corn salad

noun

: any of several herbs (genus Valerianella) of the valerian family
especially : a low European herb (V. locusta synonym V. olitoria) that is widely cultivated for its leaves used in salads and as a potherb

called also lamb's lettuce, mâche

Did you know?

Corn salad came by way of its name from its occurrence as a weed in grain fields: it's the salad green found growing among rows of corn. The plant is native to southern Europe but is widely found in both Europe and North America. Corn salad isn't a particularly refined name for a salad green, but the plant has other names that broaden its appeal. It's been called lamb's lettuce about as long as it's been called corn salad-that is, since the late 1500s-and in the late 1600s English speakers applied a tried-and-true technique for building a food's cachet: they started using its French name. That mâche on the fancy restaurant's menu? It's corn salad with a Continental nom de plume. Bon appétit.

Word History

Etymology

from its occurrence as a weed in fields of grain

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of corn salad was in 1597

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Cite this Entry

“Corn salad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corn%20salad. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

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