You know the old ad slogan "There’s always room for JELLO!"? Well, not in this tummy there isn’t. Truth be told, I can’t stomach the stuff. You wouldn’t think so, considering JELLO is a retro dessert, but I never really ate it as a kid and I don’t eat it, now. I feel a little bit bad putting the smackdown on artificially flavored and colored gelatin, especially after coming across a cool blog yesterday dedicated to all things JELLO called The Joys of JELLO. The blog’s author, Theresa Rohrer, created the blog “in order to educate the public about the awesomeness of Jell-O, to provide a place to commemorate magnificent Jell-O creations, and to furnish tasty recipes for home use, and party décor.” Ah, so when I saw that 1963 Avocado Strawberry Ring recipe, she wasn’t being sarcastic when she said the mold was “extremely tasty”? Hmmmm, OK. Theresa if you ever read this, please know that I really do think your blog is cool! It’s just that I personally don’t like JELLO, and here are the reasons why:
1. It Feels Icky in My Mouth
Admit it – JELLO is slimy. Call me weird, but I just don’t like something wiggly and slippery on my tongue, even though it melts in your mouth.
2. It’s Made From Gross Stuff
It wasn’t until I was a teen, I believe, when I learned the awful truth about gelatin, the main ingredient in JELLO. That truth is that it’s (quoting Wikipedia here) “a protein produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the boiled bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, pigs, and horses.”
Ewww, EWWW, EWWWWWWW!!! Good gravy, how can anyone eat THAT? I’ve also read that a meat manufacturer’s process of actually making gelatin is one of the nastiest sights and smells known to mankind. More fun facts from Wikipedia, under Pretreatment: “Maximum fat content of the material should not exceed 1% before the main extraction step. If the raw material is hides and skin, size reduction, washing, removing hair from the hides, and degreasing are the most important pretreatments used to make the hides and skins ready for the main extraction step. Raw material preparation for extraction is done by three different methods: acid, alkali, and enzymatic treatments.”
Just reading that makes me feel like John Hurt's character in Alien just before he met his untimely and horrifying death. Weren't his last words "I don't feel so good."?
3. Truly Terrifying Retro Recipes
I know we’ve all seen the proliferation of vintage JELLO recipes on the many retro blogs out there – there’s a reason why people poke fun out of them. Even though JELLO was invented before the beginning of the 20th century, for some reason it enjoyed an advertising and cookbook heyday during the 50s and 60s. You just gotta wonder who came up with some of this stuff – especially JELLO salads, where unappetizing vegetable bits such as radishes and cabbage are suspended in the wiggly goop, like a science experiment gone horribly wrong.
Now it’s bad enough that people combined carrots with orange flavored JELLO, or broccoli with lime. But way back in the day JELLO actually made a “mixed vegetable” flavor that was meant for the purpose of making JELLO salads with veggies. I'm guessing there's a reason why this flavor is no longer available.
Did I mention that I'm not a JELLO fan? My apologies to those who are, but I couldn't hold back any longer. Please note that I actually like JELLO instant pudding, and pudding pops.
Here's a couple of vintage JELLO commercials, including a ridiculous one for JELLO Salad Week. "MMMMMM....bright, crisp vegetables in cool, shimmering JELLO: *there's* a salad for you!" There's a salad for you, alright!
This Chipmunks one is cool, even with the phallic imagery....yes, I said phallic. Just look at what that rascal Alvin did to a hotdog!