Fruit salad (also called Macedonia) is a dish consisting of various kinds of fruit, served either in their own juices or a syrup. In different forms fruit salad can be served as an appetizer, a side-salad, or a dessert. When served as an appetizer or as a dessert, a fruit salad is also known as a fruit cocktail.
Small cups of fruit salad are commonly served for dessert in American public schools. In many cases it is the only form of dessert offered.
However, there are a number of home recipes for fruit salad that contain different kinds of fruit, or that use a different kind of sauce other than the fruit's own juice or syrup. One variation is a Waldorf-style fruit salad, which uses a mayonnaise-based sauce. Other recipes use sour cream (such as in ambrosia), yogurt or even mustard as the primary sauce ingredient. An ever-popular variation also uses whipped cream mixed in with many varieties of fruits (usually a mixture of berries), and also often include miniature marshmallows. Rojak, a Malaysian fruit salad, uses a spicy sauce with peanuts and shrimp paste.
"Fruit-salad" is also a slang term used for Medals on a soldiers uniform- "Look at the fruit-salad on that colonel." The term refers to the bright colors of a high percentage of the ribbons that usually go with medals.
DESPERATION DINNERS: Turn forgotten fruit into fruit salad; When using apples, pears, add canned fruit to retain color
May 19, 2004; BEVERLY writes: I get really, really tired of tossing out the last few grapes, that stray strawberry, and the half of an apple...