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Noted In Passing: Hot Kwizine dela Estados United — Candle Salad

Candle salad is a vintage fruit salad that was popular in America from the 1920s through to the 1960s The salad is typically composed of lettuce, pineapple, banana, cherry, and either mayonnaise or, according to some recipes, cottage cheese. Whipped cream may also be used.

Its preparation is: first arrange a few leaves of lettuce on a plate or decorative napkin, this forms the salad’s base. Then stack pineapple rings on top of the lettuce, providing a niche for inserting one whole (or more often half) peeled banana. For garnish, the banana can be topped with choice of cream and a cherry.

The Food Timeline History website states that “The earliest print reference we find for Candle Salad is dated 1916. It was presented in this socialite menu; no description or recipe was included: “Fruit Cocktail, Chicken a la King, Mashed Potatoes, Buttered Peas, Rolls, Olives, Candle Salad, Cheese Straws, Fancy Cakes, Nut Ice Creams, Candies and Nuts, Coffee.” — Oelwein Daily Register [IA] April 5, 1916

In San Francisco, for late-night stoners in Les Haute Sixties in the Haight, the go-to delivery service was known as Magnolia Thunderpussy. This salad structure looks to be an Emperor Norton hybrid of the Montana Banana and the Pineapple Pussy. And the mention and reputation of Magnolia Thunderpussy seem to have survived outside of my every failing hard drive and memory boards. To wit:

Magnolia Thunderpussy, a late-night naughty dessert delivery service that operated in the Sixties out of Dish, a restaurant on the corner of Haight and Masonic Streets, as well as out of a former club on Bush Street called the Boarding House. The provocative service was owned by Magnolia Thunderpussy, a former burlesque star, and radio gossip columnist and her most popular desserts were two sundaes called Pineapple Pussy and Barney’s Montana Banana.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • gwbnyc April 5, 2022, 6:44 AM

    In the past- restaurant, +/- Park and E20th St- “Patria”, included two scoops of testicles and about a 40% increase in length.

    Served with a flourish.

  • LP April 5, 2022, 6:54 AM

    Reminds me of the Boys and Girls Cookbook from the 1960’s where so many of the recipes called for building things out of food, like the cake squares you’d build into a castle, and then cover with white icing with marshmallow rows, etc. Your illustration there looks a lot like the cookbook we had as kids.

  • KCK April 5, 2022, 10:35 AM

    This is a mindmap of how my brain has changed since the Sixties. Now I hate you with the heat of a thousand suns.

    • jwm April 5, 2022, 12:39 PM

      I was thinking something along those lines, Kasey. There was, no doubt, a time when I would have found the “R” rated menu cool, funny, and hip as can be. Nothing better than freaking out the squares, right? Now, it’s just tedious, and corny; a sure-fire antidote for hippie era nostalgia.


  • Jack April 5, 2022, 11:41 AM

    For God’s sake don’t show this thing to Pete Gigg-My-Butt or any of the other Washington elites. One second thought, load it with cyanide and hand them out like GS cookies.

    • gwbnyc April 5, 2022, 11:57 AM

      “Pete, Chasten, how would you like them?”
      as one: “DIPPED!!”

  • Dirk April 5, 2022, 11:46 AM

    face it Sex Sells. Has anybody purchased their ladies some “Pussy”, perfume?.

  • jwm April 5, 2022, 12:33 PM

    Please do not sit on your salad.


  • steveaz April 5, 2022, 12:42 PM

    Australian mega-star house-wife, Dame Edna, presented a sextuplet “Candle Salad” to one of her guests, to uproarious applause.

    She was always good at climbing on top of a good thing.