Upon first hearing that an actual Jell-O Museum exists, a funny image flew through my head of an entire building packed full of multi-colored mounds of quivering Jell-O.
The museum doesn’t actually feature the gelatinous dessert in ready-to-eat form, but it does pay homage to the man who invented it and the very successful company he founded (which is today owned by Kraft).
It never occurred to me that someone actually “invented” Jell-O, but this is exactly what happened way back in 1897 in the town of LeRoy, New York. The birthplace of Jell-O is understandably giddy about their claim to fame and have erected a museum honoring the town’s contribution to the stomachs of America in the same location the treat was originally produced.
Very few brands have survived more than 100 years; even less remain as successful over time as Jell-O has. The Jell-O Museum tells the story of how this has happened and treats visitors to a variety of nostalgic packaging and advertising campaigns.
Hmm… I wonder how popular the dessert would actually be if people truly understood how gelatin is made. And so, I leave you with this quote from Wikipedia:
The gelatin in JELL-O comes from the collagen in cow or pig bones and connective tissues. To make gelatin, manufacturers grind up these various parts and pre-treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to break down cellular structures and release proteins like collagen. The resulting mixture is boiled, and as the collagen breaks down, the resulting product, gelatin, is easily extracted because it forms a layer on the surface of the boiling mixture.
Yum! But, I have to admit, this won’t stop me from eating the stuff.