Salad bars gain popularity
What makes it more interesting is that people can get those chopped vegetables assembled as per choice and get different sauces added according to taste.
But are salad bars really popular in the City? Well yes, in a country where salads are part of a daily meal, salad bars do work. Though they may not be seen in every nook and corner, salad bars are definitely a part of five star buffets at mealtimes while restaurants and patisseries often provide packed and frozen salads.
“If I go 18 years back, when I was a student in a culinary institute, salads were not so popular as compared to today,” says Chef Abhijeet Day, at The Lalit. “At that time salads meant a plate of sliced cucumber, carrots, onion and green chillies. It is thanks to Western influence that salads are now so popular, encouraging more and more salad bars to open up. Today, different varieties of salad leaf is available in the local market like rocket lettuce, ice berg, baby mixed green, water cress, celery heart, avocadoes, peas sprout, micro greens etc, that not only add to the variety of salads but makes these bars interesting too,” says Abhijeet.
“Besides popular salads like Caesar Salads, Tossed Salads, Cob Salads, Khimchi salads, there are many foodies who spend some time at the salad bar counter and make salads as per their choice,” says the chef.
Top Breads in Sector 18, Noida, a patisseries shop has a salad bar, allowing its customers to assemble their own salad. “Salads are quite popular among people these days. We give them a chance to make a salad of their choice. Lettuce, sliced/diced vegetables (cucumber, mushroom, capsicum etc) chopped tomatoes, cheese and various types of salad dressings are made available. We also keep additional food items like noodles and beans for vegetarians and chicken, fish and mutton pieces for those who love non-vegetarian salads,” says Vijay who handles the salad bar section.
Pointing out the growing popularity of salads among food lovers, chef Naval Kishore of Cocoa House says, “Salad these days is not just a side dish of the meal. Now people also enjoy it as a full main course as they jump from main dish and have salads as main meal. In some places, people ask for 250gms to 300gms of packed salads which mean it is 70 per cent of their diet of their lunch or dinner. Since most of the restaurants don’t have bars, they keep packed salads or mix vegetables as per the demands made by the customer.”