The Story Behind Bernstein's Salad Dressings
Even in 1906, nobody worked harder than Perry Bernstein. Every day he was out before dawn shopping the farmer's market to buy supplies for his little New York delicatessen. Perry was a hard bargainer. But most of all he was a real stickler for freshness and quality.
That went especially for the salad dressings he and his wife Ida concocted for their vegetables and salads.
Vine-ripened tomatoes from the little family farms across the river; pure cider vinegar; eggs so newly-laid they were still warm.
His customers loved it. "Perry Bernstein, this salad dressing is delicious! Do me a favor, just put a little in a bottle and let me take it home!" And that's how Bernstein's first began to be known for very special salad dressings.
The Bernsteins Take Their Salad Dressings Westward
The second generation took over and the family moved lock, stock and recipes to California. The Bernsteins kept on bottling their salad dressings, and did so well they had to move the operation out of the back of their restaurant and into a plant of its own.
One of the best sellers from the start was the Italian salad dressing. Three generations of Bernsteins perfected the formula over the years: adding a pinch more paprika here, a hint of lemon there, then blending all of the ingredients with perfect balance.
Which is exactly how we make this dressing today.
To the State of Washington
Demand for Bernstein's dressings grew, out-stripping the capacity of the small, family-operated production facility. The Bernstein's operations moved to Tacoma, Washington in the mid-1970's.
We don't mind admitting that those magic ingredients are still specially selected for freshness and flavor - just as they were in Perry's day. They include pure vegetable oil, cider vinegar, pungent onion and garlic,and our own secret blend of piquant spices and herbs and a suggestion of robust Italian vino.
Perry Bernstein truly believed salad dressings were an art. "Serve stew if you must," he said. "But never scrimp on the salad."
That remains our credo to this very day.
And that, salad lovers, is how Bernstein's got to be the first name in Italian - and other worthy dressings.