Ambrosia Salad is a variety of fruit salad that is popular at American potlucks. It typically makes appearances at holiday tables across the U.S., such as on Memorial Day weekend gatherings. Though associated with America, the fruit salad’s name references “the food of the Greek gods.” It is said that the gods on Mount Olympus ate the magical fruit ambrosia to maintain immortality. They may have even bathed in it and used it for perfume. The word ambrosia has several meanings, one of them being something extremely pleasing to taste or smell.
American ambrosia salad features canned fruit, including mandarin orange slices, maraschino cherries, and canned pineapple tidbits cut from pineapple rings. Though there are numerous variations of the recipe, some with yogurt, for example, marshmallows and coconut, are staple ingredients of the recipe. Of course, the salad is very forgiving, so the coconut may be left out if desired. And nuts may also be added. However, marshmallows are essential to make the filling creamy. Ambrosia salad can also be called 5-cup salad when using 5 main ingredients in one cup ratios.
Here is one version of the basic recipe:
Quick and easy Ambrosia Salad
1 (11 oz.) jar of maraschino cherries, well-drained, no stems/pits
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple rings, well-drained and cut into tidbits
1 (15 oz.) can mandarin orange slices, well-drained
2 cups mini marshmallows
½ cup flaked coconut
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
½ cup sour cream
1 (8 oz.) tub prepared Cool Whip topping
Directions: Drain fruit well and set aside. In a big bowl, gently mix the sour cream and the Cool Whip. Then fold in the marshmallows, flaked coconut, nuts, pineapples, and cherries. Lastly, and gently fold in the mandarin oranges, using care to keep the slices intact. Refrigerate for three to four hours until chilled and marshmallows soften up. Serve cold. Enjoy!
Tips: If possible, do not use canned fruit with added syrup. Rather, choose canned fruit in its own natural juice. Some people add several drops of food coloring to the sour cream/Cool Whip mixture to tint it, but this step is unnecessary.
Please feel free to comment and share your version of Ambrosia salad with us!
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