The common jello salad is a dish on its own, its visual appearance makes it the star of the dinner table. But how about serving jello as a side?
Just when you think you have seen it all, something new comes along… The creativity wasted on jello salads never ceases to amaze me.
A jello salad from cranberries, nuts and maynonnaise is already pretty gross. Sticking in a candle to create a festive mood is brining this to yet another level. I wonder if and where that whole new tradition has actually caught on.
After months of being strangely fascinated by Jello salads in all their disguises, I have decided to make my own!
I am somewhat picky as far as vegetables are concerned, and many of those often found in jellos salads I don’t like at all, like carrots, celery or radishes. So I selected a couple of ingredients I normally don’t mind eating but still tried to keep it in the proper style.
In Germany it would require some effort to get hold of US Jell-O, but Dr. Oetker ‘Götterspeise’ – ‘god’s food’ (!) – does the job just as well. We don’t have too many flavours here, but lemon is just perfect. Pimento-stuffed olives are a given, then I chose prawns and red pepper. I don’t own a proper jelly mold but my brioche mold also looks quite nice for it. The method of preparation was gleaned from yesterday’s Sequin Salad. Beware, klicking on the next pictures will open them in ‘shock size’
Finished, still in the mold: Looks pretty scary already
Side view: Oh. My. God.
And ready to taste on my authentic 1960s serving plate
The taste: atrocious as expected. I ended up picking out all the bits and disposed the gelatin in the toilet. Even Mircale Whip wouldn’t have helped it to taste any better.
Here we have a typical clear jello salad with funky vegetable particles floating in it weightlessly.
As if this wasn’t enough of an atrocity, a look at the recipe reveals another infamy:
The secret of success here is the use of raw cauliflower. With this ‘sequin salad’ (oh my…) you get the double whammy: crunch’n'goo in your mouth and extra action in your guts.
Anyone who knows at least a little about cooking and baking will know that a soufflé is an egg-based dish that increases in size considerably when baked in an oven. But ‘soufflé’ has also become a euphemisim for a jello salad, probably because of the shape which is pretty different from a baked soufflé anyway.
This concoction features tuna in gelified mayonnaise – a particularly gruesome atrocity. If you are courageous enough to read the recipe, you will learn that the mayo is generously delayed with water, for that extra minus of taste.
Optical presentation is lovingly executed with cute pimiento strips snuggling around the voluptious curves of the blob, the green salad leaves creating an intriguing contrast. The mandatory stuffed olive sitting on top of the central barf adds another dash of colour.
To begin the parade of culinary atrocities there can only be one dish: The jello salad. Born in the mid 20th century in the United States, it was particularly popular in the South. And there are rumours that such things are still made in a number of households.