Ambrosia fruit salad is one of those retro recipes. We normally associate it with our childhood and grandmothers. In some parts of North America, people serve it non-stop during the summer, while in other parts, the ambrosia dish really shines at Christmas time. But there’s more to the coconut dessert than meets the eye. In Ancient Greek mythology, the consumption of ambrosia, this food of the Gods, has some very special effects.
We know it also as 5-cup salad due to its 5 common ingredients. Start with canned or fresh pineapple, add canned or fresh orange/mandarin sections, then little marshmallows, and desiccated coconut. These are held together by the 5th ingredient. One of the following would work: whipped cream, sour cream, cream cheese, yoghurt, or cottage cheese.
This dessert was developed in the 19th century, when the coconut joined forces with oranges/mandarins. Ships began distributing exotic ingredients like coconut that were previously very difficult to come by, while oranges and mandarins worked their way into the equation as train routes spread and delivery methods improved. Inclusion of these ingredients made the ambrosia fruit salad a no-brainer dish for family gatherings like Christmas.
The Ancient Greek gods were onto the ambrosia appreciation well before the 19th century, however. According to myth, doves brought the food of the gods to heavenly feasts. Its consumption delivered both strength and immortality. The blood of those who ate/drank ambrosia suddenly apparently turned to ichor, an ethereal fluid equivalent to the blood of the gods!
Ambrosia from Ancient Greek times certainly fits under the ‘exotic and hard to come by’ dessert category, and modern day ambrosia can be just as tricky if you don’t have a grandma nearby. If all this coconut talk has worked you coconut fans into a tizzy, you really needn’t worry. We’ve made it easier for you by listing coconut desserts available near you.
Alternatively, Dr W. H. Roscher who specialized in studies of Greek and Roman mythology actually theorised that ambrosia was a type of honey. The promise of immortality would be on account of the healing properties of honey. All you honey lovers can happily search here for honey desserts near you to satiate those heavenly cravings for ambrosia fruit salad you might be having!