Food: Jell-O

Jell-O debuted with four flavors back in 1897 - strawberry, raspberry, orange, and lemon. Today the product line includes more than 150 flavors of gelatin, pudding, cups, pops, and more. Uploaded by

Is there anyone who doesn’t like at least some of Jell-O’s products? It’s something we grew to love as kids, made for us by parents because it was cheap, relatively easy to make, and if not healthy, then certainly not harmful. One of the first “cooking” I ever did was to make chocolate Jell-O pudding, stirring in the milk and continuing to stir until it thickened. Chef Robin, whose repertoire in the kitchen never advanced much.

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Rather than go on about Jell-O, here are some interesting facts about this wiggly stuff:

  • The first patent for gelatin dessert was held by Peter Cooper. Who he? He invented the Tom Thumb steam engine. Logical connection?
  • In 1897, the first flavors of Jell-O were strawberry, orange, raspberry, and lemon. Chocolate and cherry came along in 1904, peach in 1907.
  • Early Jell-O ads were created by artists such as Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell (Great American Things, June 12, 2009)
  • Chocolate pudding debuted in 1934.
  • Bill Cosby began advertising for Jell-O in 1974, and continued to represent the company for almost 30 years.
  • Today, all 150+ Jell-O products belong to Kraft Foods

Jell-O advertising has been part of the culture for 100 years. Even though it hasn’t been used in decades, I bet you can sing the five rising notes of the jingle “J-E-L-L-O.” And “There’s always room for Jell-O” is one of the enduring tag lines of modern advertising.

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