Nooooo…not Mrs. Grissom!
I found this cruising my hometown (Nashville) paper — notable deaths 2013 — Grace Grissom, co-founder of Mrs. Grissom’s Salads, died in May, age 94.
I had no idea this was a local product. I had no idea Mrs Grissom was a real person. Mrs Grissom’s chicken salad was a total staple of my childhood. I have not had anything that came close to it outside Tennessee.
Not sure how to describe it. It was like chicken meat pâté, but looser. More like liquid chicken. Chicken paste. Chicken shakes. Okay, maybe not that loose, but it tended to squish out the sides when you took a bite, and a tub of it was less than a buck, so there can’t have been much chicken in it.
Still back in old Nashville, my friend’s granddad made an awesome chicken salad. It had much more chicken in it, but it was still all ground up into a stiff paste (with mayo and celery, I think the recipe went). Stiffer than Mrs Grissom’s, but the same idea.
Then I moved to New England, where chicken salad was diced chunks of chicken with various food lubricants. And then I moved to old England, where a sandwich salad doesn’t mean the same thing at all. Chicken salad and tuna salad are, respectively, chicken or tuna with a salad (i.e. with lettuce on it). On the other hand, they sell a variety of tinned meat pastes which is much more like what I’m talking.
Anyway — lay it on me. What’s your regional notion of chicken salad?