Americans have their salads right off the bat, prelude to the main event. At the very least, salad is served alongside the main course. In Europe, however, salad is often served after dinner. It's considered a cleansing finish before cheese or dessert. We know two people (both Americans) who do this, and they have different reasons why...One is a Francophile who is adept in many things European when it comes to dining. She mixes it up at dinner parties, serving salad later in the evening as a refreshing end to a meal. It makes sense; you don't fill up on greens before the dish that's meant to be most satisfying, and some would say the ruffage aids in digestion.
The other person we know saves his salad because he likes his food piping hot. In other words, if the main dish is on the table (or near it), he's going to eat it first, before it gets cold. That chilly old salad can wait.
What about you? Did anyone grow up with the tradition of eating salad after the main course? Or have you adopted this practice as your own?
Related: Cheesemonger: The Dessert Course
(Image: Flickr member -Kj., licensed under Creative Commons)