The history of Salad
The origins of SALAD are rather uncertain:it seems to be original from the East, even though credit is given also to the hypothesis that it may come from Siberia. This fresh vegetable was already known to the ancient Egyptians: the ancient Greek doctors believed that salad, and especially lettuce, could have a slight soporific action.
As testified by Pliny and Columella, salad was already known and cultivated by the Romans, who considering it rather tasteless, preferred to consume it with rocket leaves (Eruca sativa). They promoted the cultivation of salad throughout the West, ascribing to salad many therapeutic virtues.
Until the Renaissance, the production of salad concerned very few varieties, which increased dramatically starting from 1600, following the advent of a new technique that allowed forced cultivation of these vegetables.
Christopher Columbus, after discovering the New World (1492-1495), seems to have "exported" lettuce in the Americas, with an extraordinary succes of the crop. However, it is certain that salad is an ancient vegetable especially in Italy, as it is used metaphorically in many didalects; moreover, often in Italy, for each variety of salad produced, there is a "local" name for each region.
The history of salad blurs with that of food, because there is not any cultural area in the world where this type of fresh vegetable raw, more or less seasoned, was not used to some extent.
In the world fruit and vegetable sector countless different varieties of salads are produced so that, today, salad is counted among the fresh vegetables that have the greatest number of varieties produced and traded on the international fruit and vegetable market. Nowadays, there are many companies that produce salads, certified companies for the production of salad, producers of salad, companies that produce organic salads companies that deal with the trade of salads (packaging of salad and 4th range products based on salad), the retailers of salad, the importers of salad, the exporters of salad, the wholesalers of salad; the wide choice of varieties, has increased to a such extent that competition among countries in the world began (belonging to the European Union and not) for the production of salad and the trade of salad.