Ambrosia Salad

3 years ago

Categorized as a jello salad, the ambrosia salad is named after the food of Greek Gods, which is said to give longevity or immortality to those who eat it. Created in the South, the first-ever recipe of the fruit salad was recorded in an 1867 cookbook titled, Dixie Cookery: or How I Managed My Table for Twelve Years written by Maria Massey Barringer of Concord, North Carolina. While the recipe is basic (it calls for coconut, sugar, and pulped oranges) it's easy to see where today's recipe came from. By the 1900s, the recipe had gained pineapple and whipped cream and in the 1970s people were adding anything from jello to mayonnaise and sour cream to their salads to bring over to the neighborhood potluck. At this time canned fruit cocktails reigned supreme at every party you attended. Remember Watergate Salad?

Today's recipe follows the classic preparation my grandmother used with canned mandarin oranges, Cool Whip, maraschino cherries, pineapple tidbits, pecans, and mini marshmallows.

Begin by combining the Cool Whip and sour cream in a large bowl and mix until combined. Fold in the marshmallows, shredded coconut, pineapple chunks (or tidbits depending on preference), maraschino cherries, and pecans. Gently fold in the mandarin oranges last to prevent them from breaking.

Cover and refrigerate the Ambrosia fruit salad for at least two hours before serving.

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