|Alternative name(s)||Pistachio delight, Shut The Gate Salad|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||Midwestern United States|
|Main ingredient(s)||Pistachio pudding, canned pineapple, Cool Whip, marshmallows|
Watergate salad, also referred to as Pistachio Delight, or Shut The Gate Salad is a sweet dessert salad made from pistachio pudding, canned pineapple, Cool Whip, and marshmallows. It is very quick to prepare: the ingredients are combined and it can be chilled, if desired.
The canned fruit used is usually pineapple, but can be a fruit cocktail and/or mandarin oranges. Thanks to many home cooks, there are many slight variations with additional ingredients. Watergate salad is similar to ambrosia salad. It is a popular dish in the Upper Midwest and other areas where potlucks are popular.
The origin of the name “Watergate salad” is obscure. Kraft Corporate Affairs said, "We developed the recipe for Pistachio Pineapple Delight. It was in 1975, the same year that pistachio pudding mix came out." Kraft, however, didn't refer to it as Watergate Salad until consumers started requesting the recipe for it under the name. "According to Kraft Kitchens, when the recipe for Pistachio Pineapple Delight was sent out, an unnamed Chicago food editor renamed it Watergate Salad to promote interest in the recipe when she printed it in her column." Neither the article nor editor has been tracked down, however. The Denver Post, in the Empire Magazine of June 27, 1976 published a recipe for Watergate Salad. Watergate salad was a concoction thought up by a sous chef at the Watergate Hotel, and it was then served at brunch on most weekends. Watergate Salad took off in popularity during and after the presidential scandal which shares the same name. Syndicated household advice columnists Anne Adams and Nan Nash-Cummings, in their "Anne & Nan" column of October 9, 1997 reported that name came from the similar "Watergate Cake" (which shares most of the same ingredients): "The recipes came out during the Watergate scandal. The cake has a 'cover-up' icing and is full of nuts. The salad is also full of nuts." 
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Cookbook:Watergate salad|
- Recipe from Deseret News April 3, 1985
- Recipe from Cooks.com
- Sacramento Bee recipe August 08, 1990
- Two recipes from Our Savior's (Montevideo, Minnesota) Lutheran Church (1879-2004) 125 Years cookbook
- baking.com, Watergate Cake With Cover-Up Icing
- The Daily Courier, "Ask Anne & Nan" October 09, 1997