Monday, September 21, 2009

Congealed Evidence

How did I miss this? I mean, this is truly cutting edge stuff! Mixed Vegetable Jell-O and Celery Jell-O. For vegetable salads! For people who just - can't get enough vegginess in their wobbly green molded gelatin.

Naturally I wanted to know all about this bizarre trend and how long it lasted before it went away.

Wikipedia has a list of discontinued flavors, and includes Italian Salad flavor (ugh) and Mixed Vegetable, but fails to mention Celery.

Kraft Foods has a Jell-O timeline and they mention that the 1960s saw the introduction of a Gelatin For Salads line which included Celery, Italian Salad, Mixed Vegetable and Seasoned Tomato (click the 1953 button to reveal all). That's because the "congealed salad" (such a yum-evoking name!) was so popular then. You would have thought "jellied salad" would have been a better choice of phrase, wouldn't you? Jellies are bouncy and light and potentially fun. Congealed things? Makes you think of the out-of-date cottage cheese in the back of the fridge.

Just to the right is a 1968 congealed salad recipe from one of my most prized retro cookbooks, Favorite Recipes Of Jaycees' Wives: Salads. And it actually calls for this veggie-flavored Jell-O. And vinegar. And Worcestershire sauce. Topped with mayonnaise.

If that salad is symbolic in any way of the 20th century, I'm glad we're well into the 21st.

The lovely green-dominated ad is from Wandering Magpie at Flickr. There are also some good pictures and fine talk about weird Jell-O flavors - including the veggie ones - over here at the Roadfood forums. And over at Mental Floss, veggie Jell-O has some worthy (read: disturbing and gross) company.

Want more Jaycee salady goodness? Hey, why not! Live it up and check out these astonishing dispatches from the back-of-the-cupboard archives of Kitchen Retro (and yes, Krunchy Goo is the actual name of a salad):

Potluck With Lucrezia Borgia
Krunchy Goo, Where Are You?
Pickle Stretcher Salad

14 comments:

Condo Blues said...

I never understood why someone thought it was a good idea to put celery in Jello.

Lidian said...

Condo Blues - A penchant for living on the edge, perhaps? (the edge where food meets theater of the absurd)

Grace said...

I remember this stuff - not that we were a jello sort of family. Italians don't do jello...

Lidian said...

Grace - We did do Jell-O, but not this kind, for which I am thankful (the latter,that is, not the former).

Shinade aka Jackie said...

I remember this stuff very weel and I always thought it was disgusting. I still just don't get the whole bit with taking Jello and adding veggies or worse yet, sour cream, mayonnaise or cottage cheese!

I'll take mine straight up if I have to have it!!

Lidian said...

Shinade - I remember the premade ring molds they had in the grocery store, opaque with some sort of Cool Whip and full of weird chunks. They still sell them here in Canada, i have no idea who would want to buy them.

Wendy said...

Wow. I would pass that one up, no matter what the century.

It reminds me of my great-grandma, trying to make a cake with ground beef, salad mix, and various other things she found around the house. The difference was, she had severe dementia.

vanilla said...

Okay, old as I am, I missed that one. We did shredded carrots in orange Jell-o and shredded cabbage or pineapple in lime Jell-o, and yes, even cottage cheese betimes. Not that I want to 'disgust' Jackie.

Grandma had the worst ever gelatin remedy, though. One must drink Knox unflavored gelatin. It's good for the nails, you know.

Lidian said...

Wendy - It's not good in any century, no. And your great-grandma had an excellent excuse. Jell-O, not so much.

vanilla - I used to hear about drinking Knox for your nails, too. Never did it though. Ugh.

Jude said...

I've eaten lime jello with carrots and actually it wasn't totally disgusting, but that's it and actually the Knox is good for your nails

Amy said...

gawd that looks disgusting!

GreedyGirl said...

yeah this tops the weird ones but interesting to learn

stopping by to drop a card

Lidian said...

Jude - I think I would eat coffee Jell-O for my nails, but not with anything in it.

Amy - Sure does.

GreedyGirl - Welcome and thanks for visiting :)

Marcheline said...

Is anyone else wondering how the heavy, chunky vegetables end up perfectly distributed throughout the Jell-O in the picture, when we all know that Jell-O starts out as a thin, runny liquid? Hmmmmm?

I've tried the "drinking Knox gelatin for your hair and nails" bit - mixed in orange juice, it's almost as tasty as Metamucil! Really! Mmmmmm! (gag)