Believe it or not, I have NEVER had ambrosia salad before. It was one of those epic retro recipes that eluded me during my childhood but every time I heard the term ambrosia I envisioned foodie decadence and brilliance.
I was invited to a retro dinner party over the long weekend and the host requested someone make this recipe so of course, I stepped up to the plate! Of course I had no idea what I was doing so I got help with tips on how to make it from foodie friends on my Facebook page and discovered this classic recipe that had not been updated in any way. Perfect! I wanted to go for the authentic experience and time travel to the days of ambrosia salad and jello mold desserts.
For The Stone Crock’s Pineapple Marshmallow Salad it was incredibly simple. Here is the original list of ingredients but because I was making it for a party I doubled them: 2 cups prepared whipped cream, 1/3 cup sour cream, 398mL can fruit cocktail, drained, 1 cup coloured mini marshmallows and 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut.
Making The “Salad”
You will note that the ingredients says 2 cups prepared whipped cream which to me means 1 cup of heavy cream whipped.
At least that is what I assumed because it doubles in volume.
I got my handy dandy adjust-a-cup to measure out the 2/3 sour cream since I was doubling the recipe. Fold into the whipped cream.
Throw in the marshmallows (they only had white at my store but go for the multi coloured ones if you can for authenticity), the drained fruit and the coconut.
Fold everything together and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
The host did a brilliant job of finding retro treats and everyone brought nostalgic food.
Coke bottle gummies, Double Bubble Gum, Marshmallow Bananas, peanut butter Rice Crispy squares…
Check it out! The most beautiful upside down pineapple cake ever! With all that syrup, it weighed quite a few pounds and was absolutely moist and delicious.
Look at that white gooey mess of a salad! Next to all the healthy food. Wow.
Nothing like Mac and Cheese, Swedish Meatballs, Butter Chicken Spring Rolls and ambrosia salad or what one of the hosts called “marshmallow salad” LOL.
If you like creamy and dreamy food, I can absolutely see how this would be appealing and how there is nothing else out there like it. At all! I thought it was going to be super sweet and it wasn’t. I thought the taste of coconut would overwhelm the dish, but it didn’t. As someone who is not a huge whipped cream fan, this is definitely not my kind of treat but I can see that if you grew up with this how absolutely nostalgic you could get for it because it has no contemporary equivalent that I can think of.
Luckily I have heard that places like Sobeys and Save-On-Foods do sometimes sell this salad at their deli market so go check it out if you are missing this classic creamy retro flavour and texture combination. Or… Make it yourself! It is so easy to do. Too easy perhaps.
Is there anything from the 70s that wasn’t made with either marshmallows or Jell-o? I don’t think so and that is not necessarily a bad thing.