Finger Jello

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from The Food Librarian


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    someone explain the significance of “finger” rather than just regular layered jello


    Seems pretty self-explanatory. Jello in cubes that you can pick up with *fingers*, rather than using a utensil.


    Beat me to it.


    oh… thanks for explaining. i dont want there to be a misunderstanding like the last time someone said “Finger foods” and i took it as a suggestion.


    i knew a girl who called herself jello.

    in that context, the title of this post takes on a new meaning.


    Jello is so damn gross. A very American phenomenon.


    thatonejimguy: And a much sexier meaning too.


    fuck you, jello is awesome.

    and if you want to get national about it, look back to the middle ages in england and france.
    google ‘aspic’ and find the horrifying shit that europe did with gelatin long before someone smart figured out to stop adding meat and weird shit and start adding sugar and fruit.


    juiceyfruit: Italian delis and butchers still make aspic (or very similar) and call it head cheese. Nasty ass stuff, as the name implies.



    Thanks for reminding me. I’d almost managed to purge my mind of the very concept, and you had to bring it up again…

    Head cheese is “spare” meat encased in aspic, sliced and eaten like lunchmeat. Clean and boil the head (of whatever it is you want to make headcheese out of: cow, pig, sheep, etc) to get the gelatin out. Gelatin comes from the collagen in the bones, connective tissue, and thighs of your mom and other animals, and aspic is just another name for gelatin with meat in it.

    Be sure to scrape the skull to get the little meat bits off of it that will start flaking off disgustingly as it cooks. After boiling the shit out of it for a while, take out the head and… do something productive with it, while you take the remaining stuff in the pot to let it cool and firm up. Voila, headcheese. Lunch is served!


    juiceyfruit: I worked in an Italian deli in NYC when I was in high school. Head cheese was just the nastiest stuff and all the little old Italian ladies would order it and all I could think was “Thank god that is not my mother.” Pastrami was ok but I really disliked olive loaf. Who thought these things up and said “Ooh, I know what would be good to mix together.”?



    Olive loaf is just bologna.. with olives. I can dig that. I don’t know who thought putting them together was a good idea – like, someone in the bologna factory accidentally dropped their lunch in the bologna machine one day and figured what the hell, and ate it anyways. Pastrami rocks, too. And corned beef. INTERNETS LIKE MEAT.

    The answer to all of your questions is, of course, “poorppl”. When you’re starving and all you’ve got is a cow head, I guess boiling the shit out of it til you get something you can chew on sounds pretty OK, and when you grow up eating it, I guess you call it “good”.


    juiceyfruit: I don’t think “poorppl” is necessarily a true answer… Every culture has a different palate, that can be a result of a million different things… being poor might be one of them, but sometimes it’s as simple as availability and tradition…


    Yes, “availability”. Translation: we got nothing else to eat. Definition: poor. “tradition”: we got used to it and now our kids have fond memories associated with it growing up. Learned trait born out of an early lack of availability.

    Any other implications of “poor” other than that are your own impositions on the word and not my doing.


    juiceyfruit: Wait wat?

    How did you jump from “availability and tradition” to “Poor”? You are the only one here inferring meanings from the words that do not exist.

    Tradition is a learned trait, but it is not born form being “poor”. Tradition can be of rich things as well as poor things. Your have defined “tradition” in an unneccesarily narrow fashion, simply to artificially bolster your point of view. Thanksgiving turkey is a tradition. Do you think that is a tradition born of poverty?

    And even the term “lack of availability” =/= poor. Lack of availability is not always because people are poor. There are many reasons for availability to be limited, that have absolutely nothing to do with being poor. Think outside the box a little bit.

    For instance, if you live in Mongolia, and the only animals that are strong enough to breed in the mountains of Mongolia are goats, then that’s what would become traditional Mongolian food. Even those who are rich enough to afford cows, pigs, chicken, ect will still view goat meat, and goat milk based foods as traditional food.

