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Here Is The Definitive History Of Mankind's Finest Food: The Salad

05/29/2015 12:00 am ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015

Before the hamburger, before the burrito -- before even all-you-can-eat breadsticks -- there was the salad. (Cue dramatic music.)

According to the Oxford Dictionary of Food and Drink in America, mankind’s finest vegetable creation was popularized way back in the Roman Empire. It first appeared in the form of raw leafy vegetables covered in salty, oily dressing. (Indeed, the word salad comes from sal, the Latin word for salt.) As the stupefying variety at your local salad shop demonstrates, salads have increased in complexity through the ages. But the Roman version -- the garden salad -- still lives with us today, largely unchanged.

To celebrate the leafy green-based meals' long and storied history, we've partnered with Hidden Valley to explore the evolution of salad throughout the centuries -- from the classic garden, to the WTF-worthy Jello, to the trendy kale options of today.

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