February 2nd is National Heavenly Hash Day. But which heavenly hash?
If someone offers you Heavenly Hash, you may want to clarify:
Is it a fruit salad bound with sour cream or whipped cream, or a chocolate confection or baked good filled with marshmallows and nuts?
The fruit salad version of Heavenly Hash is a traditional Southern dish. It began as a Christmas recipe with red maraschino cherries, green grapes, pecans and other ingredients folded into whipped cream.
Over generations the recipe evolved, with everyone inventing his or her own hash (the term, after all, indicates a jumble or muddle of ingredients).
So today the recipe for heavenly hash essentially requires some kind of fruit—fresh, canned and/or candied—in some kind of creamy white binder.
We prefer sour cream, but have also found, mayonnaise, pudding, whipped cream, even yogurt or cottage cheese and (gasp!) Cool Whip.
Here are just a few of the combinations we perused:
If the whole concept sounds odd to you, know that Heavenly Hash is very much a comfort food to its fans.
Ambrosia is a similar American fruit salad from the South.
While some people use the terms interchangeably, most ambrosia recipes contain coconut and pineapple, mandarin or orange sections, and miniature marshmallows.
As with Heavenly Hash, Ambrosia can also include nuts and maraschino cherries.
We dug up an old Ambrosia recipe from Emeril Lagasse that uses fresh fruits (bananas, berries [3 types], oranges, pineapple), whipped cream and toasted coconut.
And because it’s from a noted chef, there’s a chiffonade fresh mint leaves.
HEAVENLY HASH: THE CANDY, CAKE, COOKIE OR ICE CREAM
Folks liked the concept of heavenly hash so much—different ingredients in a creamy base—they ported it into other sweets called Heavenly Hash:
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