Molly Yeh’s popcorn salad, with veggies & mayo, is not a thing in the Midwest

From people putting raisins in their potato salad to cooking unseasoned chicken, there seems to be no bottom to terrible food pr0n. Chef Molly Yeh, who grew up outside Chicago, created a monstrosity on her Girl Meets Farm Food Network show called popcorn salad. Said disturbing salad indeed consisted of popcorn, veggies like peas and watercress and frigging MAYO people. MAYO! Mayo is the Black person’s kryptonite but I digress. The roasting and backlash was hilarious and peak Twitter. Below is more on Yeh’s video from Indy 100:

Chef Molly Yeh went viral over a recent recipe she shared on her Food Network show, Girl Meets Farm, which contains piles of soggy-looking popcorn as well as peas.

Flavored with cheese powder, mayonnaise, and shredded vegetables, Yeh spends the majority of the episode trying to convince viewers that the ‘texture of the popcorn is so weirdly good’.

“This is my kind of salad,” Yeh says, before helping herself to a large mouthful.

“This salad is going to crunch… I mean, crush, at our party,” she adds.

Yikes, as if the recipe wasn’t questionable enough, the puns are just as awful.

Naturally, viewers were quick to voice their own opinions on the recipe, and it safe to assume they weren’t feeling it either.

As a devout popcorn connoisseurs, we have mixed feelings on the recipe. On the hand, we’re also firm believers in trying everything once – if this gets upvoted on, we might just make it.

[From Indy100]

I am cringing on the inside ya’ll. I couldn’t even watch this video to the end and I truly believe in my soul that Molly is trolling us. And if Molly ISN’T trolling us then her chef’s license should be revoked. Who the hell mixes peas, mayo, watercress, and popcorn together? Whose idea was this? And the nerve of Molly to blame her Midwestern upbringing on this nightmare is even more ludicrous. NO ONE in the Midwest would destroy a great pot of perfectly popped popcorn like that. Midewesterners appreciate and respect the kernel. Garret’s is a prime example.

My Celebitches, I feel bad that I have to share the video with you. I am guilty of traumatizing and you lot with this ‘orror in the name of work and I am sorry (not really but I don’t want ya’ll coming for me). In all honesty, I feel like if I have to burn out the back of my eyes, so do you.

As a self professed foodie and amateur chef, I am a true believer that raisins don’t go in potato salad, chicken needs to be seasoned, and watercress, peas, mayo and popcorn do NOT belong together. I think I was even insulted that this recipe was done for a segment on Yeh’s show on the Food Network. All I got to say to Molly, bish you better not ever, never ever bring some sh*t like that to one of my parties. I hope folks continue roasting her so that Molly will know better than to create a disgusting recipe like this again. With that being said, here’s the video:

Here are some reactions:


Photos via Instagram

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

235 Responses to “Molly Yeh’s popcorn salad, with veggies & mayo, is not a thing in the Midwest”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Roserose says:

    My sister in law makes a “layer salad” which is layers of mayonnaise with layers of vegetables and fruits and cheese in between. It’s horrible. It’s her party piece so it turns up at every BYO family get together.

    • Lizzie says:

      7 layer salad? Local grocery store sells it in the deli.

      • cer says:

        I love 7 layer salad. But the mayo can’t be too much otherwise it does get gross.

      • Betsy says:

        Seven layer doesn’t have fruit, though. Tomatoes are fruit, I know, but not in practice.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        I inexplicably love my aunt’s 7 layer salad-iceberg lettuce, peas, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, mayo (I’m sorry, Oya) , onions, and man, I have no recollection of the last ingredient. But it is not something I make and there’s definitely no fruit OR POPCORN!

    • Cerise says:


    • Cerise says:


    • Tanguerita says:

      sounds barfworthy.

    • Shelly says:

      I married into a family that can’t cook and the vile concoctions they make using mayonnaise and velveeta can turn your stomach. Either you have good taste or you don’t!

      • Agirlandherdog says:

        Shelly, are we somehow related through marriage???

        Same girl, same. Except in my case, their idea of cheese is cheese whiz or those cellophane wrapped cheese slices. Cheese battles it out with bread as my number one favorite food, so the pain and outrage are REAL.

    • Stacy Dresden says:

      I agree that sounds SO bad. Fruit and mayonnaise is NO

      • Arpeggi says:

        Have you ever heard of the 7up salad? That’s close to the most disgusting thing I ever saw.

    • Tom says:

      I’m from Iowa, went to college in Illinois, and live in Wisconsin. That abuse of popcorn will get you arrested in the Midwest. My MIL in Iowa made a Cool Whip, grapes, and cut-up Snickers bars monstrosity she called a salad. Served it with pride in a cut-glass bowl.

      But yeah, popcorn salad is NOT a Midwestern thing.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        What on earth…? And in a cut glass bowl. Thoughts & prayers.

      • DC Cliche says:

        Snicker Salad is absolutely a thing in the midwest (we used strawberry yogurt) and I made it for the viewing party when my Iowa hometown ended up on dateline for a murder.

        “Salad” just generally means a heterogenous mix in the midwest, but I have never seen popcorn used like this.

      • Bookie says:

        Illinois/Iowa/Minnesota girl here! I’ve never seen that popcorn nastiness before and I come from a family of awful 1950s Better Crocker cooks who make disgusting things on a regular basis.

      • BeanieBean says:

        That reminds me of the pretzel salad I got at a restaurant in Kentucky. It was listed under the ‘vegetable sides’ (as was Mac & cheese, but I digress). It was broken up bits of pretzel, strawberries, and cool whip.
        And DC Cliche: “…and I made it for the viewing party when my Iowa hometown ended up on dateline for a murder.” Wowzers!

      • Liz version 700 says:

        Well if it is in a cut glass bowl….

      • Christine says:

        Illinois/Oklahoma/Minnesota (well, CA now) here. I have never, ever heard of this monstrosity.

      • Agirlandherdog says:

        CB needs a meme button. Because this concoction needs all the scared side eye memes…

      • Kelly says:

        Illinois/Wisconsin/Minnesota person. I’ve seen a lot of variations of the more dessert “salads” on both sides of my family. Some like one cousin’s Snickers salad with similar ingredients are actually good. That and her bacon wrapped water chestnuts go very fast at any gathering she comes to. Others like another cousin’s multi layered Jello salad that make an appearance at most potlucks and get togethers they come to are not that good.

        The Jello one is likely a generational thing because I’m on the younger side in the my 30s and really don’t like Jello at all. The only time I’ll even make it is when I’m sick or recovering from dental work.

        My late mother was a fantastic cook who found many reasons to criticize her in laws’ food choices. The one choice that really would get her going was their use of cool whip. She would go on a rant about how people who are too lazy and/or uniformed use cool whip. She was correct in that cool whip is made mostly of chemicals and preservatives and that it’s not that difficult to make whip cream from scratch. You just need a carton of whipping cream, a hand mixer, mixing bowl, vanilla and powdered sugar. My dad agreed with her and would back her up when she was criticized by his family for that view. Her fruit salad of whipped cream, marshmellows, various fruit, including apples, grapes, bananas, and whatever was in season, plus some nuts, usually walnuts or almonds is fantastic, and very easy to make.

      • Juniper says:

        I have had this. Someone brought it to a work potluck years ago. I was horrified. I’m from Ohio. We don’t have the Snickers/Apples/Grapes salad. We have other vile salads to claim.

