Caesar Cardini, purported father of the Caesar salad, was born in Lago Maggiore, Italy in 1896. He moved to San Diego after WWI, then opened a restaurant in Tijuana to avoid prohibition.

Rik Espinosa is cited in Merriam-Webster's Book of Word Origins as one of the foremost sources of Caesar salad lore, and most of what we know about the Caesar salad and Caesar Cardini himself comes from the pages of Rik's newspaper, the Tulsa World.

According to a plaque installed on Ceasar's retaurant wall, the first Caesar salad was tossed on July 4, 1924. Caesar's daughter Rosa claims the salad contained romaine lettuce, soft boiled eggs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, salt and pepper.

Cardini and his sister Rosa sold a homemade version of the dressing for several years, but it wasn't until 1948 that it was made commercially available. By this point, the term "Caesar salad" was public domain, so Cardini had to sell his product as "Original Caesar's."

Culinary legend suggests that Paul Maggiora, a member of the Italian Airforce and a partner of the Cardinis, created the Caesar salad for his highflying pals and called it the "Aviator's Salad." Caesar Cardini's brother Alex claims the salad under the same name, and Alex's version supposedly included mashed anchovies blended into the dressing.

Caesar Cardini died in 1956 at the age of 60.