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Candle Salad: An Old Holiday Recipe that will Make You Blush

Your eyes are not deceiving you. This is not a naughty bachelorette party dessert; it was an oldschool fruit salad that was a favorite in the United States from the 1920s to the 1960s. It was later printed in children’s cookbooks.

Candle salad is typically made with lettuce, pineapple, banana, cherry, and either mayonnaise or cottage cheese, depending on the recipe. Whipped cream is also an option. To prepare the salad, arrange a few lettuce leaves on a decorative plate or napkin as its base. Stack pineapple rings on the lettuce and inserts one whole (or sometimes half) peeled banana into the niche. The banana can be garnished with cream and a cherry.

Due to its unusual appearance, candle salad was an easy way to get kids to eat fruit. The simple construction of the set made it an excellent introduction to cooking for children. Recipe for candle salad appeared in the 1950 edition of ‘A Child’s First Cook Book’ by Alma S. Lach, one of the first cookbooks for children. The recipe appeared in the 1957 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cook Book for Boys and Girls with the description, “It’s better than a real candle because you can eat it.”

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Written by Orla Morris

Full-time dress and costume designer, Half Persian half Italian. I still don’t know how to write, but i'm writing and you are reading :)

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