      • Joanna says:

        I’m from Missouri and I’ve NEVER heard or seen this! I second the 🤢🤢🤮

      • Nana says:

        @Kelly, your mum and dad sound like they made a great team :) Love that he went in to bat for over her high food standards!

    • Pixelated says:

      She got her clicks. I didn’t know who she was until this. So…good for her?
      That being said, her ott Midwesterness is peak cringe. And that’s coming from someone who lives in the Chicago burbs (me.)

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I am from the midwest, and this is spot on: “her ott Midwesterness is peak cringe”

        She does so much mugging for the camera and is so cheesy, it drives me nuts. I love watching the Delicious Miss Brown that airs right after Molly’s show on Sunday mornings, and Molly’s show is painful. She does “Midwestern” like she’s in cosplay.

    • escondista says:

      this is also at my in-laws house. I tried it once – never again.

      • L4frimaire says:

        My SIL’s mom serves a green Jello salad at Thanksgiving. There’s stuff inside it 😖.It’s their “ tradition”. It’s served at the beginning of the meal un-ironically . I just can’t.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        @ L4frimaire, my aunt (born in Minnesota, raised in Ohio and Wisconsin), serves a green jello salad (my Uncle calls it “the green stuff”). It’s made with Cool Whip, pistachio pudding mix and crushed pineapple and is actually pretty good. Personally, I think it works better as a dessert than a side dish.

        But popcorn mixed with vegetables, mayo and apple cider vinegar?! No thank you!!!

      • Poisonella says:

        I love that! I can’t make it at home because I will not share and will eat it all in one setting. In my younger days when I still smoked- weed, I used to make popcorn with butter and garlic salt with a generous handful of Captain Crunch tossed in. Memories.

      • Joanna says:

        @Poisonella, I was with you until you mentioned Captain Crunch 😀

    • Charlie says:

      Mentioning that mess and Garret’s in the same sentence – sacrilege!

      Mayo has a place in the kitchen – but come on. It’s meant to stay in the shadows, not be a feature. When I was pregnant mayo was my major food aversion (pregnant girl kryptonite). Just mentioning it made me gag (or worse). We could not keep it in the house. First my husband hid a tiny bottle in the fridge, then he smuggled some non-perishable packets in to his sock draw and everytime I found his mayo stash I just lost it (literally) – but honestly socks and mayo sounds more appetizing than this mess – gawd!

    • Freddy says:

      @escondista I think your sister-in-law maybe trolling ya’ll….that sounds horrible!

  2. Snazzy says:

    Just … no

  3. Lauren says:

    This looks nasty really nasty. I hate any type of salad that has mayo. Mayo covers up all the other flavors and everything becomes slimy and gross 🤢

    • Kcat says:

      I hate Mayo and sour cream and ranch and cream cheese all gloopy white sauces. HATE. People think I’m crazy, but even a little bit sends me.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I don’t mind mayo in a salad as long as it’s not glopped in there by the ton, which sadly is too often the case. If the person making the potato salad (or whatever) knows what they’re doing, they’ll only use a tiny bit and then it ought to be fine. Yeh’s monstrosity, however, looks revolting.

    • Becks1 says:

      I love chicken salad and shrimp salad (both with mayo) but they have to be well made. It’s really easy for people to go crazy with the mayo and then the salad becomes “here is some mayonnaise with some shrimp” rather than “shrimp with a bit of mayo to hold it all together.”

      • L84Tea says:

        Yessss, I love a good pile of chicken salad. I like it on a bed of lettuce and to eat it with a fork.

      • Emm says:

        Totally agree, I love a good chicken salad as long as it doesn’t look like white goop with bits of chicken and whatnot in it.

        Also, born and raised in the Great Lakes, married into a Dutch family that makes some nasty nasty stuff at the huge family gatherings and I’ve never ever ever ever ever seen anything like this. Absolutely not. Popcorn is not to be defiled like that. And yes Oya I do not understand the putting of raisins in anything either. Maybe on a green tossed salad with some sweet dressing but that’s the extent.

      • L4frimaire says:

        Agree . I like mayo in some salads and stuff like chicken salad and coleslaw, but too much mayonnaise just ruins it. Makes it too gloppy and eggy. This popcorn thing is so out there and doesn’t seem remotely tasty.

      • Betsy says:

        Not a shrimp fan, but I do love a good chicken salad. I agree that an excess of mayo is an abuse of a perfectly good ingredient.

        I’ll have my chicken salad on a croissant, which is itself an abuse of a national icon, but it’s so good that I don’t care.

    • Arpeggi says:

      It depends. A real Cesar salad is made of a variation on mayo and that’s pretty good. Or an aioli with blanched veggies or a tuna salad or chicken breast with some lettuce. But whenever I’ll make those, I’ll make the mayo/aioli/Cesar sauce from scratch. And Miracle Whip is not mayo and should never be used!

      Once in a while I’ll go look at old 60′s Kraft recipes that mixed jell-o, mayo, marshmallow, celery, etc. just to remind myself how awful those were. I can’t believe people used to make those.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Take a gander–>

        Or maybe don’t…

      • Arpeggi says:

        My favorite worst (aside from the ” Kraft Waldorf salad”) is this one:

        Cool whip AND mayo?!? And 7up, marshmallow and cream cheese?!? Also “a mother thing”

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        That is utterly revolting.

      • HoofRat says:

        I was going through a Martha Stewart/Gourmet mag phase when planning my wedding gawdImancient years ago when my sainted mother reminded me that all the prairie town-bred church folk attending would probably like a little something familiar, so I made a vat of Jane and Michael Stern’s 7-cup salad. It disappeared at record speed, much of it down the gullets of our fancy academic and high-church friends. Never underestimate the power of marshmallows and coconut in a cut-glass bowl.

    • Ann says:

      I don’t mind mayo in potato salad or tuna salad, but even there too much is not a good thing. Mayo in any kind of green, leafy or veggie salad is just nasty. This thing she made beyond gross. Corn in some salad is fine, like in a Southwestern style salad with jicama and black beans and peppers. But POPCORN?! Gag.

  4. Jillian says:

    My friend’s mother in law commits an atrocity with grapes, broccoli, and mayonnaise that she inflicts on family gatherings. It tastes terrible, as one would imagine. She resides in the Chicago suburbs, as it would happen! This popcorn business? Homegirl made that nonsense up, but Midwesterners do commit crimes with mayonnaise

    • Shelly says:

      Do they ever!!

    • Mel says:

      Grapes, Broccoli and Mayo???!!!! I’m calling the FBI right now!!!!!

    • Astrid says:

      Mother in law is from Minnesota and it’s disgusting what she puts in “salads” and covers with mayo. Even jello is ruined!

    • Christine says:

      Sounds like some version of Waldorf salad, which is delicious, but idk about those three ingredients together lol.

    • K says:

      Waldorf salad uses grapes with chicken, apples and celery, and it’s really good. A popular salad (less in the Midwest, maybe) for years has been massaged kale with dried cranberries and pecans, so I don’t think using (finely chopped, like a slaw) broccoli or grapes in a salad is too weird. But this soggy popcorn/mayo thing looks NASTY. She’s trying too hard to be quirky.

    • Meghan says:

      I find it strange that the South doesn’t have as many (?) mayo monstrosities. Then again we fry everyyyyyyything and/or slap BBQ sauce on it which depending on where you are from is a fight waiting to happen.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Molly also has a recipe for that hideous dish!

    • Korra says:

      I have had this monstrosity of a salad before, but with bacon.

