or-microwaved-or-steamed like corn, peas, green beans, and broccoli).
    2. The salads were prepped individually (sometimes mom, sometimes dad, sometimes me or my sister or brother) before dinner, and set out with the place settings. We would all eat everything at once, but I always ate mine last because I didn’t want my hot food to get cold while I was eating my salad. My dad would always comment on that, because he was used to people eating salad before the meal.
    3. I’m American born and raised. Parents are too (NY and Chicago). Dads mom is from Britain and Canada, Moms dad is from Scotland/Ireland.

    Now that I cook for myself, I love having a BIG salad alongside every dinner. Good way to use up fresh veggies, good way to bulk up a meal for less than 100 calories, and I usually make my own single serving dressing so that’s fun!
  • neugebauer52neugebauer52 Posts: 1,115Member Member Posts: 1,115Member Member
    In Central France there was always salads with and as luncheons. Dinner: Usually before dinner, Southern France is different. The Netherlands: Usually some salad with lunch and dinner. England: just about never salads at lunch and dinner. Belgium: very much like Central France. Germany: Usually salad with lunch, rarely during dinner time. Austria: usually salads with lunch, not so much for dinner. South Africa: Always a huge selection of salads for lunch and for dinner - usually eaten before the main meal. But also depends - every country is the same: lower class citizens usually eat very little salads - middle class is better, the rich ones just love their salads.
  • snowflake954snowflake954 Posts: 4,650Member Member Posts: 4,650Member Member
    I was born in America on a farm in Minnesota. So were my parents of Polish descent. We had a garden in the spring and summer and ate salad from it before the main course. We didn't always have salad, but then always had a vegetable with the main course. Everyone dished their own plates from bowls or platters on the table.

    34 yrs ago I married an Italian and moved to Rome, Italy. Big change culture wise. There, salad is served after the main course, as are most vegetables served as sides. There is a because. They eat their meals as courses.
    First course: antipasto
    Second course: pasta or risotto or soup
    Third course: meat or fish (both if a wedding, for instance) plus vegetables or salad
    Fourth course: fruit
    Fifth course: desert
    Then: caffe espresso (not capuccino
    Then: liquors

    These courses are followed in family meals, but reduced. Bread is served at every meal, as is fruit. My husband's family is originally from Southern Italy and I'm not familiar with the Northern customs.
  • acpgeeacpgee Posts: 4,726Member Member Posts: 4,726Member Member
    When I moved to Amsterdam to marry my dutch husband we would have salads after the main course as was customary in the Netherlands. However, we eventually switched things around to start with salad as we noticed we ate more of it when we had it as first course.

    Second course salads used to be a basic affair of green leaves and mustard vinaigrette, little more than an afterthought. First course salads became more elaborate as time passed. Shaved parmesan with sliced pears and candied walnuts on green leaves with balsamic vinaigrette, for example. Or a griddled half baby gem drizzled with blue cheese dressing. In summer a Turkish salad of watermelon, cucumber, feta and mint dressed in pomegranate molasses.
  • snowflake954snowflake954 Posts: 4,650Member Member Posts: 4,650Member Member
    I was born in America on a farm in Minnesota. So were my parents of Polish descent. We had a garden in the spring and summer and ate salad from it before the main course. We didn't always have salad, but then always had a vegetable with the main course. Everyone dished their own plates from bowls or platters on the table.

    34 yrs ago I married an Italian and moved to Rome, Italy. Big change culture wise. There, salad is served after the main course, as are most vegetables served as sides. There is a because. They eat their meals as courses.
    First course: antipasto
    Second course: pasta or risotto or soup
    Third course: meat or fish (both if a wedding, for instance) plus vegetables or salad
    Fourth course: fruit
    Fifth course: desert
    Then: caffe espresso (not capuccino
    Then: liquors

    These courses are followed in family meals, but reduced. Bread is served at every meal, as is fruit. My husband's family is originally from Southern Italy and I'm not familiar with the Northern customs.

    One thing I neglected to mention is that, unlike America, salad dressing here is very simple--EVOO, salt, wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. My husband laughed the first time he saw cesare salad dressing because it doesn't exist here.
  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey Posts: 10,019Member Member Posts: 10,019Member Member
    I was born in America on a farm in Minnesota. So were my parents of Polish descent. We had a garden in the spring and summer and ate salad from it before the main course. We didn't always have salad, but then always had a vegetable with the main course. Everyone dished their own plates from bowls or platters on the table.

    34 yrs ago I married an Italian and moved to Rome, Italy. Big change culture wise. There, salad is served after the main course, as are most vegetables served as sides. There is a because. They eat their meals as courses.
    First course: antipasto
    Second course: pasta or risotto or soup
    Third course: meat or fish (both if a wedding, for instance) plus vegetables or salad
    Fourth course: fruit
    Fifth course: desert
    Then: caffe espresso (not capuccino
    Then: liquors

    These courses are followed in family meals, but reduced. Bread is served at every meal, as is fruit. My husband's family is originally from Southern Italy and I'm not familiar with the Northern customs.

    One thing I neglected to mention is that, unlike America, salad dressing here is very simple--EVOO, salt, wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. My husband laughed the first time he saw cesare salad dressing because it doesn't exist here.

