How Salad Changed Our Agency Part II: The Expert Advice
Obviously, we’ve become salad obsessed.
Not to brag, but we’ve become pros. Masters. Artists. THE salad experts. That’s right. With months of research and mouths full of lettuce, we know what’s up. And we want to let you in on that salad secret.
Mastering Your Creation
Salad preferences vary like personalities. While there are a gazillion ways to (com)pile them high with tiny bits of anything edible under the sun, there are a few things that we can definitively say about expert salad-making.
First of all, the vessel in which you craft your veggie helping is imperative.
We all know eating a salad isn’t the most graceful thing. You may go for a specific bite of romaine with a slice of tomato and dash of feta, but your capers and almond slices fly off. You need something large enough to control spillage – something with a good chop-area, equipped to catch flyaways. The bigger and deeper the dish or bowl, the better you look making and eating your masterpiece.
One lady of the ‘Fin knows this well – Sana. Her bowl, bequeathed to her by Suzanne, a very special Tailfin alum, is arguably the best bowl with the power to make anyone look like a pro. (But you better get your own because it’s not open to the public.)
Lettuce is the base of the classic salad*. And while mainly a vehicle for shoveling croutons, bacon bits and cheese into your mouth, lettuce is very, very important.
Select lettuce for its texture, color, and crispness. Romaine makes the perfect base layer – it’s sturdy and crisp. It’s placed in the bowl first. Next, comes the spring mix. Red swiss chard and spinach for rich color and leafy texture.
*Here in the south, some might argue that title belongs to potatoes or eggs.
Adequately-sized bowl? Check. Perfect bed of lettuce? Check. On to the flavor…
Even if your culinary skills rarely stretch beyond the microwave, prepare to feel like a bona fide Gordon Ramsey when you add toppings to your salad. This is the part that makes the flavor, mouthfeel, personality and creativity of your lunchtime work of art.
You can throw almost anything onto a salad. And in any combination – it’s about the only place where apples, artichokes and eggs make sense together. But with this kind of possibility, things get personal. And personal preference means it’s tough to nail down the exact, for-sure, fool-proof recipe for toppings. We encourage you to go wild – embrace your mix-n-match personality. However, there are a few guiding principles we’ve learned along the way.
Opposing flavors: If you’re going with a salty pumpkin seed, pair it with a sweet pear or berry. When you tang-out with pickled banana peppers, neutralize the zest with a healthy fat like avocado.
Crunch: YOU MUST HAVE SOMETHING CRUNCHY. That’s why somebody invented croutons – the only (other than dressing) salad-specific food group. But it doesn’t have to be croutons. It can be literally anything your teeth have to crack into – nuts, cucumbers, DORITOS.
Texture-perfecters: Hearts of palm, avocado, cucumber, and the bland stuff that’s in there to round out your mouthfeel. They aren’t packing flavorful punches. But they are softening the bite, nurturing the opposing flavors and giving your salad weight.
We only do avocado cilantro. The end.
Did You Make It for the ‘Gram?
In reality, your salad is exclusive to your taste. You get to decide if its good, bad, weird, not crunchy enough, overly dressed, or over-achieving in every bite. But, the only thing we can collectively judge is the photo-worthiness of it. Here are some of our most delectable-looking lunchtime blends.
At the end of the day, we’re marketing people. We’re not jumping ship and turning 1246 Virginia Ave into a salad shop. I mean, we aren’t THAT good. The important thing is that it’s done together. And as they say, “a family company who eats together, stays together.”