The weird and funny story of Jell-O


It’s National Eat Your Jell-O Day and guess what? I will boycott it. You know why? Because I think Jell-O is really bad. Where does Jell-O even come from and who decided he deserved his own National Day? I mean, what the hell is that in this fresh and fruity hell?

I remember eating Jell-O when I was a kid. When I was in 3rd grade, I had to have my tonsils removed and spent a night in the hospital to recover. I remember learning, quickly, that Jell-O was one of the few things I could eat that didn’t feel like someone was ripping a razor blade in the back of my throat. It was the only time in my life that I found solace in Jell-O.

Since it’s National Eat Your Jell-O Day, I decided to do a little research on the product. Here is what I discovered.

Jell-O was trademarked in 1897 by Pearle Wait. Honestly, I don’t know who Pearle is or what her problem was, but pull yourself together man. But, according to, Pearle eventually sold the brand and recipe to Frank Woodward, who made it a household name.

Alright, let me just lay this out. I’m not a fan of gelatin in general. I don’t think food should jiggle and I don’t think the consistency of a food should be able to hold other food in suspended animation.

Here is part A:

And, since we are on the subject of gelatin. You know what it is? Let’s consult the handy Merriam-Webster dictionary. Get ready and save your cookies. You are going to want to throw them away.

Gelatin is defined as a gummy or sticky protein obtained by boiling animal tissues and used in particular as food.

Oh, and for an additional point of reference, this tissue is usually harvested from cows and pigs. So the next time you eat Jell-O and think it tastes a bit “gummy”, just suppose you’re chewing on some poor farm animal’s elbow.

Look, Jell-O was one of the most popular desserts in this country. There are more than 20 flavors. But, in recent years, sales of the product have plummeted. Business Insider put together this story, chronicling the rise and fall of Jell-O.

Now, as gnarly as I think Jell-O is, I’m going to make a concession (uh, maybe that’s a confession). Although I’m never going to eat and enjoy Jell-O for dessert, I probably wouldn’t say “No” to a shot of Jell-O.

Girl in the Red Hat/Unsplash

Girl in the Red Hat/Unsplash

I’ve been to several parties where they were the star. I might not eat Jell-O on National Eat Your Jell-O Day, but I might drink some.


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