    Yes, that's how we usually dress 90% of our salads. Except for mayo salads, I grew up eating them on special occasions like Christmas eve and such, one of the reasons I don't hate mayo like many people here do.
  • acpgeeacpgee Posts: 4,726Member Member Posts: 4,726Member Member
    I was born in America on a farm in Minnesota. So were my parents of Polish descent. We had a garden in the spring and summer and ate salad from it before the main course. We didn't always have salad, but then always had a vegetable with the main course. Everyone dished their own plates from bowls or platters on the table.

    34 yrs ago I married an Italian and moved to Rome, Italy. Big change culture wise. There, salad is served after the main course, as are most vegetables served as sides. There is a because. They eat their meals as courses.
    First course: antipasto
    Second course: pasta or risotto or soup
    Third course: meat or fish (both if a wedding, for instance) plus vegetables or salad
    Fourth course: fruit
    Fifth course: desert
    Then: caffe espresso (not capuccino
    Then: liquors

    These courses are followed in family meals, but reduced. Bread is served at every meal, as is fruit. My husband's family is originally from Southern Italy and I'm not familiar with the Northern customs.

    One thing I neglected to mention is that, unlike America, salad dressing here is very simple--EVOO, salt, wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. My husband laughed the first time he saw cesare salad dressing because it doesn't exist here.

    I remember spending time in Milan in my early twenties when I was still working in the fashion industry. I was surprised that Ceasar salad was not Italian at all. I would ask for it at cafes and get dumbfounded looks. Only later did I discover it was an invention of the Caesar Palace Hotel in Mexico City.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 37,846Member Member Posts: 37,846Member Member
    Almost never a green salad. Pretty much the only salads we ate were cucumber salad, potato salad, tuna salad, and egg salad.

    I'm not really a salad guy...every once in awhile, but in general I prefer my veggies cooked. I do eat a lot of wilted spinach, which is my primary source of greens that you would typically have with a salad.
  • CaliMomTeachCaliMomTeach Posts: 696Member Member Posts: 696Member Member
    With both sets of grandparents always before and always served. Italian American also.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,621Member Member Posts: 21,621Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    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.

    This is how we ate as well. I'm from Massachusetts and so was my maternal grandfather, but my mother grew up in Illinois.

    Mom always dressed the salad - EVOO, wine vinegar, and celery salt and garlic powder.

    BTW, our lettuce was never iceberg. This is in contrast to what an ex boyfriend of mine's young adult children were used to eating - when I first served them a salad made from red leaf lettuce, they thought it was spoiled, being used to the pale color of iceberg.
    edited February 15
  • Katmary71Katmary71 Posts: 3,143Member Member Posts: 3,143Member Member
    taco salads were the only time I ate lettuce :) We were pretty poor, so my Mom made a LOT of casseroles!

    Aside of my Dad's salad we had a lot of casseroles too. Both parents were really poor, my Mom's splurge was potato flakes for mashed potatoes as she's the oldest of 7 and spent her childhood peeling potatoes. Most vegetables were frozen and we ate a lot of rice and pasta, stew was a big meal as well. After having it so much as a kid I can't stand eating the combo of that frozen vegetable bag of square carrots, peas, and corn though I like each vegetable. Fresh vegetables are amazing, I've been trying ones I've never had this last year and luckily have enjoyed all aside of one.

  • gothchiqgothchiq Posts: 4,533Member Member Posts: 4,533Member Member
    Lately I have found a homemade ranch recipe that I dig. It has sour cream, mayo, milk (equal parts) and chives, dill, garlic, and lemon juice. It has fewer calories than typical bottled ranch and no sugar, so it's beetus-friendly. If people have other recipes to share that don't involve sugar or that I can substitute monkfruit or something I'm interested bc I don't want only ranch forever lol. Vinaigrette is ok sometimes but Im not big on it.
  • Safari_Gal_Safari_Gal_ Posts: 581Member Member Posts: 581Member Member
    Always had lettuces, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers in the house.. salad if we wanted it.. maybe a few times per week as the norm. Typically before dinner or as a mid day snack. My Mom loved to make homemade dressings with different oils and herbs. Croutons were a big hit in our house too.

    Family is American/ NYC based for over 200 years....grew up with lots of food choices and international influences.. I eat a lot more greens now as an adult, but that’s just preference.

    I too think food customs are interesting!
    edited February 15
  • kosseychickkosseychick Posts: 215Member Member Posts: 215Member Member
    I grew up in Canada and we had a huge garden. We eat a boatload of fresh veggies growing up! In salads and in other forms as well! Still love my salads and raw fresh veggies to this day!😃
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,621Member Member Posts: 21,621Member Member
    gothchiq wrote: »
    Lately I have found a homemade ranch recipe that I dig. It has sour cream, mayo, milk (equal parts) and chives, dill, garlic, and lemon juice. It has fewer calories than typical bottled ranch and no sugar, so it's beetus-friendly. If people have other recipes to share that don't involve sugar or that I can substitute monkfruit or something I'm interested bc I don't want only ranch forever lol. Vinaigrette is ok sometimes but Im not big on it.

    In the summers when I have herbs in my garden I make 1. The Joy of Cooking Ranch dressing recipe using plain yogurt and 2. JOC Tzatziki sauce, also with yogurt, and with fresh cucumber - it's a lot lighter than what I get with gyros from sub shops.
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