      • HoofRat says:

        *Raises hand timidly*. I kind of like that salad with bacon, no grapes and coleslaw dressing instead of mayo? *Ducks for cover*

    • Teebee says:

      We LOVE a salad of broccoli, celery, green onion, bacon, pecans and grapes tossed with a slaw type dressing of mayo, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. It is delicious.

    • Kate says:

      I lol’ed at these comments. I grew up in the Midwest with a lovely mom who proudly cooked and subjected us to many of these mayonnaise atrocities. But never popcorn salad.

      I’m going to troll her when she visits next. Revenge will be best severed with cold mayo coated popcorn, LOL.

  5. Southern Fried says:

    The fool that brought this to a potluck lunch went on to loudly call everyone out as they filled their plates, try it, you’ll love it! Isn’t is good? Did you taste it yet? It was truly disgusting, difficult to not make ugly face and spit it out. And yes, it happened in the Midwest, Iowa, at a call center for get out the vote. Tbh, many Iowans seem to live on pork, pork, pork, pulled pork, bad pizza and beer all the damn day. So glad I was just visiting. While I’m at it, they have no bloody idea what BBQ is. None whatsoever.

    • Shelly says:

      My Midwestern MIL makes “barbeque” with ground beef and ketchup! Vomit worthy…

      • Frida_K says:

        Texas representing here…I read your tweet and my jaw literally dropped open in horror.

        Ummmm…that’s not barbecue. It’s an abomination!

      • Edna says:


      • Dee says:

        That’s a sloppy joe, or a maid rite, not barbecue. I grew up in Iowa, live in Kentucky. I definitely know the difference.

      • Tom says:

        BBQ has two meanings in the Midwest.

        First, there’s bbq. I invite you to try a pig roast next time you’re in Iowa. That’s low and slow with plenty of smoke and bbq sauce.

        Then there’s a bbq. That’s a Sloppy Joe sandwich. That’s right, what the rest of the country calls a Sloppy Joe, we call a bbq. We know it’s no bbq’d.

      • Chlo says:

        My Wisconsin mother-in-law calls sloppy joes “bbq” too! I am from Wisconsin and had never heard that before.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        In Iowa, a sloppy joe is called a sloppy joe…or the home state variation, which is a Maid-Rite. It doesn’t have ketchup, more of a broth. Also called a “loose meat sandwich”.

      • Kelly says:

        My dad’s now a vegetarian and he had a couple of his sisters at his place. He was looking for a recipe to make to make a sauce for bbq/sloppy joes from scratch because he doesn’t like Manwich. His sister, who is so proud of her bbq, which is the ground beef and manwich together, was put out. The recipe that him and I found was better than Manwich, but more work because of it being from scratch. It also worked better for his using beyond meat. It actually had flavor and seasoning, something that his family doesn’t get. Their cooking is terribly bland and really avoids using any spices and seasoning beyond salt and pepper.

        He does miss pulled pork and fish a lot.

      • dj says:

        If you want GOOD BBQ we have it in Kansas City, Missouri! BBQ Capitol (I just made it up) but it is here. Lots of Presidents have visited just for the bbq.

    • Kristin says:

      You need to come over to Illinois, especially Southern Illinois! We are all about good bbq, southern fried chicken with all the fixings, and amazing homemade casseroles. No way would this nasty ass salad ever make it onto the buffet table at a picnic!

    • Lucy says:

      My in laws are in Maine, it turns out they’re the white people who don’t use seasoning. I’m white, and grew up in South Texas so I make spicy stuff. They literally think salt and pepper is too spicy.
      I’ve got some food trauma with them, going to skip talking about it so I don’t get barfy.

    • Sigmund says:

      Iowan here. Lived here my whole life and I’ve never had this salad. I also can’t remember the last time I ate pork. Pretty sure the person (or people) you interacted with just had some particular food preferences.

      (I will say though that frequently pork is cheap here, so depending on the circumstances of where you were eating, like if the food was donated or this was at a potluck, that’s likely why.)

  6. Lizzie says:

    Reporting in from MO and this is not a thing here.

    • Southern Fried says:

      I believe that knowing MO, KC in particular has the very best bbq. Joes KC Z-man… and that’s just for starters.

    • Esmom says:

      Not a thing in Chicago, either. I have been here for all my 50+ years and have experienced my share of mayo monstrosities, jello, too, back in the day, but NEVER have I seen or heard of popcorn being deployed in this way. Yuck.

    • Riley says:

      I’m from the area she lives in (Northern MN, on the border of ND) and this is NOT something that we eat here.

  7. Miranda says:

    Any other old school Food Network nerds remember howling with laughter over Aunt Sandy’s “Kwanzaa cake” so many years ago? Yeah, this is weirder. I mean, at least you know Sandra Lee was probably drunk when she came up with hers. This sounds like one of those “quick, put white-proof locks on the fridge door!” recipes you’d find on a c.1970 Weight Watchers card.

    • Southern Fried says:

      Is it true Sandra Lee was a drunk? I always thought it was a joke.

      • BeanieBean says:

        She has admitted to an alcohol problem, I don’t know that she’s ever been drunk on camera, though.

    • Stacy Dresden says:

      It’s no Kwanzaa Cake tm Sandra Lee but I’ll sneer at it’s f-ed up ingredient combinations and imagine its crunchy, yet slimy and leafy flavor

    • Mel says:

      That Kwanzaa cake was an atrocity. Her food was pretty gross but I noticed that with every nasty dish and ridiculous “tablescape” she made a HUGE stiff drink. LOL!

    • Juniper says:

      The Kwanzaa cake is a classic mess! When I’m feeling down, I like to queue it up to get a giggle.

  8. Chlo says:

    Grew up in Wisconsin, lived in Chicago for 20 years, back in Wisconsin….. this is ridiculous. My family does have a standard holiday “50s salad” called Plaster which is cottage cheese, cool whip, jello powder, and mandarin oranges, but there are no veggies, Mayo or popcorn, we don’t consider it an actual salad, and it is delicious. 😂

    • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

      My mom loves that jello salad with mandarin oranges! I think she skips the cottage cheese in favor of marshmallows. Now that is a Lutheran old-lady church cookbook standard. I wouldn’t touch that popcorn salad if i was drunk and you offered to pay me.

    • Kristin says:

      I’m born and raised in Southern Illinois and my mom and both grandmas always made that salad you’re talking about. It’s amazing!

      • Indeed says:

        Illinois native here. We called that “ambrosia salad”. So good. Not a salad. Never, ever, heard of popcorn salad and I grew up in a family of excellent home cooks on both sides! Lots of eating…

    • SSwift says:

      Kansan here. My mom makes that orange salad, too. The salty sweet combo works for me but my husband, who is from the same area but is not a cultural mid-westerner, is grossed out by a lot of the jelll-o salads and casseroles my family makes.

    • Erin says:

      My Oklahoma grandma who could not cook to save her life would make this for us to eat after our thanksgiving meal. Think a few hours after the actual meal, where people were kind of full but still wanted to eat. Don’t ask me why. It just made sense at the time. I was feeling homesick and made it and it was amazing. All my Canadian friends and family thought otherwise

  9. La says:

    Midwestern white girl born and raised with a huge white family. I’ve witnessed plenty of crimes against food at family gatherings and this is worse than any of them. I hope she’s trolling. WTAF.

  10. Mcmmom says:

    Was this perhaps released on April Fool’s Day?

    I have family from Nebraska and own a copy of “White Trash Cooking” (yes, that’s an actual cookbook). My uncle puts butter on his pb&j. My aunt carries a bottle of Heinz in her purse. I’ve eaten my share of weird Midwestern food and my bad food street cred is legit. Popcorn salad with watercress and Mayo is not a thing. She’s trolling us.