    That is eventually what their palate will have become accustomed to eating, generation after generation, and regardless of how rich they become, that is what even the richest Mongolian will have a taste for.

    Look outside of your perception of how things are supposed to work, and you’ll realize that there is a lot more to things that what you think you see on the surface…



    Thanksgiving.. is not out of poverty? Yes, you jackass, it is. There was no food, then there was food, so there was a party. Turkeys are native to north america, they’re symbolic, and they’re really fucking tasty.

    You seem to be attaching some sort of valuation of personal worth or happiness to the term “poor” and “poverty”, and assuming that I am. Poor is not a judgement of personal worth, just a statement of… lack of availability. SO STOP AGREEING WITH ME SO LOUDLY ABOUT IT. You only sound like a bag o’ dicks trying to preach. No food = poor.

    Eat nothing, or goats -> better eat some goats -> goats become delicious -> cows introduced, also delicious -> goats do not become less delicious/habit of eating goats does not become unlearned



    juiceyfruit: You aren’t making much sense…

    From your very own description, the turkey sounds like it was a food for a time of plenty, not poverty. If they ate turkey when they had no food, your argument might make sense, but right now, you are just contradicting yourself…

    I haven’t attached any deeper meaning to the terms “poor” or “poverty” than what they intrinsically have. I’m simply disagreeing your interpretation of how traditions are formed.

    Your whole argument is based on the flawed premise that someone eating what you consider bad is because they were poor, and that is not always true. In fact, the development processes for the traditions you cite in your last post actually substantiate my point.

    Perhaps you should revisit your premises? Or are you trying to pull the “Rabbit season!” “Duck season!” game with me? Sadly, I think in much too simplistic terms for that to work, so I’m afraid you won’t win… 🙂


    Remember that whole bit about the starving before the natives showed them what was OK to eat and shared some food? Corn and all that? The idea was “holy crap, thanks, we were going to die but now we have something to eat”. I’d call that “born out of poverty”.

    Going back to head cheese, it does not exactly provide the most savory of products. Seems to come out of a need to stretch the use of the carcass, which otherwise provides a ton of readily accessible things to eat that are immediately obvious without having to boil and scrape for hours to produce them. I’m not saying that’s the case with EVERYTHING EVER. In this case, yes, I suspect it was how things went down.


    juiceyfruit: I think you are still just re-interpreting the events to support your argument. And ignoring the fact that they weren’t eating turkey because they were poor.

    By all accounts, the settlers were rich. But the thing is, everything they did after the Native Americans arrived, they could have done before. The natives simply introduced them to new local foods, such as the Indian corn, eel, and wild turkey, they did not know of before.

    I think their problem was ignorance, not poverty. You could argue that their ignorance caused their poverty, but even that wouldn’t be entirely true. They were actually pretty prosperous, they just happened to have bad winters once in a while.

    So I still maintain that Thanksgiving turkey is a tradition that celebrated of survival, plenty and friendship with the natives, not poverty.

    Regarding your thoughts on head cheese, your last paragraph does make sense. Many cultures have a history of being as efficient with their resources as possible. Not necessarily because there is a lack of resources (or are poor, as you suggest), but because they were loathe to waste anything.

    It is a good tradition, that has been the way of many people who have lived off the land. Being poor was never a prerequisite for this way of thinking. It was simply being efficient.

    I sometimes wish were were more like them in that regard. We have become entirely too wasteful…


    What I will say is that it is fully a matter of perspective. We are arguing essentially the same thing from different angles – and my statement was born out of facetiousness. Welcome to internet lulz penis etc. Call it “efficiency”, call it “necessity”, call it “poorppl”, call it what you will.

    And please note the relative lack of headcheese in modern days now that other tastier and more easily obtained meats are available, except by some stalwart old ladies. That to me says “probably more need-based than not”.


    juiceyfruit: I dunno if you can realistically call it a matter of perspective if you are arguing a point borne of facetiousness… LOL


    I’ve done more than finger jello…

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