What is Ambrosia?
Ambrosia refers to the food or drink of the gods in Greek Mythology. It was said that immortality will result after drinking or eating it. The word “ambrosia” also has Greek roots and was derived from “a” which means “not” and “mbrotos” which means “mortal”.
Ambrosia has many references in Greek mythology. The infant Achilles was anointed with ambrosia by Thetis and passed the child through the fire to make him immortal. In the Odyssey, ambrosia was mentioned as something prepared in a table and mixed with a rosy-red nectar, like a drink mix. And in Homer’s Iliad, ambrosia was used with the nectar to preserve Patroclus’s dead body. There were also instances in Greek mythology wherein ambrosia is used like a balm to give grace and immortality to the recipient. Aphrodite for instance prepared herself for seduction, and bathed with ambrosia, which was said to be very fragrant.
Many have debated on the exact composition of ambrosia as described on Greek mythology. But the most common idea for many is its reputation as food for the gods. In today’s world, ambrosia is known as some sort of fruit salad. In old cookbooks, citrus fruits were the main ingredients of the salad and it is usually mixed with grated coconuts. Ambrosia salads of today now contain more fruits, depending on one’s taste and preferences. Some add gelatin instead of coconuts, while others stick to the citrus fruit and coconut mix. Sugar is then added for sweetening. Others add marshmallows into the mix to the delight of the children. For adults, some wine or juice may be added to the salad for additional taste and moisture.
Most ambrosia salads are refrigerated before served. Some prefer to have it as early as breakfast time, while others would like to have it as a side dish.