  11. sally says:

    I’m not opposed to mayo in small doses, it’s mostly fat and fat brings out flavours, but the key here is SMALL DOSES. Also no. I love popcorn and I will dip it in a ton of weird sh*t when the muse strikes, but this sounds like a soggy popcorn nightmare.

  12. Oh_Hey says:

    This is trolling and clout chasing rolled into one. How many folks knew who this food destroyer was beforehand? No one. Now she’s on everyone’s radar for the next few days.

  13. Tootsie McJingle says:

    Also raised outside Chicago. That’s just….wrong. But Garrett’s? Now that’s right.

  14. Becks1 says:

    I like mayo, but I can’t imagine a grosser combo than mayo and popcorn. What in the world? This has to be trolling.

    I’m from the East Coast and ambrosia is probably the grossest thing I see at potlucks, along with strawberry pretzel salad, but I love that and won’t hear a word against it, lol.

    • mellie says:

      Yes, strawberry pretzel salad is the best, but must be eaten immediately!

    • Edna says:

      iF and it’s a very big if, ambrosia salad is made correctly it can be very tasty. But it should never include Mayo…NEVER.

      • L84Tea says:

        My ambrosia never has mayo in it. Never.

      • Becks1 says:

        I don’t even know how its made, lol, but I hate it!

      • CrazyHeCallsMe says:

        @Becks1. I tried a friend’s ambrosia salad and I actually liked it. She used mandarin orange slices, grapes, walnuts, shredded coconut and sour cream. I think she also added a little sugar cause she has somewhat of a sweet tooth. I thought it was tasty. I do know there are many different versions of ambrosia salad and not all of them are appealing.

    • L84Tea says:

      No, Becks1, you are breaking my heart! I absolutely LOVE ambrosia (if it’s made right) and strawberry pretzel salad. I made a strawberry pretzel dessert thing once (found on Pinterest) and it was incredible with the salty and sweet.

      • Becks1 says:

        Oh I love strawberry pretzel salad! My SIL’s mom makes the best one of it I’ve had, which is funny bc she doesn’t really cook or bake, but its one of the things that she’s known for.

      • Erin says:

        Strawberry pretzel pie is the dessert bar thing. Jeni’s ice cream just did a collab with Dolly Parton for strawberry pretzel pie ice cream and it broke Jeni’s website.

      • L84Tea says:

        Okay Becks, redeemed. I have lived in the south a long time (originally from the NE in NJ), and it’s taken me years upon years to fully embrace being a southerner. One of things that has helped was the food. I still think northern food is better, but I have really come to appreciate the real classic southern dishes. Strawberry Pretzel salad definitely falls in my top 10 category. It’s so darn good. :-)

  15. Lucy2 says:

    Ew. No.

    There are some truly insane cooking videos out there, but this appears to be on the Food Network???

  16. Keats says:


    • Southern Fried says:

      Lol, what perverts!

    • C-Shell says:

      I KNOW! I almost couldn’t absorb anything after that. Also, popcorn (especially buttered) is nature’s perfect food and this abomination hurts my heart.

    • MaryContrary says:

      What the holy hell is “cheese powder”?

      • Arpeggi says:

        Something that looks like the powder in Kraft Diner I guess? It’s orange, smells acrid and probably contains more wood pulp than cheese

      • BeanieBean says:

        Arpeggi: I think that’s right. I know when I was a kid we’d get to watch movies for free at our grade school gym. They sold ‘cheese popcorn’ & that’s the color it was, bright orange. You’d have that stuff all over your fingers for hours.

      • tealily says:

        I assumed it was the kind of stuff that you sometimes see sold on the snack aisle alongside flavored salts to season popcorn with.

  17. Mel says:

    The whole thing is offensive but as a French woman, what has puzzled me for YEARS is HOW ON EARTH IS YOUR MAYO WHITE??? You do make it with eggs, right ? Maybe there’s something I’m missing but the mayo around me has always been yellow. And I only like homemade mayo so the chances are slim that it’ll be white. That’s some industrial voodoo thingy!

    • Jules says:

      Lol I’ve always been too grossed out by mayo to even bother looking into how it is made. Now I’m even more grossed out.

    • Lemons says:

      Now that you mention it, I’m not at all sure why American mayo is so white…Blame the oils we use. When I make mayo with a bit of olive oil, it usually is a bit more yellow…

      I also hate mayonnaise in general, unless it’s going in a salad dressing or seasoned with something else. Miracle Whip, I used to love as a kid but haven’t eaten in years, so I’m not sure if I’m still a fan.

      Even drunk or with the drunk munchies with nothing else in my house to eat would I think to create this monstrosity.

      She even had to search in her mind in the video if it was good or not! We know it’s not, Michelle.

      • deezee says:

        Mayo is white because yellow goop looks sickly and the white is meant to appease North Americans.

    • Léna says:

      hahaha that was actually my first reaction!!! why is the mayo so white?? so weird! does not look appetizing at all (fellow French women !)

    • Becks1 says:

      When you look at the ingredients for store bought mayo, its pretty gross. If you buy paleo mayo though (like Primal Kitchen or something) then it is more of a yellow.

    • Betsy says:

      I’ve always guessed that it’s a different ratio of oil to eggs. I seem to remember it as being more yellow years ago (contrasted with Miracle Whip, which was always very white). It’s an industrial product, at any rate, which is always a different beast than homemade anything, and some brands, like Duke, are slightly more yellow.

      I’m certainly not making mayo from scratch. I’ll make a lot of things from scratch, but I draw the line at that for some reason, even though I know it’s not difficult.

    • Arpeggi says:

      I was 4 when we moved from France to Canada and I remember going to the grocery store with my mom and seeing Cheese Whiz in jars at room temp and I seriously second guessed my parents’ decision to move at that precise moment. I’ve never been able to eat orange cheese since then even if I know not all of them are over processed, etc. I’m still grossed out.

      My uncle’s family once made a “pain sandwich” for a family gathering (it’s like wonderbread with layers of ham/egg/veggie salads covered by a mix of cream cheese and velveta aka what nightmares are made of) and I starved that evening because there was nothing else to eat and I was horrified. If it was something my Canadian family did regularly, I would have petitioned to take the next plane back to France

  18. Jules says:

    Legit thought the popcorn part was a joke. Like maybe it looked like popcorn or something. What a monstrosity.

  19. Veronika says:

    Native northern Midwesterner here, while people come up with some revolting “salad” ideas here not once in my life have I seen a popcorn salad.

    • Betsy says:

      I hadn’t either until I found a tiny deli in Lake City (with some really excellent things) and tried it. I think the overwhelming flavor is bacon. And it’s not a leafy salad, it’s like broccoli raisin salad.

  20. Mina_Esq says:

    I’ve eaten corn in a salad, but popcorn salad is absolutely NOT a thing. I

  21. Linabear says:

    Honestly, I love a good weird food combination! I’ll eat anything once, but I might be the only one.

  22. Katie says:

    Does not look like she washed her hands after she touched the mayo and sour cream bottles and before she went ahead and touched the whisk and then put it into the food. Love mayo salads, hate food poisoning/helminths.

    • faithmobile says:

      I feel the need to interject a little food science. American mayo is white because after the eggs are emulsified a lot of clear oil and water is added, it’s not voodoo. Also there is no need to wash your hands after handling mayo or sour cream containers that’s not how food born illnesses are spread. I have lived all over this fine troubled country and there are bad “cooks” everywhere. My issue with this salad is the watercress, I just can’t wrap my head around why you would put such lovely and somewhat expensive greens in a salad with cheese powder. I occasionally put hot sauce on my popcorn so I can appreciate a little soggy popcorn but this salad has me scratching my head in all it’s inane combinations.

