Gelatin foodstuffs have a long culinary history. The ancient Egyptians made a gelatin-like substance from protein-rich animal materials that they used in their cuisine. It wasn't until the 17th century invention of pressure cooking devices that the process of creating gelatin became significantly less labor and time intensive. The process was refined in the following decades, with the US inventor Peter Cooper filing the patent for Improvement in the preparation of portable gelatine in 1845. He never made much of the patent, and sold it to Pearle B. Wait, who's wife, May Davis Wait, helped turn the gelatin into Jell-O, both naming the product and turning it into a sweet, fruit-flavored dessert. They, too, had no luck selling Jell-O, and sold the patent for $450 to Orator Francis Woodward, who struggled for a period, before turning to marketing to increase interest in the dessert (NYT). By 1902, Jell-O was "America's Favorite Dessert," at least according to the advertisements. And now you know the history of gelatin and Jello. [more inside]
A possible new 'ethical' source for popular food-additive gelatin: humans. Vegan reaction not yet forthcoming. [more inside]
And here is a video of Jell-O cubes bouncing, shot at 6200 frames per second.
My Jello Americans is the future of jello shots.
Where are your limits? Inspired in part by mikhail's earlier post on the gelatin used in Guinness (and Bass), for those with voluntary diet restrictions (kosher, halal, vegetarian, etc.), what unexpected choices have you faced? Does it go beyond food? Toothpaste? Collagen injections? Silk? Buying a car with leather seats? A used car with leather seats?