NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O

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Greyghost
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2008/05/06 18:12:11 (permalink)

NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O

NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O

In one amazing feat of reporting the NY Times has not only discovered the origins of Jell-O, but has discovered Upstate New York as well. I for one am impressed that the Times was interested in Jell-O, but at the same time discovered there is life west of the Hudson River.

How these twin discoveries happened is a matter of conjecture, but I will hazard one. I imagine a reporter in a Manhattan bar chilling out with some Jell-O shots and wondering where Jell-O came from originally. Some smart-aleck barroom guru tells him the answer lies west of the Hudson. The intrepid reporter crosses the Hudson, finding not only life-forms, but the origins of Jell-O itself.

OK, I have had enough fun with the Times. Here is the article. Jell-O fans will find it interesting and informative. As for me, I am still trying to figure out how this guy even found LeRoy, NY.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/nyregion/04jello.html?ref=dining

Of course, your responses are always appreciated.
#1

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    Pigiron
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/06 20:33:29 (permalink)
    As a proud resident of Peter Cooper Village, I take umbrage!! Everyone knows that Peter Cooper patented the very first gelatin dessert, and is widely recognized as the inventor of Jell-O. Poor reporting! The story is all right there on the plaque on the Peter Cooper Monument in Cooper Park, which is interestingly NOT located in Peter Cooper Village. It's over by Cooper Union. Any questions?
    #2
    Scorereader
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/07 11:11:05 (permalink)
    Peter Cooper's Patent was for a gelatin dessert, but he didn't invent gelatin, nor could he figure out how to make it appealing. Jell-O, the brand named product, as opposed to the generic gellatin, was invented in LeRoy, NY.
    The reporting may have left off Peter Cooper, but Jell-O, as we know it today, was indeed invented in LeRoy.
    see: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/whatstuff/stuff/8120jello.html
    #3
    rumaki
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/07 11:20:18 (permalink)
    When I lived in Rochester, NY in the early 1980s, I seem to recall reading a story in the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle that one of the early Jello flavors was chocolate. Not chocolate pudding -- chocolate Jello. I believe it was discontinued, reinstated, then discontinued again. I have trouble imagining what chocolate Jello would be like.
    #4
    nostalgicfoodguy
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/08 17:52:37 (permalink)
    How interesting you should mention that 'rumaki'. As soon as I began to read this thread, I wanted to post the little-known fact that at one time, Jell-o was made in chocolate, vanilla, coffee and tea flavors.

    So you think chocolate is weird? Try imaging tea or vanilla flavor jell-o.

    I seem to remember reading that the chocolate flavor was made just before/around the start of WWII.
    #5
    RubyRose
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/08 19:29:58 (permalink)
    On one trip to visit some of our company's customers in NY, I made a detour to LeRoy for a visit to the Jell-O Gallery. My gift shop acquisition of a large brain-shaped Jell-O mold became the hit of grade school Halloween parties and Girl Scout potlucks for years to come.

    One of my hobbies is collecting old recipe booklets from food manufacturers and I have several from Jell-O. At the time of one issued in 1916, available flavors (@10 cents per pack) were strawberry, raspberry, lemon, orange, cherry, peach and chocolate. They also had Jell-O Ice Cream Powder for the same price in vanilla, strawberry, lemon, chocolate and unflavored. That product could also be used to make puddings.

    By the time a 1924 booklet illustrated by Maxfield Parrish was published, they were down to six Jell-O flavors, dropping the peach but retaining the chocolate. Most of the chocolate Jell-O recipes used boiling water to dissolve the mix and milk or cream as the second cup of liquid so it wasn't just the quivering clear brown mess I first imagined.

    I don't remember seeing vanilla except for the ice cream mix, whose name was later changed to pudding mix and never saw a tea flavored one but I don't have a complete collection so it could have had a short life like the celery flavor.
    #6
    Greyghost
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/08 19:52:12 (permalink)
    Great post Ruby Rose. Nothing compares to old documents and first person accounts. Thank you very much, I found your post fascinating.
    #7
    RubyRose
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/09 20:10:25 (permalink)
    What’s really fascinating is following new bride Nan through a series of vignettes beginning with the first dinner she makes for husband Jack (strawberry Jell-O for dessert). As I turn the pages, I can see Nan’s hostess abilities, self-confidence and even motherhood skills (no mention of pregnancy; only a discrete “Another Caller Wants Jell-O Too”) grow in proportion to the complexity of the recipes she made with Jell-O.

    Here’s part of a page with the lovely and resourceful Nan.




    #8
    Greyghost
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/09 20:27:47 (permalink)
    Great post and photo Ruby...keep them coming. Thank you, I loved it.
    #9
    nostalgicfoodguy
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/12 09:57:39 (permalink)
    Here's a link to a page on a website called "Recipes Of The Damned" (no longer updated unfortunately) which has a recipe and a couple illustrations from a 1933 booklet titled "What Mrs. Dewey did with the new Jello".

    The recipe is this gagging-ly awful mixture of lemon jello, cabbage, ketchup, vinegar and celery salt, obviously to make up for the fact that there was no celery flavored jello.

    http://www.batemania.com/recipes/020100.html
    #10
    nostalgicfoodguy
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/12 10:23:19 (permalink)
    #11
    nostalgicfoodguy
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/18 23:03:33 (permalink)
    More weird jello facts:

    Two other flavors that flopped were apple and cola. Coffee jello was first introduced in 1918.

    Jello made other "vegetable jello" flavors in the 1960's besides celery: Italian Salad flavor, mixed vegetable flavor and seasoned tomato flavor! Here's a photo:

    #12
    HollyDolly
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/23 10:05:10 (permalink)
    There were other companies that made their own version of Jello too during that time period.
    Sears Roebuck in their grocery catalogs sold Montclair gelatin,their brand of jello.Would have to look and see if Sears sold chocolate flavour,but they sold strawberry,cherry,etc.Can't recall if Montgomery Wards also had their own version of jello,but both companies sold groceries as did M.W.Savage of Minnesota.
    Not sure when Sears and Wards stopped selling groceries,but it may have been sometime during the depression.
    I have a little book written by Ida Bailey Allen called Entertaining at Home,which was written for the Coca-Cola Company back in the 30s.
    It has a recipe in it for Coca Cola gelatin,using a package of lemon jello and coca-cola for the liquid.It also has recipes for punches using Coke as well as other food recipes,plus suggestions for parties.Neat little book to read.
    I know momma never bought the vegetable flavoured jellos.
    We bought the various fruit ones though.
    #13
    Foodbme
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/23 11:28:04 (permalink)
    All of this is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong--------Everyone knows it was Bill Cosby who invented Jell-O. Just ask any kid!
    #14
    Scorereader
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    RE: NY Times Discovers Origins Of Jell-O 2008/05/23 13:45:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Foodbme

    All of this is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong--------Everyone knows it was Bill Cosby who invented Jell-O. Just ask any kid!


    nope. that was Jello pudding pops!
    #15
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