      • Busybody says:

        @faithmobile, yes! The watercress is what tips me off that she’s trolling. I mean, soggy popcorn is disgusting, but watercress is a spendy item that’s not readily available at mainstream grocery stores. I don’t buy it. Shredded lettuce, maybe.

      • waitwhat says:

        Hot sauce on popcorn is delicious. I like to add some Parmesan. Gross to many, but I love it.

    • tealily says:

      Food poisoning from touching plastic bottles and whisks…?

  23. Tiffany says:

    Molly is the textbook definition of failing up, born on third thinking she hit a triple.

    She has not been in her Midwest for more than half her life and she needs to keep our area out of her mouth.

    She annoys me to no end.

    • mellie says:

      Thank you! I’m a Sunday morning Food Network TV watcher and her show gets on my nerves (well, Pioneer Woman is right up there too…), but I just can’t with her baby voice and some of the things she throws out there and her infatuation with sprinkles drives me insane. And I live in the midwest!!! I’m more of an Ina Garten person…and I love Smitten Kitchen (my favorite blog by far), trust me, I like some ‘home cooking’, but this gal drives me nuts.

      • Diana says:

        Same! Her tv persona is like nails on a chalkboard… ugh make it stop. And pioneer woman as well! Why is she on all the damn it seems? They never show Ina anymore!

      • Tiffany says:

        This is why I refuse to click on the video. I refuse to give her the attention she so thinks she deserves. She knew this would go over like a punchline but clicks are clicks and that is all that matters to her.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        YESSSS Mellie! Her obsession with SPRINKLES is insane and stupid!

        I think it is because of her start as a Instagram food person, so she focuses more on how it photographs and not how it tastes. I hate how she acts like a giant 10 year old.

    • Chlo says:

      Okay, I am an almond extract fiend, and I came across Molly’s blog this past year because of all of her almond extract/almond paste/marzipan/etc. desserts. I haven’t had a chance to actually bake anything yet, and I don’t watch her show. But her blog and instagram are cute. But then I watched the clip above, and I was kind of torn because that’s not a lot of screen presence. Is it not worth trying her recipes??

    • Rural Juror says:

      So, I totally agree that this popcorn salad looks nasty, but I’m going to defend Molly Yeh a bit here because I don’t think this is a fair representation of a lot of her food. She’s Chinese and Jewish and highlights a lot of Israeli and Chinese ingredients in her food while still making it accessible to the masses, which is a big part of being on the food network. She also does a lot of veggie-focused recipes, which is great. Frankly, I think it’s refreshing to see someone non-white under 35 with a unique cooking perspective have a platform on food network.

      • Yep! says:

        Yes! Totally agree, and I’m very uncomfortable with a lot of the discourse around this (not just this site), which has tended to erase Molly Yeh’s identity as a mixed race woman.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Yeah, I was looking at the comments here like … she is not white! She is not a “fellow white woman,” she is not “white trash.”

    • wondering says:

      Wait, I don’t understand, she was born and raised outside of Chicago, moved to NYC for school, and is now married and lives in ND, how is she not from the midwest?
      eta – and to be far to her, she also she attended Julliard, it’s not like she was only able to graduate from it just because of who here parents are

      • Tiffany says:

        She lived in Colorado for a time.

      • Sigmund says:

        Huh? Out of everything you listed, only Chicago is in the Midwest. Assuming ND means North Dakota, all of those places are not in the Midwest. Sooo…isn’t that kind of proving Tiffany’s point?

      • Wondering says:

        ND is part of the Midwest, so she has lived the majority of her life in the Midwest

    • NTheMiddle says:

      Yas! She drives me batty. I love watching cooking shows but she is horrible. The cheesy fake grins and wacky combination dishes that make no sense. It’s like watching a toddler cook…Puts damn sprinkles on everything.

  24. pixiestyx says:

    Wisconsin girl here…The big grocery store (Festival Foods) has popcorn salad sometimes in it’s deli. My aunt bought it a couple of times when visiting. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not something that I’m going to seek out. I ate it once and I’m good.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      What? Where? I’ve never seen this at Festy- lots of mayo driven atrocities and fruity gelatin horror shows, but never this. I’m in GB…what location has the audacity to sell this garbage?
      Mayo and popcorn? GTFOH.

  25. Betsy says:

    Yes, actual Popcorn Salad is a deli item as pixiestyx said. It’s not a big thing like Broccoli Raisin Salad, but it is a thing. The Popcorn Salad I have had is popcorn, mayo, bacon, cheese, green onions? I only had it once and it’s somehow too much.

    This thread is really offensive. I can’t defend all the bizarre flavors that come out of the Midwest, but I think it’s crass to yuck the yum of an entire region just because you don’t like it.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I wouldn’t consider Broccoli Raisin salad to be a “big thing.” Good lord.

      • Betsy says:

        It was a monstrously popular dish where I’m from, NSSB. Good lord.

      • tealily says:

        Sure it is. I’m from the Midwest but I live in the South now and I even see it at the grocery deli here. It’s a pretty common salad! (And I like it too, despite not being much of a mayo person.)

      • Joanna says:

        I’ve had some good ones!

    • Lemons says:

      The popcorn salad and broccoli raisin salad are offensive, @Betsy! No one should be taking perfectly good ingredients and wasting them in these recipes when there are so many other good things you can do with them! It’s like having a great bottle of wine and dumping it into a fire pit to give flavor to your wood chips.

      • Betsy says:

        Hey, Lemons – have you ever tried Broccoli Raisin Salad? The sulfur bitterness of broccoli, the salt of bacon, the sweet of raisins, the crunch of sunflower seeds. It’s delicious and I think unless you’ve tried it insulting it is a close minded.

      • Dee says:

        Cut up strawberries instead of the raisins take it up a notch. And yes, it is very good.

      • Lemons says:

        I don’t know why you’re assuming I haven’t tried it. I have. I don’t find it to be a good combination, the same way I don’t like raisins in my potato salad. I’ve had raisins in curry dishes with broccoli, but that’s a different dish altogether. And, as I said before, you could have had an excellent curry dish on your hands, but went with the salad.

        It’s like having alfredo pasta and deciding to eat pasta with milk. Both are edible, but which one are you choosing?

      • Betsy says:

        I gotta tell ya – I don’t like curry, at all really. So for me there’s no “excellent curry” because it’s something I would just never opt to eat.

        And I disagree that broccoli raisin salad is to curry with broccoli and raisins what pasta with milk is to Alfredo pasta. Sorry that I assumed that you hadn’t tried it.

      • Malificent says:

        I make a bitchin’ curry chicken salad, but it uses the McCormick “curry” powder from the supermarket — which bears only a passing resemblance to actual curries from South and East Asia. I’ve used raisins in it before, but I prefer dried cranberries.

      • Joanna says:

        @Malificent, that sounds really good

    • waitwhat says:

      I grew up in NE Ohio, and have lived in Pittsburgh and Phoenix AZ…broccoli salad has been a big thing in all spots. I also like it, Betsy.

    • L4frimaire says:

      Broccoli salad is not that weird, but popcorn salad is definitely an outlier and curiosity. I actually heard a podcast where someone said it actually exists, and it does get soggy. Seems most of the posts are gently mocking and reminiscing about the weird “ salads “ they grew up eating or unique regional dishes. No one is hating on the Midwest.

