Reporter tries recipe from decades past

September 11, 2017 — by Muthu Palaniappan

The ‘80s are a decade notorious for its one-of-a-kind outfits, unique hairstyles, and groovy music. However, the ‘80s also housed some of the most iconic food trends. In light of this year’s ‘70s-and-’80s-inspired Homecoming themes, I decided to get a taste of one of the most famous dishes from the ‘80s: Ambrosia salad.

Ambrosia salad is a sweeter take on fruit salad. Filled with pineapple, mandarin oranges, tiny marshmallows and coconut shavings, the dish sounded amazing to me.

But as I scrolled down the list of ingredients of a recipe I found online, I was shocked that it called for 4 ounces of sour cream and wondered if I was reading the list wrong.  

It turns out that ambrosia salad is well known for containing sour cream, and I realized it was unfair to make judgments about ingredients before trying the food.

After picking up all the ingredients, I was still a little bit skeptical. But for the dish to be popular, it had to be good in some way, so I stayed optimistic and continued to follow the recipe.  

The preparation took less than half an hour because all I had to do was mix the ingredients. I did, however, have to wait an additional two hours while my salad sat in fridge. I wasn’t complaining, though — all the extra time allowed me to munch on the extra fruits and marshmallows.

Two hours later, I took the chilled ambrosia salad out and nervously tried it. Surprisingly, I liked it. The sour cream was not overpowering, but blended into the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients well.

Also, since the salad was fairly easy to make, it could be a fun snack to have at a party or during a holiday. As its popularity grew in the ‘80s, the salad went from being a traditional Christmas dish in the South to being a staple to have at special events.

Ambrosia salad is the a perfect reflection of the ‘80s: Bizarre ingredients mixed together to make something extraordinary.