I’m Annie Rauwerda, and I started @depthsofwikipedia on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to highlight my favorite Wikipedia rabbit holes. I partnered with Bullish Studio to round up bizarre trivia about a new topic each week.
This week's topic: salads! In this newsletter, we're taking a look at some of the weirdest-of-the-weird salads and salad-themed facts roaming the internet.
But before I get into it, I'm doing a comedy show next week at Caveat in Manhattan!! I'll be with a bunch of cool performers. Buy tickets here! They're $18.
I’m sorry, but candle salad? Is this not extremely phallic? Was this a big joke?
Supposedly, this salad was popular from the 1920s to the 1960s. The Betty Crocker children's cookbook called it “better than a real candle, because you can eat it." Did nobody have a dirty mind back then?
I also am wondering how one would go about eating this. Would I use a fork? My... fingers? I have so many questions!!!
Another Midwestern salad that Wikipedia calls “a potluck and party staple in Minnesota,” is Snickers salad. The dish contains Snickers bars, Granny Smith apples, and whipped topping. Variations can include mayo, crushed pineapple, sour cream, grapes, and more. Fruit salad, yummy yummy!
In the mood for a more historical salad? Try the Watergate salad, a dish loosely tied to one of the largest scandals in US political history. The salad contains pistachio pudding, canned pineapple, Cool Whip, and marshmallows. One theory of its etymology even involves a cake version of the salad.... which poses the question: Is a salad really a salad if it has a cake version? I digress. The cake version of the salad has frosting that covers up any mistakes — much like the Nixon administration covered up its illegal break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Washington, D.C., Watergate Office Building.
Another theory: The salad was created at the Watergate Hotel which shares a building.
Yet another theory: A Chicago food editor used the title because she just wanted people to read her column.
An odd tidbit: Helen Keller published a recipe in 1922 called the “Golden Gate Salad” that shares many similar ingredients — except pistachio pudding.
Okay, let’s get out of the Midwest and look at some other salad facts.
“Salad Days” — as washed-up hipsters may recall — is also the title of Mac Demarco’s second album which was released in 2014. And speaking of, DeMarco’s birth name is actually Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV. Quite formal!
There are also some darker stories in the realm of salads.
In 1984, a cult spread salmonella on salad bars at restaurants in Oregon. They hoped to incapacitate the local population so that their candidates would win the local elections. It was the first and largest bioterrorist attack in US history. Of those impacted by the attack, 751 people got salmonellosis, and 45 were hospitalized. Thankfully, no one died.
Salad... by the numbers:
Salad fast facts:
I’m Coming Out (song)
— Depths of Wikipedia (@depthsofwiki)
Oct 3, 2021
That's all for today! As always, feel free to forward this to a friend and send your thoughts to [email protected]. I really like your emails!
Deep dives into Wikipedia rarities, curated by @depthsofwikipedia