Lime Pineapple Salad

Here is another old recipe from my grandma’s files. This one was difficult to date, but I am leaning toward 1940’s or possibly 1950’s. If it were up to me, which it kind of is, I would rename this Lime Pineapple Grapefruit Salad. Grapefruit turned out to be the dominant flavor here.

Grapefruit was especially popular in the 40’s, but it had been available in cans for decades earlier. This recipe specifically lists “Shaver’s” grapefruit as an ingredient, but that brand no longer exists.

There is very little information online about the H.A. Shaver Company beyond a number of lawsuits during the 1920’s and 1930’s, usually related to misbranding canned goods. Seems like they kept getting dinged by the FDA for poor quality and sneaking in some unnecessary ingredients! The company was best known for its grapefruit and tomatoes, but I can’t find any solid information about when exactly the brand disappeared. Could have been recently for all I know, but I really doubt it.

Lime Pineapple Salad

  • 3 pkg lime jello (9 oz. total)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 cans grapefruit with juice
  • 1 No. 2 can crushed pineapple with juice (1 lb. 4 oz.)
  • Nuts to garnish (walnuts, almonds, pecans)

Blend altogether and set. Garnish with whip cream + sprinkle with nuts.

Since this isn’t my first rodeo I did not just throw all the ingredients together, I first dissolved the gelatin in boiling water. Once dissolved, I added the pineapple and juice and the grapefruit.

I suspect that yellow grapefruit might have been the ideal, color-wise, but my local grocery store only carries red. Pink grapefruit was discovered in 1906, so it’s still a historically accurate option. I was also only limited to grapefruit sections, so we cut it up into smaller pieces before adding to the jello.

Pineapple Grapefruit in lime Jell-O garnished with crushed walnuts.

This recipe makes a huge salad, more than my standard 6-cup mold could handle. It probably makes closer to 8 cups. I used the extra to make individual molds which I think are much better for a lot of reasons. If I were to make this again, I would use only 1/2 of the ingredients, or as close to that as possible, and just use small molds.

By the way, you might be interested in a similar recipe I found in a 1931 cookbook called The Greater Jell-O Recipe Book:

Michigan State University Library Archive

The major difference between the two is the older one from the book is savory. It uses a single green pepper ring for each individual mold and suggests filling the center with blanched almonds. Instead of whipped cream to garnish, use mayonnaise.

I will definitely be returning to The Greater Jell-O Recipe Book in the future because it is an absolute goldmine.

The Verdict

If you like grapefruit you will probably like this jello. Husband and I liked it, but one of my brothers claimed it made him want to sneeze and the other one was pretty neutral. My 6 year-old didn’t even try it, which is probably for the best because I don’t think he’d like the tart citrus flavor anyway.

Grapefruit isn’t as popular as it once was and it is probably an acquired taste. I find it very refreshing. This isn’t my favorite recipe but I genuinely enjoyed eating grapefruit/pineapple suspended in a not-overly-sweet lime gelatin.

Unfortunately, I did not get to try this with whipped cream since the can I was planning on using expired back in July. I briefly considered using it anyway, then the rational part of my brain (and the voice of my husband) told me not to take chances with dairy, can or no can. It was too late to go buy a new one and it’s probably for the best I don’t spend money on something I apparently rarely use. I bet the whipped cream would have been pretty good with it though.

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