  26. whateveryousay says:

    I am mad.

  27. FeedMeChips says:

    I love mayo more than just about any other food and yet even I know this is unacceptable.

  28. AA says:

    Lived in different parts of the Midwest my whole life. Seen some pretty gross food items (I also have a sis in law who insists on bringing Seven Layer Salad to every holiday) but I have never remotely seen anything like this. She’s trolling us. PS I adore strawberry pretzel salad.

    • Chicken says:

      Is seven-layer dip something different in the Midwest? I’ve always known it to be Tex-Mex, and the layers are things like guacamole, refried beans, shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa. And you eat it with tortilla chips.

  29. Malificent says:

    From Chicago, dad’s family from rural Wisconsin, lived in Minnesota. Been to potlucks in every other state in the Midwest. Raised in the Lutheran Church, wherein Jello is a sacrament. Know at least 2 dozen recipes off the top of my head that involve copious quanties of condensed cream of mushroom soup. The strongest spice in my mother’s cabinet was garlic salt.

    And I have never seen a monstrosity like this popcorn salad.

    • Veronika says:

      LOL….are you my long lost twin?

      • Malificent says:

        I don’t think so. But since I’m related to the entire state of Wisconsin, I’m pretty sure you are a long lost cousin!

    • Tiffany :) says:

      “Know at least 2 dozen recipes off the top of my head that involve copious quanties of condensed cream of mushroom soup. The strongest spice in my mother’s cabinet was garlic salt.”

      I’m dying!!!! You are my people.

  30. MaryContrary says:

    I lived outside of Chicago for 2 years-and the only food thing I didn’t get (full admitting I’m a SF food snob) is the jello salad love. I’ve hated jello since I was a kid. So the amount of weird Cool whippy/fruit/jello/gloppy whiteness “salads” I would see at the Jewel deli counter and at potlucks would make me shudder. Other than that-love the Midwest and it had delicious food overall.

    • Betsy says:

      I have found that deli counter versions of everything are just gross.

      I think Jello is something that if you’re not reared with, it just seems like the height of industrial food. But I can see how it seemed like a damn miracle back in the day when making an aspic meant boiling calves’ feet for days. As aspic and gelatin salad’s days are long gone, the food is kind of twice forgotten. I still have a sneaking love for my grandmother’s orange jello with carrots and crushed pineapple. I feel like she put minced green peppers in it occasionally and it was like the sharp surprise in that sweet Thai “relish” of onions and peppers that comes with satay. But if you don’t like Jello, you wouldn’t like it, either.

  31. Charlotte says:

    I am British and loved reading this thread! That said I have no idea what classes something as a ‘salad’ in the USA? To me a salad is always green leafy veg with dressing. Maybe add some meat or fish. How is this considered a salad? Also I looked up that strawberry pretzel thing and it looks delicious, however that is a layer dessert surely? Why is it called a salad?! I am going crazy lol! I just need the definition of a salad dammit!!!!

    • Dena says:

      As a South Dakotan, and based on the “salad” section of the many church cookbooks published around here, I think salad only has to reference a hint of what might be considered healthy like some sort of fruit, veggie, or nut. Most are then drenched in some kind of “dressing” consisting of cool whip or mayo, thus cancelling out any sort of health benefits the strawberry jello might have gained you ;)

    • Betsy says:

      “Salad” for a while was treated more as a sweet side dish or a side dish with many other possibilities, but now “salad” means what it means pretty much everywhere – greens (primarily) or vegetables and toppings with a dressing on the side or tossed on top. There’s also Snickers Salad (apples, cool whip, snickers, pudding) which is just a dessert in which *the components are tossed together* like a salad; *no one* serves this like a vegetable side dish.

      Salad can be a lot of things. The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. serves a wild rice salad (or did, when museums were open) that has julienned carrots, pumpkin seeds and watercress in a lightly sweet oil based dressing. The recipe is available online and it is so delicious. Wild rice is the seed of a grass that grows wild in Northern Minnesota and it’s nutty and so, so delicious. It’s a sacred food for the Ojibwe and you can buy it from some tribal sources (and they cultivate it in Minnesota and California, but the wild harvested stuff is better).

    • Keats says:

      lol as an American I feel the same way about what Brits call ‘pudding’, although I cannot define salad for you. I know one when I see one about half the time!

      • L4frimaire says:

        Was going to say the same thing. Why is all dessert “ pudding” in UK? In US it’s a custard-like dessert, or thing of boiled dough like plum pudding. Agree that calling all these things said us a bit weird. Maybe needs to include fruit or vegetables?

      • tealily says:

        And some people call dinner “tea!” You Brits are no better than us! Haha

    • Amy Too says:

      I think salad is basically any mixture of foods that are held together with some kind of dressing/glop that is meant to be eaten cold or at room temperature.

      Like a “casserole” is any mixture of foods held together by some kind of sauce that is meant to be cooked in the oven and eaten hot.

    • Charlotte says:

      Thanks for all your responses guys, I feel like we have held hands across the Atlantic and collectively agreed that nobody quite knows what a salad is haha!

      I completely agree with you that us Brits are weird AF with our names for things! All desserts are indeed ‘pudding’. There is also things like Yorkshire Pudding which can be savoury or sweet but is most commonly eaten savoury as part of a Sunday Roast Dinner, just made of a batter of eggs, flour, milk and baked in hot oil in the oven. Then there is black pudding which is congealed pigs blood in a sausage (yuk!) eaten with fried breakfast.

      Also, regarding the dinner/tea thing. Some people say ‘Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner’ and others would say ‘Breakfast, Dinner and Tea’ – I don’t know why! There is also the drink ‘tea’ as well as ‘Afternoon Tea’ otherwise known as ‘High Tea’ which consists of sandwiches, scones and cakes and eaten in the afternoon (sometimes we make sense).

      I don’t know why I get such enjoyment comparing our linguistics but I love it haha!

      • Totorochan says:

        High tea and afternoon tea are, or were, different kinds of meals though.

        High tea in Britain was traditionally a substantial late-afternoon or early evening working-class meal that included cold meats and/or hot savoury dishes. It was served on a high table like a dining table.

        Afternoon tea is an originally upper-class smaller meal, eaten midafternoon between lunch(eon) and dinner, of things like dainty sandwiches, bread and butter, cakes, scones, cream and tea, served in a sitting-room on low tables.

        But North Americans tend to call afternoon tea “high tea” so maybe that usage is making its way back to Britain?

  32. NOLA Girl says:

    Okay Im from New Orleans. Confused. How is Mayo Kryptonite to black people? My family definitely uses mayo in potato salad down here (also salt, cayenne pepper, mustard, celery, and parsley, and sometimes relish). And there is the rule that you do not eat potato salad from other people bc you dont know how it was stored.

    • Veronika says:

      I was confused by that as well. My partner’s side of the family is southern & his family’s cooking uses lots of mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, etc. All let me tell you it’s all delicious! His momma’s crab dip is sooo good & I’m almost tearing up thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve eaten some as well as seen her in person. The food I really really love is when his family digs into their Tex-Mex roots.

    • Lemons says:

      I don’t know why it was ever a thing, but I felt seen when Undercover Brother came out. Watch this clip:

      My man had to pull out the hot sauce for his mayonnaise-laced sandwich 😂

    • L4frimaire says:

      I’m curious about the mayo aversion as well. It’s gross slathered on too thick but I like it on sandwiches. I know some people really hate mayo, and the phrase “ white bread and mayonnaise “ is used to describe the most basic, bland of people, but if you like potato salad or coleslaw, you’ll eat mayo( and yes can make those with vinaigrette, but not the same).

