Last week, in a restaurant in Morecambe, Ged- the- lovely husband declared, "Really Gill, I think we should be paid to eat out with you." I had just sent back my lettuce with cheap mayonnaise and soggy croutons which had tried to pass itself off as a Caesar salad.
The waiter had been Italian. Zoe-the-11-year-old said, "How come he doesn't know what a Caesar salad is? Wasn't Julius Caesar Italian?"
I had tried one mouthful of the sloppy lettuce and, knowing what the answer would be, I asked the waiter if he could fetch some more anchovies from the kitchen. As predicted, he came back from the kitchen anchovy-less. "Chef does not put anchovies in the salad, so we have none. Sorry."
'Not as sorry as you'll be when I've finished with you' I thought. Ged and the kids groaned in unison at what was coming. I kindly explained to the waiter that if the menu said 'Classic Caesar Salad' then there must be anchovies in the dressing. Cheap, slimy catering-standard mayonnaise would not do as a substitute.
When I came home I decided to blog about it. I googled Caesar to find out his full name and . . . Horror! Wikipedia said that Caesar bloody Cardini NEVER put anchovies in his Caesar salad and that the slight anchovy taste came only from the Worcestershire sauce. NO!
I thought about trying to edit the Wikipedia entry but was a bit worried that my name would show up and I would be found out.
Ged said, "Well, do you think the salad you sent back had any Worcestershire sauce in it?"
"Well then, you were perfectly justified in sending it back."
Yes, I was justified in sending it back because it was inedible slop but I was still wrong about the anchovies I HATE to be wrong. I need to know that I'm not the only one who thought there were anchovies in a Caesar (besides the smidgen in the Worcestershire sauce). What about you Matthew Fort? And the lovely Nigella, would you have thought there was an anchovy lurking in a decent Caesar? Please say you did. . .