The Caesar salad was created for American tourists in Tijuana who didn’t eat spicy food: Baja Window to the South

This world-renowned salad has crossed all borders

Photo by: Caesar´s & Captura de Google Maps

Baja California is a worldwide attraction for thousands of tourists who visit the state every year. One of its most iconic dishes (which most people don’t know the origin of) is the Caesar salad which was created in Tijuana. Armando Avakian spoke with Denitza García about the history of this dish. He spoke about its creator, César Cardini, who worked in several different places in Europe, Canada, and the US. After learning all about the gastronomic world while having business problems, he decided to come to Tijuana to open a coffee shop in a building that belonged to Miguel González Quiroz, who was one of the wealthiest people back then.

After coming up with several different dressings that would be ideal for American tourists (who didn’t eat spicy food), he discovered the ideal mix which ended up being called the Caesar salad. It was so famous that Wallis Simpson (Duchess of Windsor) who loved it asked for it to whichever restaurant she went. She would ask the manager or head chef for something similar and sometimes claimed “This one is like Caesar’s!” which made it even more famous.

The dressing for this salad begins with a few anchovies, Dijon mustard, garlic roasted in olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, freshly grounded pepper, egg yolk (to keep it creamy), and all of this is mixed while adding olive oil in a straight line. Lastly, Parmesan cheese and Romaine lettuce are added.

The region’s gastronomy is currently being recognized. Chef Marcelo Hisaki of Restaurante Amores in Tecate, has just returned from Chile after winning a place in the finals of one of the world’s most important culinary competitions: Bocuse d’Or which will take place in France in January 2023. Hisaki claimed he was very happy and honored of representing Mexico on this stage after trying to get in for more than 12 years. He added that he feels a great responsibility in this competition. He is looking to honor and reveal more of Mexican cuisine ingredients by showcasing dishes proper for the judges’ palates while taking into account presentation, techniques, and flavors.

Hisaki shared how he felt competing at Bocuse d’Or Americas in Chile. Here he used as a foundation salmon and quinoa and created with his team a dish with Mexican influences, flavors, techniques, and inspiration in order to proudly present Mexican cuisine to all international collaborators and chefs.

Our host Denitza García went to Los Humedales (The Wetlands), one of San Quintin’s main attractions which has several species of animals, both endemic and migratory; mainly birds that come here to protect themselves from winter. Some areas here are protected by Terra Peninsular which ended up labeled as Areas Voluntarily Destined for Conservation (Punta Mazo, Volcán Monte Ceniza, and others) where they monitor the species that live in this area and as such support conservation efforts. He added that the wetlands were recently named as one of the “lungs” of Baja California due to the amount of carbon that is captured here.

Last but not least, Juana Ortiz Quezada was our guest. She is the founder of Eunime, a foundation and children’s home that takes care of kids and teenagers with HIV/AIDS who have been orphaned or abandoned. This home has been in operations for 15 years and is the only children’s home in Baja California that supports children in this condition. Since its foundation, 60 children have lived in Eunime (with a 100% survival rate from AIDS and its complications). Currently there are 23 minors living permanently at this children’s home. Juana added that the Eunime team currently spends around $750 to $1000 dollars to take care of only one child every month, which is why anything anyone wishes to donate (food, cleaning items, hygiene items, clothing) is always welcome.

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Watch this complete episode of Baja Window to the South right here:


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