Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, welcoming foodies to discuss the dining scenes in Israel and abroad, along with all things related to kosher food.

When Do You Eat The Salad Course?

Salad is a first course
5
23%
Salad should be served between the first and the main course
4
18%
Salad should be served together with the main course
3
14%
Salad should be served after the main course but before a cheese or dessert course
5
23%
Other (please elaborate)
5
23%
 
Total votes : 22

Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:27 pm

Some culinary questions are quite easily resolved. Queen Victoria, for example, solved the dilemma of the difference between "dinner" and "supper" by declaring that "dinner is the main meal of the day, no matter at what time it is served".

One of the issues that no-one has ever solved deals with at which point during a meal the salad course is to be served.
What is your own option? And please, in your comments, why you feel that way.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:56 pm

After spending four years in Europe during the sixties, I never got over eating my salad after the entree. This is sometimes difficult in American restaurants, but I can sure do it at home!
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Shel T » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:29 pm

Grew up in the U.S. so salad is a first course. And even all those years I was resident in London didn't change anything as most restos there do the same thing, and I never got comfortable doing it the 'Continental' way. I'll even admit to enjoying the much maligned Caesar salad to start a dinner!
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:56 pm

Salad should be served whenever you want it.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Matilda L » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:17 am

My answer: "Other". Which means, "It depends".

Where salad is to be eaten along with cold or grilled meats or fish instead of hot cooked vegetables, the salad bowl is placed on the table when the meat is served. Salad, served with meat, fish, eggs or cheese, is often the main course in hot weather. Salad is rarely served as a separate course in Australia.

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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Ryan M » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:45 am

I realized that I didn't have very strong feelings except that salad should not come after the main course. But, I suppose my preference is for salad after a first course and right before the main course (and I voted as such). However, at home I'm quite happy to have them side by side. It also depends on what the other courses are. I would want salad before soup, but after appetizers. I suppose it even depends on the kind of salad.

Incidentally, last night had a delightful salad of sauteed pears with warm vinaigrette on green [leafy] lettuce (as opposed to iceburg). Wunderbar!
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Robin Garr » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:59 am

Matilda L wrote:My answer: "Other". Which means, "It depends".

I'm not in Australia, Matilda, but your answer speaks quite well for me.

When we're dining out, at home or away, I go with the flow: In the U.S., even in quality French or Italian restaurants, you're generally served salad first. It would be possible to order it with or after the main course, but hardly worth the bother. When traveling in Europe, I enjoy it when the salad is served after the meal.

And at home, we do a useful compromise: Salad is served with the meal - no courses for us! - and I can eat it whenever I please, which is usually after I've enjoyed the main course.

And then, especially in the summer time, there's the dinner salad option, with a heartier salad (perhaps but not necessarily topped with a bit of meat or seafood) as the main and only course.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Charlie Dawg » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:49 pm

I like my salad with main course.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Shlomo R » Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:01 pm

Like Matilda said, it depends.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:15 pm

Considering my status as "official curmudgeon" and self-declared condition as "a man of old-fashioned habits", I'll have to agree with Escoffier, Maria de Medicis, Fernand Point and Marilyn Monroe that the best timing for a salad is following the main course and before the cheese and dessert courses.

I'll go along comfortably in that some salads (e.g. Caesar) can be marvelous as one-course meals and certainly I will accept cultural and social differences when salads are served at other times during a full meal. As is my wont, I never make a scene regardless of when the salad is served but will generally set it aside to eat following my main course.

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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:21 pm

I serve my salads and main course together -- then leave it up to each individual to decide when they want to eat it. :)
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:58 pm

The funny thing is that, having traveled to Europe at least a hundred times and dining in places ranging from private homes to holes-in-the-wall in nondescript towns to places with more stars than a medium-sized galaxy, I have never, ever been served salad after the main course(s). It makes no sense to me- I still have red wine in front of me, begging for a nice Epoisses or St-Marcellin. Why would I go eat some greens and vinegar at that point?

It's a little bit like sex with a supermodel- I hear about it a lot, but it's never happened to me.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Hoke » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:32 pm

I'm with Matilda.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:23 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:...It makes no sense to me- I still have red wine in front of me, begging for a nice Epoisses or St-Marcellin. Why would I go eat some greens and vinegar at that point?


It has been said (by whom only the demi-gods know) that two of the very best palate cleansers are greens and lemon juice. Considering that many Europeans make their vinaigrette with lemon juice, the salad can do very nicely before those lucious cheeses


It's a little bit like sex with a supermodel- I hear about it a lot, but it's never happened to me.


Nor to me.


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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby EY Han » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:21 pm

James Roscoe wrote:Salad should be served whenever you want it.


I totally agree with James on this. I for one am not a big lettuce/leafy greens-salad eater, but I grew up having the salad served alongside the main course especially with meat. When there would be some type of soup, I would be used to eating the salad after the soup I think…

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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Jenise » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:08 pm

A question dear to my heart--I love to debate this.

Nearly every single meal at my home includes salad as a first course. Several reasons: 1) It is typically cool and refreshing, seems like a nice lead-in to a hot main course, 2) we often pair it with a white wine where a red will follow with the main, and 3) the salad sometimes is a base for another component, like a single grilled shrimp, some crumbled fresh crab, a piece of fried camembert or a tiny savory bread pudding, and that too calls for it being served first.

There are times, though, when I serve the salad with--on the same plate--as the main course because salad is the best companion--think a great steak on arugula with olive oil and shaved parmesan. Only salads dressed in vinaigrette or just plain olive oil will be allowed on the same plate, however. A friend recently made a great paparadelle with a rich heart red sauce made with braised lamb shanks, and the brightness of the salad served at the same time on the same plate was a perfect touch.

And there are times when I serve the salad after. Those times are of strict culinary neccessity to ensure that the main gets served at the peak of hot and fresh and perfect, like when the main meal is pasta, something that in my kitchen will never be made to wait. And for those meals, the salad is made ahead, the cold greens sitting atop a dressing made in the bottom of the bowl and brought to the table with the rest of the food, but only tossed when it's turn comes.

So, exceptions are made. But generally speaking, salad is always the first course and so that was my selection.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Jacques Levy » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:41 pm

Salad after the main course is my preference. Dining in the US, I, like Robin, go with the flow and have it as an appetizer
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Daniel Rogov » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:34 pm

Jacques Levy wrote: Dining in the US, I, like Robin, go with the flow and have it as an appetizer


Like Sherlock Holmes*, I too am a man of habits and as the rebel and curmudgeon that I choose to be (or is there a genetic connection?) do not go with the flow. If a green salad, for example, is served automatically at the onset of a meal I ask to have it later in the meal. Or, if inconvenient or embarassing to anyone to ask, I simply leave it at my side until it and I are ready for each other.

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*See especially Dr Watson's observations on the opening page of The Adventure of the Creeping Man.
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Re: Culinary Poll #008: Salad, Yes. But When???

Postby Bill Spohn » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:08 pm

A salad after the main course is like a sorbet (non-sweet variety, please) before it - a pause that is intended to refresh the palate before embarking on new gustatory adventures.

The fact that salads are served at the beginning in North America notwithstanding, I prefer them at the end.
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