  33. Agreatreckoning says:

    @mellie Love Smitten Kitchen! I’m white and from the midwest and hate/will not eat most things with mayo and love popcorn. Prefer my popcorn with just butter and salt. My salads with lettuce, vegetables and sesame seeds & a vinaigrette dressing. I skeeve out at the sight of mayo salads and deviled eggs. Hate pretty much all condiments. No ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, etc…

    I politely decline tartar sauce, mayo coleslaw/potato salad with fish fries(just lemon wedges please). Might try the vinegar based salads.

    That popcorn salad sounds horrible. Mayo laden soaked popcorn might give me nightmares.

  34. Deanne says:

    I had a co-worker who would always bring a “salad” that included apples, grapes, grated carrots, iceberg lettuce, hard boiled eggs and layers of a combo of cream cheese, marshmallow fluff and mayo. I can’t describe how disgusting it was.

    • MaryContrary says:

      I gagged just reading this description.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Dear god.

    • BK says:

      a grown adult put FLUFF in a salad? and combined it with mayo? :barfs:

    • tealily says:

      I was with you up to the eggs…

    • Deanne says:

      Fun fact. She’d sometimes add food colouring to the marshmallow fluff mixture for special occasions. Like red and green for Christmas and pastels for Easter etc. I wish that I was kidding, but I’m not. She also made a cake once that had Campbell’s tomato soup in it and unlike zucchini cake, you could really taste the tomato. Apparently it was popular in the forties. I don’t like to make fun of someone’s family recipes, but these were really odd.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        Imagine growing up in that family & then going out into world thinking it’s normal to serve dyed marshmallow fluff fruit/veg/mayo salads with hardboiled eggs. And then talking about tomato soup cakes while everyone around you recoils in horror. Lmao.

  35. SpankyB says:

    Peas are gross. Popcorn is gross. I can’t imagine how that “salad” could taste good in any way.

    Has no one here ever had a Waldorf salad? Mayo, apples, grapes, celery, walnuts. I usually add shredded chicken to it. I can eat that all day. I do make my own mayo, though. Makes a huge difference in flavor.

    • Veronika says:

      Oh I love Waldorf salad! I usually make my dressing with Greek yogurt.
      Love it with shredded chicken, poppy seeds on butter leaf lettuce.

    • Ann says:

      Waldorf salad is delicious if made right. I add mayo but also a bit of cider vinegar to cut the richness, thin it out and give it zest. I don’t have a problem with mayo as an ingredient, but it only belongs in certain types of salads.

  36. Skyblue121 says:

    Chiming in from Montana and I gotta say the popcorn salad looks horrid but I do love almost all the versions of funeral/pot luck salads. Yum yum yum! Fill my plate with the broccoli salad, crazy fluffy green pistachio glop, cheesy funeral potatoes, sweet potato salad, picked beets, apple-snickers salad, crazy strawberry jello cream cheese pretzel concoction, macaroni salads, curry chicken salad with grapes and toasted pecans…fun stuff you eat once or twice a year. Nostalgic food makes people feel good. That said, Smitten Kitchen is my favorite food blog and her recipes are no fail and I’ve introduced my extended family to all sorts of foods they normally wouldn’t try. But dang, so much hate towards potluck food.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      I do enjoy funeral potatoes aka party potatoes.

      Will partake in jello in the form of jello shots!

    • Anners says:

      I’m here for the funeral potatoes and broccoli salad – thank you Alberta for teaching me about strange and delicious mid-western foods. I was once served green jello salad with cut up (raw) hot dogs in it – was hard pressed not to vomit. But the rest was an adventure :)

  37. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    ‘This thread is really offensive,’ lmao. Of all things to be offended by, food opinions are hardly negative, but a very fun, entertaining read about various foods. But of course all opinions are valid. I am digging this thread though! I’ve never personally used popcorn in recipes, but I have seen it. And nothing disgusts me more than taking a bite of something and discovering I’ve eaten a raisin! Can’t stand those things. Dates on the other hand…. but they have to be cut up or I’m reminded of a very real phobia I have and can’t touch em. 😁

    A neighbor always brings an Asian salad to block parties with uncooked ramen and everyone always compliments her (I don’t like eating hard ramen, doesn’t make sense to me at all). Thank goodness it’s been a while. I am, however, I lover of most salads sweet or savory. My favorites are very simple capreses or spinach with Greek ingredients or anything with tons of cucumbers and goat cheese.

    I grew up eating potluck recipes which is why I probably don’t cook with Campbell’s soup cans, Crisco, processed foods, canned fruit (lol)…shit like that…when my memories take me back to having to finish my syrupy fruit cocktail before leaving the table. 😐

    • Amy Too says:

      Canned fruit cocktail in high fructose corn syrup as the “healthy side dish” of family meals is one of my memories as well. My mom bought the “very cherry” kind that had extra maraschino cherries in it! My mom is a woman who has literally never eaten a fresh lettuce salad in her entire life, nor has she ever eaten any vegetable that didn’t come out of a can (besides corn on the cob slathered in I can’t believe it’s not Butter! Or baked potatoes slathered in I can’t believe it’s not Butter!) because she assumes they will “taste like dirt,” so every vegetable we had was canned, microwaved with a huge heaping spoonful of I can’t believe it’s not Butter! and then sprinkled in salt, despite it tasting like salt already because it’s a canned vegetable. Canned peas, canned carrots, canned corn, canned green beans, canned yellow beans. Occasionally, at a funeral or something, someone would bring a “veggie platter” that they bought at the grocery store that had uncooked broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and maybe grape tomatoes or cucumber slices with a huge thing of “veggie dip” in the middle. The sad thing is that I became a vegetarian starting around age 12, and had never actually eaten a properly prepared vegetable or salad with lettuce until I moved out and started cooking for myself.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        You have me laughing so hard I have tears. I remember these things so well. My grandfather worked a packing plant most of his life, and every day he would bring home a huge box of fresh veggies and a huge box of fresh fruit. My grandmother’s cooking utilized everything fresh (I really don’t remember her opening cans). BUT. Everything had a significant amount of fat. I mean significant. Her ham and beans? You could visibly see the white fatberg floating in the pot.🤢

        Once a week we were able to bring home a large collection of this fresh produce and mom would work it into her meals. Her ground beef stroganoff. Her beef stir fry (which was actually that canned stuff…La Choy?) Omg. Think cooking from the 60s Betty Crocker cookbook with some fresh crap thrown in. Or the Junior Service League annual publication…or the Baptist Church’s annual spiral to-do. Where one could always find Mrs. Sweeney’s famous ambrosia or Mrs. Cariker’s (the pastor’s wife) tuna casserole. And chicken and dumplings using cut up flour tortillas as the dumplings. 😱

  38. BeanieBean says:

    Well, my mom is from the midwest (Illinois) and, except for the popcorn, this looks like some sort of concoction she’d throw together. She’d've used macaroni or something like that. And, Oya, thanks for the Kalen Allen video, that’s the only way I could have gotten through it!


    Absolutely repulsive! Can only imagine the soggy popcorn texture. And as a Texan, I have to say it’s “y’all” not “ya’ll.” Though I didn’t realize at first people say y’all everywhere now! I love it. But I hate typing “y’all’s” haha.

  40. Beth says:

    In all my decades of Midwestern upbringing and adult living I’ve never seen nor heard of that monstrosity. That’s not a Midwestern dish, that’s an affront to God and should be buried in the woods somewhere.

