This excerpt is from a column on Grandma’s Pink Stuff that was initially published on It’s a Southern Thing (southernthing.com). The link at the end of the column will take you to the full column on the IAST site. Or go directly to the column now by clicking here.
If I walked up to you and asked if your family’s Christmas meal included the Pink Stuff, you would probably get the reference right away. Right? I mean, right after you wondered why I was stopping you randomly on the street and getting all up in your family’s bidness.
What I’m saying is, if you Google “pink stuff,” the only things that come up are a kind of all-purpose cleaner and a gabillion recipes for a type of congealed salad typically served at family holiday dinner. Even Kraft has a recipe for Pink Stuff on its website.
Someone mentioned to me the other day that their grandmother always makes Pink Stuff at Christmas so, as a dedicated journalist with a responsibility to keep the public informed, I set out to determine if the Pink Stuff has a real name. After some in-depth research, by which I mean clicking on the fourth link I came to, I found a name. It’s scary. I’m not sure I should even repeat it because you may never eat the Pink Stuff again. But I promised, so … here goes: It’s called Cheese Salad. Cheese Salad! What the … wha…?
They didn’t call it Strawberry-infused Clouds of Yumminess from Heaven. They didn’t call it Cool-Whip Paradise. They didn’t even call it Congealed Salad, which, with its perfectly horrifying name. still manages to be a more appetizing name for a dessert than Cheese Salad. Just sayin.’