J-E-L-L-O. I have always been fascinated by the stuff. More as a food “toy” and less as an edible dessert/ salad/ or other un-named food dish. I find it somewhat disturbing when it gets in your mouth. That eerie, gelatinous texture – somewhat slimy, somewhat chunky -just never did it for me, but I guess some people love the stuff. It always seemed to be that potluck dish brought by the eccentric neighbor that never got eaten…
To further captivate my fascination, I happened upon The Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn whilst tooling about the internet for subject matter. What an awesome blog, dedicated to taking jello to an art form that may just be on the cusp of a jello revolution. Not that I am visiting the site every day, but it comforts me that there is someone out making a MAJOR contribution to the world of Jello. Bravo I say.
What is so odd about jello, you may ask? Well, everything and nothing. For one, it’s shiny. Super wet-slick shiny, throughout every last bite. Like a dish of Chinese sweet and sour pork. Or lemon chicken. It’s you can run but you can’t hide kind of shiny. Highly unusual.
The Pros and Cons of Jello…
Pro – It jiggles. That is way cool. Hence the toy part of the dish. Of course it is much more fun to play with than to eat. Unless of course you are squishing it around in your mouth, but it think that still counts as playing. Well, according to my mother it does anyway.
Con – The texture. Maybe it’s because of all that playing, but I just can’t eat the stuff without being reminded of that sound/feeling of squishing it through my teeth into a million jello particles until it is the consistency of tapioca. Or what I suspect the texture of tapioca would be like, since we were not subjected to this dessert as children. Probably a good thing.
Pro – You can form it into cool shapes. Jigglers? How could you not sell a billion boxes of the stuff? Marketing genius. Every kid wants an excuse to play with their food, and now that suggestion has been broadcast around the world thanks to Bill Cosby. Hurray for kiddos everywhere! Jello molds are just an incognito way for adults to play with their food too, they are just more artistic and stealth about the matter.
Con – It is made out of toenails. I mean if you can’t bite your own fingernails, why would I want to tuck in to a horse hoof? Time out here to get my facts straight on wikipedia, and stop perpetuating any falsehoods:
“Gelatin is derived mainly from pork skins, pork, horse, and cattle bones, or split cattle hides; contrary to popular belief, horns and hooves are not used.”
Ok, maybe I was wrong, but pigskin and cow and horse bones? Oh yum! Where is my fork…
Pro – You can add alcohol. Why this is not listed as pro #1 I have no idea. For some (like me, for instance), this is the only reason to consume jello. I am not sure why it took me 20+ years to figure it out!
Con – Jello masks the taste and the potency of alcohol. This could also be a pro. For arguments sake, let’s just say that after 5+ jello shots, it is a con.
Not an exhaustive list, but enough for me to realize that I prefer to play with my jello, thank you very much. How do you enjoy your jello?