4 min read

Salads, Insulted

It's time somebody took salads down a peg

There are five main types of salads. There are tossed salads, which are normal and smart, like caesar salads and the salad I make at home with whatever vegetables I can find rolling around in the footwell of my Kia. Then there are composed salads, like Cobb salad. A composed salad is a salad you have to toss yourself because it thinks it's better than you. Bound salads are salads that are goop, like tuna salad (delicious) or shrimp salad (pretty okay) or crab salad (a crime). Then there are farinaceous salads, which need a better name and are made of starches like pasta or rice or whatever. Farinaceous salad is the king of the salad bar and also my heart. Lastly, there's fruit salad, which doesn't seem like it should go on the list of salads but I don't make the rules.

Of course, there are outliers - jell-o salad, for instance, which which may seem to be a bound salad but actually, if you look closely, is a refutation of all things good and orderly. But those are the five salad houses (tag yourself, I'm Chaotic Bound Salad) and all five of them are going to feel my wrath. Please note that you're allowed to like any of the kinds of salad below, regardless of how much I might bully them.

Egg Salad is a bound salad and it is not welcome at this party. I learned today that the only ingredients that are considered ""required"" in an egg salad are (1) hard boiled eggs and (2) mayonnaise. Most people add mustard and maybe red onion or celery. You know what you can make with those ingredients? Devilled eggs, aka Deluxe Triple Premium Eggs, a gift to the world. Or, you can make egg salad, a form of food that is upsetting whether it is warm or cold, which is best applied to bread with a scoop. Look at a bowl of egg salad: I guarantee you there is a fly on it somewhere, and that fly is saying "yikes".

I'm sorry for having two bound salads but Ham Salad bears discussing. It is a sign that the Lord has averted his eyes from us in despair. You're guaranteed to get chopped ham, pickles, and mayonnaise when you sign up for this hell-paste, and if you're particularly unfortunate, you might also wind up with cucumber or carrots or pimento. Tragically, the Wikipedia page for Ham Salad says that this pickle-desecrated meat-paste can be "garnished with generous quantities of chopped hard-boiled egg." You know what's the only thing that can elevate ham salad? Fucking egg-sprinkles, that's what. Ham Salad's only two purposes are (1) upsetting everyone who looks at it and (2) having perfect scansion for use in jokes. "As interesting as a fistful of room-temperature ham salad" is a phrase I keep in my back pocket to make people think I'm clever in any way and now I'm gifting it to you. Use it wisely, maybe by putting some hard-boiled egg debris upon or around it.

Oh, absoLUTELY NOT. Listen we all love clowning on salad but Wedge Salad legitimately fills me with animal rage. This claims to be a composed salad but guess what! It's just a hunk of iceberg lettuce with stuff on top of it!! Making me assemble my own salad is rude enough (I'm looking at you, COBB) but making me slice it up? With a steak knife? I might consider that kind of treatment for a hearty lettuce like romaine or, I don't know, dino kale, but iceberg lettuce is the vegetable that is ideologically furthest from meat. I will not stand for the application of a steak knife, a knife named specifically for its relationship to the Butter Lettuce of meats, to a chunk of green water. You go too far, sir. Leave my home immediately.

I'm sorry but I have nothing bad to say about pasta salad, except that there isn't a barrel of it directly in front of me at this moment. Cold noodles? Vegetables? Some kind of oil situation? Put it directly into my veins. I know that's bad for your circulatory system but I've decided how I want to go out and this is it. Get a better category name than "farinaceous," I guess, but I'm too busy shoveling pasta salad into my maw with both hands to level that criticism with any degree of sincerity.

My dislike of beets is well-documented, but beet salad holds a special place in my hate-hole. Beet people always talk about beet salad as if it's a thing that will somehow make me enjoy beets. "Oh, you don't like beets?" they say, wounded. "What about a nice beet salad with goat cheese? That's such a nice and edible dish!" As if somehow the addition of goat cheese is going to make me want to eat the magenta cubes, as if a sprinkling of mint will absolve those fuschia root-monsters of their flavor and texture. Beet salad is a tool in the hands of pro-beet propagandists and I am anti-it, staunchly and firmly, and no, I will not be taking questions at this time.