The other day, we discovered a bizarre bit of American trivia that we just can’t leave alone: the candle salad. This “salad” consists of stacking some pineapple slices, putting a banana through them and topping it with a cherry. We thought it was a joke at first — until we found it in the 1957 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls. “It’s better than a candle, because you can eat it!” the book tells us.
That is some weird subliminal messaging.
Further sleuthing revealed a clip of actress and comedienne Amy Sedaris showing the world how to do it on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. In her version, Sedaris uses mayonnaise to put the cherry on top of the banana, instead of a toothpick, as the Betty Crocker original suggests. Mayonnaise and banana? Who comes up with this stuff?
As Sedaris recounts for the audience, she learned how to make this not-so-subtle monument to sex during her time in Girl Scouts. But why? “A favorite for moms, candle salad was known as an easy way to get kids to eat fruit because of its unusual appearance,” the entry on Wikipedia reads. “It was also considered a child-friendly introduction to cooking because of its simple construction.”
Americans are so awesomely strange. I’m so happy I was naturalized.
Header image includes a photo by Rachel Ehmke.