Okay, the connection between the following and Hopper's Nighthawks is tenuous at best but I like the picture and an internet search for a picture of a naff salad proved (I suppose unsurprisingly) - um - fruitless.A few years ago a book by John Lanchester - The Debt to Pleasure - was a surprise success; it was basically about food and is described by amazon as 'part cookbook, part thriller, part eccentric philosophical treatise'. Anyway, he has a section on salads and quotes a Victorian traveller, a Captain Ford, as saying 'the salad is the glory of every French dinner and the disgrace of most in England'.
Now isn't that so true? You may know the great British salad: shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumber, slivers of tomato and, if you are 'lucky' for some bizarre reason radishes (don't ask me why radishes) sometimes figure. These items (excluding the lettuce) are sliced so thinly they bring to mind the scene in Goodfellas where Henry Hill and his pals are in prison but manage to acquire a razor blade to slice the garlic for their feasts as finely as possible. The great British salad of course has not a hint of dressing and is dry and as bland as can be imagined. This monstrosity is usually, but not invariably, peddled in catering establishments. I was presented with one in a certain Crown Court last Friday. I asked hopefully if they had any salad dressing. After a blank look a sachet of salad cream was produced.
THE GREAT BRITISH SALAD IS LOATHSOME AND SHOULD BE ABOLISHED FORTHWITH!
Insist on decent salads!!! Ones with beds of rocket or herb leaves, with interesting tomatoes, with diced sweet peppers, with spring onions, with celery, with diced avocado, above all with thick splodgings of dressing - vinaigrette, balsamic, honey and vinegar, whatever!
Rise up!!! You have nothing to lose but a pile of sachets of salad cream in an old box somewhere!!!