It must be Jello, cause jam don't shake like that.
May 27, 2012 10:28 PM   Subscribe

It is a brave new world… of Jello.

South of the border, down Mexico way, gelatin artisans are developing secret techniques for encapsulating flowers and figures in solidified hemispheres. Labor-intensive, gorgeous, low-cal if perhaps less than delicious, Gelart Floral sees your Glass Block Holiday Jello and snorts mockingly.
posted by Scram (31 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

I don't think I'm ready for this jelly.
posted by birdherder at 10:35 PM on May 27, 2012 [9 favorites]

Those reminds me of vintage reverse carved lucite jewelry.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:51 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Gelatin artisans form part of a long and noble tradition.
posted by bicyclefish at 11:29 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can't wait to show this to my friend that encases Vienna sausage art in Jello.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:33 PM on May 27, 2012

Oh man the videos are nuts. They make these using spoons and dye?? I have to try this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:38 PM on May 27, 2012

San Francisco in Jello
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:46 PM on May 27, 2012

Spoons, dye and syringes, the latter apparently taking a lot of patience and dexterity that I can't see myself pulling off anytime soon. Pretty, but it still reminds me a bit of a centerpiece that would be used at my great-grandmother's dinner party.
posted by neewom at 11:59 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you're in downtown LA, there's a vendor that walks down Los Angeles st (seen him b/w 4th & 6th) selling these intricately crafted things, usually on weekends.

I'm channeling my inner Jonathan Gold here, but you will order one. It will be beautiful. You will feel equally sad and amazed while eating it, because it is like destroying a work of art. A slightly flavorless work of art, but still...
posted by raihan_ at 12:06 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can someone explain to me what I'm looking at. Are those actual flowers?
posted by timsneezed at 12:07 AM on May 28, 2012

It's too bad about the modern reputation of jello as some sort of 1950s food monstrosity created by garish housewives and forced on unwilling family during the holidays. It's just collagen which is an essential food most people don't get enough of with the fake stuff that passes for soups and sauces. It's what gives soup that smooth feel and soothing-gut feeling, why chicken soup is good when your sick. It's really good as an appetizer since it relaxes the gut and makes digestion easier. Why Broth is Beautiful.
posted by stbalbach at 12:19 AM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Two comments: 1) The amount of food colouring used in the video is probably more than I eat in an entire year.

2) That is some strong jelly. Yikes, I've seen rubber balls with more give.

Beautiful yes, but I have the feeling this wouldn't really be a taste sensation.
posted by smoke at 12:51 AM on May 28, 2012

I want the dye to be fruit flavored, but I doubt it is. Interesting idea, but yeah, needs to be stylistically updated for something so labor intensive to be popular in the states at the pricepoint it deserves. It reminds me a lot of blooming tea. Cool novelty, kind of quaintly genteel, but ultimately not delicious enough.
posted by Mizu at 1:17 AM on May 28, 2012

Here's a cute Brazilian guy making some flowers.

Is anybody else reminded of wagashi?
posted by Tarumba at 2:16 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

From the lede, I was expecting to read about how gelatin desserts were bringing us to the World State.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:28 AM on May 28, 2012

Can someone explain to me what I'm looking at. Are those actual flowers?

You can start by clicking the first video link.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:32 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is fascinating. I had no idea such stuff existed. Human ingenuity and the human drive to make art everywhere, out of the most unpromising and despised* materials, never ceases to amaze me. Thank you, MeFi, and Scram.

*'despised'? Yes. And with good reason. If you have never felt the despair of having 1950s Jello fruit salad placed before you by a well meaning hostess, count your post-Gen X blessings.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 4:14 AM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Slithy_Tove, it's not the Jello that's the problem, IMO. With the right fruit, Jello fruit salad can be good.
It's the Fruit Cocktail that's truly evil, Jello or not.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:14 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fruit cocktail in Jello still gives me nightmares. That, and "ambrosia."
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:24 AM on May 28, 2012

Jello fruit cocktail, ambrosia and circus peanuts: that's what I'm serving at the next meet-up.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:27 AM on May 28, 2012 [8 favorites]

Some of this idea is not very new. For example, traditional French cooking has Oeufs en Gelée.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:34 AM on May 28, 2012

Jello fruit cocktail, ambrosia and circus peanuts: that's what I'm serving at the next meetup.

Those sound like the attendees of the next meetup.
posted by chococat at 5:40 AM on May 28, 2012 [7 favorites]

Here's a photo of the display case at Grand Central Market in downtown L.A. which introduced me to this odd art form yesterday. My sister ordered one that looked like a water lily. It was $3.50, which seems far too little knowing that somebody spent at least ten minutes injecting the petals into place. It tasted of nothing. It was the firmest jello I have ever encountered. Our friends laughed at us, then turned away in disgust, as we each took one cross-section bite from the center of the flower and left it on the table.

I love Grand Central Market as an abiding public space, but it's hardly an interesting foodie destination. Finding these edible paperweights there blew my mind. Glad to be able to share the world of gelatina encapsulada, and wondering how long one of these would last if it were dropped to the bottom of a goldfish bowl and the lid sealed.
posted by Scram at 6:16 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

There will always be a moon over gelatin.
posted by orme at 7:54 AM on May 28, 2012

These are amazing. My grandma always served the jello with forlorn little bits of fruit - you know the stuff - little peach bits and bananas swimming around like little selkie produce, hoping they'll someday find their way back to their skins and escape.

I much prefer these. Though I also lack the dexterity it would take to create anything near this - my hands are just too shaky.
posted by routergirl at 8:18 AM on May 28, 2012

This reminds me of a lot of the Japanese food art in some way. Like the rock candy artists and such. People who are making completely transitory works of art intended for consumption and which cannot be preserved. I have always found that idea appealing on some level -- art which must be experienced quickly because it simply won't be around later.

Very cool. Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 8:32 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

You whiners have only dipped your pinkie toes in the somewhat-smelly, wading-end of the 7th circle of Jello hell.

Shredded carrots in orange Jello.

Shredded carrots.

Run, while you still can. It's too late for me. I have tasted them, and can never leave this hell; they haunt my memories still.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:54 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

IAmBroom, I grew up with shredded carrots in orange jello. I liked it.

And I find it comforting to be served the first 'solid' meal--including jello--in hospital, as it signifies release is near.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:30 PM on May 28, 2012

IAmBroom, I grew up with a 1950's, Midwesterner Mother raised in the tradition of church suppers. Yes we had Jello, nasty nasty Jello. Lime Jello with cottage cheese, shredded carrots AND raw onion. Lemon jello with pineapple bits, maraschino cherries, and shredded coconut. Tomato aspic with celery and horseradish. Even something with meat paste....oh the nightmares!

Coincidentally, while I had not eaten any Jello for years, I've suddenly started on a Jello kick because diet Jello is very fruity, cool, and tasty. I have cherry Jello with whipped cream for dessert tonight.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:43 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Secret Life of Gravy, what's your secret? Years of therapy, mind-bending hallucinogenics, EST... How have you escaped? It sounds like a perfect recipe for PTSD.

You have my deepest sympathies.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:45 AM on May 30, 2012

I'm very careful with my Jello and if I suspect raw onion I immediately call the bomb squad.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:53 PM on May 30, 2012

I think if I took a bite of Jell-O and discovered raw onion in it I would ... cry. Yes. I would literally burst into tears. What a terrible thing to do to someone.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:03 PM on May 30, 2012

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