Letter: Response to last week’s letter “Since when do Fritos make anything Mexican?”

In response to the letter to the editor in the Dec. 4th issue of the S&B, “Since when do Fritos make anything Mexican?”
Your argument against the use of Fritos as a “Mexican” ingredient is sound, but you (and the vast majority of other diners, I fear) are not quite accurate about Mexican cuisine when you refer to the Caesar salad’s “non-Mexican counterpart.” The fact is, the Caesar salad IS from Mexico. Most culinary historians agree that Caesar Cardini developed this particular dish in response to a holiday rush at his restaurant in Tijuana in 1924. One can find a history of and recipes for this salad in a number of older cookbooks, including the original Joy of Cooking (which calls for anchovies in addition to the Worcestershire sauce) and From Julia Child’s Kitchen, which even provides a description of Chef Cardini’s tableside preparation. Of course it’s worth noting that Fritos do not appear in any reputable recipe I have found for Caesar salad.