NATIONAL JELL-O WEEK
What’s shakin’? The second full week of February celebrates National Jell-O Week! It’s the perfect time to whip up some tasty desserts using your favorite gelatin recipe.
Jell-O (gelatin) is a jiggly, wiggly dessert made from a protein called collagen. The collagen is extracted from boiled bones, connective tissues, and other animal products. It’s been a component of food, particularly desserts, since the 15th century.
Two cities claim the title of Jell-O capital of the world causing some competition. While Salt Lake City, Utah, and Des Moines, Iowa swap the capital title, Le Roy, New York about an hour east of Niagara Falls is home to the Jell-O museum.
- 1845 – Peter Cooper dabbled with and patented a prototype product. It did not gel with the public.
- 1902 – mass marketing jiggled sales upwards.
- 1923 – the silent film The 10 Commandments, directed by Cecil B. De Mille used Jell-o to create the effect of keeping the Red Sea parted as the Israelites escaped Egypt.
- 1924 – that same year, the company hired the soon-to-be-famous Norman Rockwell to draw colorful illustrations depicting Jell-O.
- 1925 – Jell-O received a patent for a sugarless gelatin dessert known as D-Zerta.
- 1925 – was a year of wiggle-room for the Jell-O Company, Inc. Postum Cereal Company bought Jell-O Company and plopped down with General foods which was sold to Kraft Foods
- 2009 – National Jell-O week is set.
Did you know?
Jell-O does more than show up at church and school socials. It can be sprinkled over cat litter, used as a hair or clothing dye, made into a finger paint, or used as an aid for ridding bathrooms of soap scum. When it comes to food, Jell-O dishes have been served as prune whip, and everything from horseradish, corned beef and chicken wind up in Jell-O salad.
The official report of Dick Solomon, the High Commander of the troops in 3rd Rock from the Sun, described how to deal with an unsuspecting serving of Jello:
“What To Do When You Encounter Jell-O:
1. Never let it see you’re afraid. Jell-O loves this.
2. Smile. Say you are a friend, you come in peace.
3. Reason with it.
4. Offer it as a gift.
5. Find out what it wants.
6. Let it see you have no weapons.
7. If it continues to jiggle menacingly, Stab it to death with a kitchen knife and throw it in the sink.”
–3rd Rock from the Sun: The Official Report on Earth by High Commander Dick Solomon.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalJelloWeek
Feel free to set your kitchen timer on “jiggle” anytime. Just break out the decorative molds and have a party. Or perhaps if you are over 21, celebrate the week with a Jell-O shot. All you need is cold water, Jell-O, vodka, or white rum. You can also:
- Share your favorite recipes
- Host a Jell-O tasting with the kids.
- Combine flavors to see what combination tastes best together.
- Watch old Jell-O commercials
Also, be sure to check out the National Day Calendar recipe pages for more inspiration.
Use #JelloWeek to share on social media.
NATIONAL JELL-O WEEK HISTORY
The Utah state legislature created National Jell-O week in 2001 to recognize all the contributions of Jell-O to the state. The week is now celebrated annually every second week of February.