Seven-layer salad is an American dish that includes a colorful combination of seven layers of
Although there are many variations, the traditional seven-layer salad has remained the same for decades. The dish may have originated in the South and was called the "seven-layer pea salad" for its main layers of peas. The traditional seven-layer salad is covered with a coating of mayonnaise (and sometimes sour cream) and includes eggs and bacon. It has been said to have "helped give salads of the 1950s a bad name... when it came to health."
Popular variations on the home-made salad's ingredients include ham, mushrooms, celery, carrots, and bell peppers. The dish remains a party staple, and its impressive height and layered architecture have been adapted by some restaurant chefs, though "our mothers were stacking long before many of today's chefs were even born." Cooks modifying the salad include those at Aura restaurant on Lincoln Road in Florida who include sliced mozzarella, red tomatoes and basil layered for red, green and white color, and others using fruit, cutting back on high-fat ingredients, substituting low-fat yogurt or a vinaigrette dressing for the mayonnaise/sour cream, and modifying the ingredients with ethnic and gourmet foods such as tomatillos, chickpeas, black beans and pepperoni. Another chef who serves items with "a sense of humor" offers "an updated seven-layer salad in a tortilla, where the ground beef of the 70's is exchanged for grilled shrimp."