Albany cafe blog: Salad a history

Salad. For some this word conjures up images no more tantalizing than that of  leaves in a bowl. While we can’t vouch for all salads, we can vouch for the Albany’s! Check out this blog to find out more about this humble food and get some inspiration from our own recipes.

A potted history (it’s this sort of trivia that will help you win mastermind)


The word ‘salad’ comes from the Latin word ‘salata’. Romans were quite enthusiastic eaters of salads, and the Latin translates to ‘salted things/herbs’ (depending on who you ask) because originally the raw vegetables that made it up had a dressing of oil, vinegar or salt.



Salad then just stuck around in the culinary annals with minor changes through the years. Apparently in the US around the end of the 19th century,  tossed salads were considered too messy and for a time molded gelatin salads became popular!

Here are some of the Albany’s salads:
Autumnal Lentil Salad:

Ingredients: butternut squash, fine beans, lentils
Ingredients for the hot and sweet dressing: jalapenos, honey, lemon, provence herbs, olive oils

1.)  Roast the butternut squash and boil the lentils and fine beans
2.) Mix all the dressing ingredients together, hold fire on the jalapenos if you don’t like spicy things!

Moroccan Salad:

Ingredients: carrot, almonds, beetroot, cumin, coriander, orange

1.) Grate and peel the beetroot and carrot
2.) Chop oranges into small chunks
3.) Toast almond flakes in the oven until golden
4.) Mix the above together and add cumin powder, salt, pepper, almond flakes and chopped coriander


5 interesting facts about salad*

1.) Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family.
2.) The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that eating lettuce helped you have a good night’s sleep.
3.) China is the largest spinach producer in the world as it is responsible for 90% of global production.
4.) Iceberg lettuces got their name from the way they were transported in old carriages with ice piled on top to help keep them fresh.
5.) Cucumbers have the highest water content of any vegetable.

*great for awkward silences over Christmas

Thanks for reading this blog, hopefully you come away from it with ideas for your own cooking and a greater general wisdom about all things salad! See you next week…







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