The Midwestern Strawberry 'Salad' That Had Reddit Confused

When most people think of a salad, they generally envision some combination of fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and possibly onions or carrots tossed in a bowl and paired with or without dressing. However, different kinds of salads abound — from a simple Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, croutons, and parmesan drizzled in its namesake dressing, to the protein-packed Cobb salad that eats like a full meal and is typically topped with lettuce, tomato, bacon, chicken, hard-boiled egg, bleu cheese, and avocado.

Then there are the salads that contain both veggies and fruit, perhaps most notably the Waldorf salad, traditionally consisting of apples, celery, walnuts, grapes, and mayonnaise piled on a bed of lettuce. Salad variety extends even further to popular cookout or BBQ side items, including potato salad and pasta salad.

The point is that a salad can be any number of things. But one person's video post to the Reddit forum r/GIFrecipes of a strawberry pretzel salad recipe had fellow Redditors debating just what exactly makes something a salad and if or how this particular dish qualified for the category.

To be, or not to be, a salad: That is the question

Strawberry pretzel salad is a sweet and salty combo of layered crushed pretzels, cream cheese and whipped topping, and strawberry jello and fresh strawberries that is refrigerated for several hours and served chilled after making, according to Home Cooking Memories. Some Redditors at r/GIFrecipes questioned the validity of a dessert 'salad.' User jordan89ca commented, "Ok I think we need rules around what we are calling a salad." Another user, Redsthename, emphasized that although delicious, the salad moniker shouldn't apply. "This is a dessert!!"

Other commenters chimed in explaining that strawberry pretzel salad is a traditional Midwestern name and dish. Redditor SinfullySinless cautioned, "That's a battle with the Midwest you do not want to start." A comment from Wigg1es fiercely defended the salad label, proclaiming, "My mom has been making this for at least 40 years now and it has always been called 'pretzel jello salad' so I will go to war about this one."

User atombomb1945 noted that technically, according to Merriam-Webster's definition, a salad is "small pieces of food...usually mixed with a dressing (such as mayonnaise) or set in gelatin." Therefore with its inclusion of jello as an ingredient, which is a form of gelatin, they concluded that strawberry pretzel salad would meet the standard. Whether you side with team salad or team dessert, most Redditors who have tried it seem to agree on the most important aspect of strawberry pretzel salad: it tastes pretty good.