|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredients||Lettuce, pineapple, banana, cherry, mayonnaise or cottage cheese|
|Variations||strawberry yogurt, alfalfa sprouts|
|Cookbook: Candle salad Media: Candle salad|
Candle salad is a vintage fruit salad that was popular in America during the 1920s through 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. The process is as follows: 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 is 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 (p. 4)."  The site lists several other references to the salad in cookbooks and newspapers throughout the 1920s.
Candle salad was known as an easy way to get kids to eat fruit because of its unusual appearance. It was also considered a child-friendly introduction to cooking because of its simple construction. The recipe for candle salad was published in the 1950 edition of A Child's First Cook Book by Alma S. Lach, one of the first cookbooks written for children. It is also in the 1957 edition of the Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls with the description, “It’s better than a real candle because you can eat it.”  
A version of this salad appeared in the Mormon children's magazine The Friend in 2008, which included a bed of alfalfa sprouts and strawberry yogurt drizzled over the top of the banana to look like dripping candle wax. Mormon bloggers have republished the recipe. Jerilyn Hassell Pool, an outspoken Mormon advocate of LGBTQ people, has contributed to the awareness of candle salads by famously serving a visiting group of Mormon missionaries this dish as a dessert.
The Tested Recipes Institute of New York published it as a recipe card in 1958. 
The salad was featured in Life Magazine in February of 1951 in an article entitled "LIFE Goes to a Kids' Cooking Party." 
Carolyn Andrew Lynch published a small booklet called The Candle Salad Story in 2003 with several reprinted images from cookbooks and articles. It is available on Yumpu.com. She suggests that the recipe was created to help promote the banana industry. 
- Paula Weed, "Candlestick Salad", The Friend, December 2008.