A Waldorf salad is a salad consisting of fine sliced apple and celery (Julienne), chopped walnuts, mayonnaise or a mayonnaise-based dressing. It was first created around 1893 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City (the precursor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel which opened in 1931).
Although Oscar Tschirky
, who was the maître d'hôtel
is usually given credit for creating the recipe, there are conflicting stories about who actually created the salad. Oscar Tschirky also claimed credit for several other dishes served at the Waldorf, including Eggs Benedict
. (An alternative theory is that it was created by the Waldorf Lunch System, an early 20th century lunchroom chain—starting in the 1920s, the company logo was an apple.) In 1896 Waldorf Salad appeared in "The Cook Book by 'Oscar of the Waldorf'". It is traditionally served on lettuce
. Dried fruit
is often added — usually chopped dates or raisins.
" is the title of a 1979 episode of Fawlty Towers
which concerns an American
guest's increasing frustration with Basil Fawlty
's incompetence, symbolised by Fawlty's continuing inability to produce the salad of the title: "I think we're just out of Waldorfs." He asks the question: "What is a Waldorf anyway, a walnut that's gone off?".
The song "You're the Top" from the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes contains the line: "You're the top, you're a Waldorf salad".
In the 1991 novel American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, Waldorf salads are frequently mentioned and consumed. At a Christmas party thrown by protagonist Patrick Bateman's fiance Evelyn Williams, Evelyn worries about how well the Waldorf salad is received by her guests.
The Three Stooges created a television sitcom in 1949 (which never aired), and in the pilot episode, Jerks of All Trades, Shemp mentions a Waldorf salad as they were painting the walls with food.
"I'll Have The Waldorf Salad" (featuring Bonobo) is the title of the second track on Amon Tobin's 2003 EP Verbal Remixes & Collaborations.
In the 1999 Albert Brooks / Sharon Stone film, The Muse, down on his luck Hollywood writer Brooks is awoken early in the AM by his "muse" (Stone) to bring her a Waldorf Salad from Spago's at her Four Seasons Hotel room. When he arrives, he is shadowed by a security guard, and after she claims disinterest in the salad now, he turns and runs into the barrel-chested guard, and ends up bathed in Waldorf Salad.