  41. L4frimaire says:

    I’ve watched her show before. She’s cute, a bit awkward, not always the best recipes. But this is beyond weird and unpalatable. How long til the popcorn gets soggy and cheese powder? Like Parmesan in a can or something else? I have never heard of popcorn salad and I love listening to food history podcasts. I’ve heard that stale popcorn was used as breakfast cereal with milk in the past ( ew) but a “ salad”? I’ve heard if those ghastly jello salads but this was so weird. Did it come from a 1950s Good Housekeeping recipe? At first I thought the popcorn would be used like croutons but watched that mayo slathered clip where she chokes that salad down and just wondered, why? Anyway , yuck, and we know there will be a YouTube/Tiktok challenge coming with this recipe. Now everyone knows who she is and can get more ratings.

  42. NOYB says:

    I can’t believe this story is what is triggering me to comment for the first time! 😂 This “salad” was given to our family after my brother passed away. This was in Minnesota so definitely part of the Midwest. I had never had it before and honestly…it was really tasty. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t had it! Anywhoo, guess I’m here to give some love to the popcorn salad 🤣

    • L4frimaire says:

      If you substituted macaroni, or some type of grain for the popcorn, might actually be appealing. But that’s a lot of mayo.

  43. BK says:

    It’s really a big mystery as to why America has an obesity problem…..

  44. ClaireB says:

    Does anyone remember the Gallery of Regrettable Food? I even bought the book and still bring it out for a laugh occasionally. Seems like this dish would fit right in!

  45. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Was she trying to be cute and hoped no one noticed this is bs? Gross.

    But for weird salads… someone made a watermelon, strawberry and salsa salad and it wasn’t half bad. No other Ingredients.

  46. detritus says:

    She took Rachel’s trifle recipe and riffed off of it.
    Gotta say the popcorn is a good swap for ground beef.

  47. emu says:

    I feel like the mayo would make the popcorn really soggy and not crunchy?

  48. Izzy says:

    There is no reason why this salad should ever be a thing anywhere. This abomination should not exist.

  49. Jenna says:

    Sweet Jesus, her voice is irritating.

    If a recipe can encapsulate the arrival of The End Times, this is the one, people. It’s here.

    • elle says:

      I found her voice more irritating than this popcorn mess. I wouldn’t eat it, but she seemed sincere until she plopped a big pile of watercress on top. This had to be some sort of joke.

  50. Leah says:

    “consisted of popcorn, veggies like peas and watercress and frigging MAYO”.

    I know some people like to be inventive but foods are like personalities…some go together and some end up as a hot mess. I’ve seen people do some odd things to popcorn (never have understood that mixing popcorn with M&M’s thing but some do) but popcorn and mayo fusion? Pass.

  51. magda mosi says:

    well this sound so weird I’m actually curious!

  52. Ellen says:

    Sorry to disappoint all the Midwesterners on this thread disavowing this salad, but…Minnesotan here to attest that popcorn salad is a thing. It’s not a widespread thing from what I’ve seen, but my grandmother used to make it on occasion, out of one of her church ladies compiled recipe cookbooks. Pretty sure we have a version of it among her handwritten card catalog of recipes too. I remember being a kid and just picking out the popcorn from the veggies lol. Also, people, this is not hard to verify! Google ‘popcorn salad’ and skip down a few entries past the current ‘controversy’ and you’ll find like two dozen recipes for it that have been out there on the internet for years. (On the other side, I refuse to believe any of you claiming that cookie salad is real. If my grandmother never made it, it’s not a true Midwestern food horror show. I cannot tell you how many dishes that otherwise wonderful woman covered unnecessarily in cool whip or Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, shudder. Her mother was a classically trained Austrian pastry chef. I have no idea where things took such a turn.)

    Also, don’t be mean to Molly Yeh! Her style of presentation might not be your cup of tea, but no need to be a jerk about it. As others have pointed out, her food is a lot more versatile and interesting than this one dish would have you think. She draws on a lot of elements in her cooking, and her blog baked good recipes are worthy of being go-to’s.

  53. JRenee says:

    Southern roots, transplanted to Chicago. NEVER have I heard of a mayo popcorn salad or barbecue with ground beef and ketchup that’s sloppy Joe!
    Ambrosia is just called ambrosia not ambrosia salad in my circle. Always with sour cream, no mayo.
    I am not a fan of 7 layer salad but I’ve never seen it served with any fruit outside of tomato.
    In the 70′s my mom did try a lime jello salad with mayo, it didn’t last long in our household, thank God!
    I don’t understand grape salad. I have seen chicken/turkey salad with pineapple and craisins but not grapes.
    For the record, I will eat the strawberry pretzel salad 🙃 but I don’t make it.

  54. Unmellow Yellow says:

    I am from Iowa, the land of pigs and corn. Can verify that I have never ever fucking heard of popcorn salad. Also don’t know this woman, but she seems sweet. But fuck no to that salad.

  55. mellie says:

    I’ve had the best time reading about all these “salads” today….straight out of my childhood potluck suppers! Makes me want to go buy a box of orange Jello, some mandarin oranges, mini-marshmallows and stuff myself.

  56. The Recluse says:

    Blasphemy! Blasphemy. Popcorn salad is the work of the devil or just a really bored ‘cook’ looking for something to get a rise out of the internet. Ugh! What a waste of wonderful popcorn, my favorite snack w/melted butter of course.

  57. Erin says:

    Ok. Has anyone had 7 layer salad? Lettuce, cheese, peas, bacon, eggs, green onions, mayo w sugar?

  58. Veronica S. says:

    The South and Midwest love their mayo based salads, but they’re usually sensible like potato or egg or seafood based. Not….this. 😂 Why would you even use popcorn?? It’ll just get soggy!

  59. A says:

    Molly Yeh annoys me, but not for this salad. She strikes me as a nice person, and she is very creative with her recipe blogging, which I admire a great deal. And I like that she pulls from so many different cuisines when she comes up with her food. But her “voice” as a blogger just irks me. It’s cutesy in a bad way, and I’m honestly not a fan. She writes like a 19 year old who just discovered Instagram and Pinterest in 2014, and is very invested in the “”"aesthetic”"” of it all, like writing all of her blog posts w/ no capitals etc. There are a lot of food bloggers who overdo their chosen shtick, and she is one of them. The Pioneer Woman is another one of those types.

    It’s really odd that she’s making the news for this salad though. Like. If there is one thing I associate with her food blogging, it would not be gloppy Depression-era Midwestern salads that is firmly in the category of food consumed only by white people (sorry). That’s not her “thing”, food wise. If anything, I always thought of her as someone who genuinely tried to bring as much varied cuisine to the table, in spite of living on a farm in Minnesota, with a town that only had one cafe when she moved there. She has a distinctive style to her food, and it is for sure not hideous popcorn salads from a church cookbook. I can only assume that she genuinely thought this was something that was quirky and interesting enough to present on her show, in which case, this is a case of terribly misplaced judgement in your own sensibilities, LOL.

  60. Christa says:

    Just for the absurdity of it, someone should make a fan page for this with everyone’s pictures of their creations.

  61. TeeMajor says:

    Chicago, born and raised and I have never ever heard or seen anything like this in my life, LOL!

    no maam!

  62. Dlc says:

    Molly Yeh is very pretty, I have hair envy.

    That dish sounds repulsive.

    Love the writing of this article. “Mayo is a Black person’s kryptonite ” My sweetie is Arab and is grossed out by my love of mayo. He calls it white people food.