Is Chopped Salad the New Sliced Bread?

Years ago, actually make that generations ago, the height of culinary showmanship was a tableside tossing of a Caesar salad. While I am a little too young to remember such a ritual, there were wheeled carts in restaurants that provided the foundation to which dutiful waiters would dress and toss your salad as you sat in waiting. Decades on, most salads are prepared in the kitchen and promptly delivered to the table, leaving their creation (I guess) a thing of magic, not empirical study.

I mention this because much of that salad mystery is disappearing (or should I say reappearing?) before our eyes as the chopped salad craze continues to dominate the fast-casual lunch scene. While most people think of the iconic Cobb salad as the pinnacle of chopped salad, no salad…not Greek, not Asian, not even Caesar, is safe from the rough chop of the blade – reducing an array of ingredients into salad confetti. A chopped salad is simply a salad as anyone would order, but made “easy to eat” by being chopped into tiny, little bits that fit comfortably on your fork. This way you get a bite of greens, beans, and cheese with every lift of the fork. No longer will you be subjected to the tyranny of a lone spinach bite, or the frustration of having a kidney bean roll off your fork. Everything is made easier, almost to the point that it looks pre-digested.

The New York Times recently did a trend piece on the proliferation of chopped salad emporiums like Chop’t Creative Salad Company and Just Salad, and how they are doing bonkers business. The appeal of such an operation is that you line up, customize your salad by requesting different toppings from your salad professional, and then, once everything has been selected, you get to watch them pulverize the selection into a pile of shreds. I will not fault anyone for their taste and enthusiasm for such things, but I am not buying it. I don’t feel the need for my salad to be chopped so violently that every bite tastes and functions exactly the same. Salad is about variety, diversity, and a wee bit of struggle – it keeps you on your toes and ideally keeps you a bit healthy.

So what is your read on this trend? Is chopped salad a means toward better eating and better health, as well as being fun, or is it an unnecessary butchering of a good thing?

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99 comments

Angela K.
Angela K.about a year ago

Thank you for posting

Bee P.
Bee P.2 years ago

I had no idea there was such a thing as "chopped salads". Whenever I make one I always chop certain things - cucumber, tomato, mushrooms. I'm not going to throw a bunch of whole things in there and make it difficult to eat. However I'm also not going to chop everything into bite-sized pieces and have it look like a salad that someone has sat on.

Takeaway salads are a great idea, chopped or otherwise. If it helps someone to eat healthier then why not? But personally, I'd always prefer to make my own.

Julianna D.
Juliana D.2 years ago

Love chopped salad, but dont put a bunch of extra stuff on it.

Sheila Swan L.
Sheila Swan L.2 years ago

Ending an article with a question isn't very informative.

Maja Pszczolka
Maja Pszczolka2 years ago

this salad looks yummy :)

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener2 years ago

Love salad too!

Elisabeth T.
Elisabeth T.2 years ago

Love just about any kind of salad...thanks for the article.

Silas Garrett
Silas Garrett2 years ago

I guess if it gets you to eat salad, that's cool. I don't really see a need to chop it up.

iveta cer

I love salads ;) , thanks

Lola S.
Lola S.2 years ago

love adding different things to my salad - but don't have to chop it so every bite is the same lol