Sunday, May 06, 2007

Jello - possibly the best product in America

When I was a child I loved Jello. Preferably orange, with canned mandarin oranges in it for a bit of added flavour (or maybe the occasional marshmallow). Jello was delicious...sweet, cool, juicy...and it was served WITH the meal so you got dessert, as well, if you were good.

As I got older, I learned that it was not sophisticated to like Jello so I stopped seeking it out. I made fun of Jello salads that had vegetables (carrots and celery were common), laughed uproariously at the recipes that had meat in them, and refused to eat the thing my mom made with cottage cheese, lime Jello and pineapple.

But if the right Jello was available at, say, a family reunion or church potluck, I would take some and secretly savour every bite.

Then about six years ago, everyone I knew went on Atkins or the Zone and suddenly sugar-free Jello was cool. Diet friendly, sweet and delicious...the perfect treat after a meal of meat and more meat (or a 40/30/30 balanced small-plate special). It was safe to love Jello again. I almost always had little ramekins of jello in the fridge, just waiting for a late-night craving or a refreshing afternoon snack.

Here in the UK, Jello is not available. It's made by Kraft, so I'm not sure why.

They have this fruity stuff called jelly that is supposed to be the same. If you make it from scratch, you have to use gelatin sheets and fruit. If you make it from a package, the gelatin gets clumpy no matter how hot the water...it is impossible to get a smooth, easy consistency and the final product is always substandard. What I wouldn't give for jello now.

Jello, I'm sorry for every bad thing I've ever said about you. Please forgive me.

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