When I think about the Waldorf salad my mind drifts to Art Deco art and architecture and my Mum. The planarity, symmetry and nod to modernity and the machine that is characteristic of Art Deco is brought immediately to my attention in connection with the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where the salad has its origins. And I can't help thinking of my Mum as it's one of her favourites.
The Waldorf salad was devised for a charity ball in 1896 by the Waldorf Astoria's maître d'hôtel Oscar Tschirkyhe when the original hotel stood at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, the site of the Empire State Building. For me the salad is synonymic with 1930s architecture because the hotel's current location on Park Avenue opened on 1 October 1931 and remains a significant living example of the Art Deco style.
My Mum's love of the apple, celery, and walnut combo stretches back to her first job at the Institution of Electrical Engineers in Savoy Place, where the canteen lunches were served with exceptional bread rolls from the kitchen of another iconic hotel, The Savoy.
This evening's salad was made according to this recipe from the Delish website. The original Waldorf salad comprised just apples, celery, and mayonnaise, but I like the addition of grapes, parsley and walnuts. The mix of mayonnaise and greek yogurt also made it feel lighter and healthier, yet it was filling enough to serve as a main course on a summer's evening.