When one isn't following comedy twitter accounts like @70s_party...
Or one isn't reading comedy websites or books like this or this...
It's fascinating to hear about the history of gelatine molded food.
I had no idea that prior to the invention of Jell-O, "From the early Renaissance through the early-20th century, gelatin “salads” and desserts were prestigious dishes and the provenance of master chefs. “Today, people who want to parade their wealth buy a Porsche,” argues Carolyn Wyman, author of Jell-O: A Biography. “In pre-industrial days, they would instead serve their guests fancy molded ice cream or gelatin desserts.”"
As showcased so vividly in the above episode of THE SUPERSIZERS GO (and other episodes): "Gelatin proper, as opposed to starch-based “gelatin,” is basically meat or fish jelly, produced by heating and breaking down the collagen proteins found in animal tissue and bones—especially joints. This thick, cloudy jelly is quite effective at blocking air or bacteria. So as long as humans have been cooking meat and fish, we’ve likely been using gelatin to preserve it. These simple gelatins-as-preservative
were seemingly, for most of history, common utility foods, and this is still the case. As Ward points out, the headcheese found in supermarket deli cases “are off bits suspended in pork jelly.”
It's fascinating to learn more about the history of gelatine foods, and the codified language of the food. "Gelatin primarily rose to become a status symbol, though, because of the wealth implied by the time and effort required to make it regularly. Rounds of boiling and straining out impurities took more than a day to complete. The 14th-century French chef Guillaume Tirel, a.k.a. Taillevent, explained in his Le Viandier that, “He who would make a gelatin is not allowed to sleep.” Gelatin wasn’t expensive or hard to make on its own, argues medieval food historian Ken Albala. Russian families of all classes, for example, have long prepared kholodets, savory meat cuts suspended in gelatin, as a winter holiday treat. But serving gelatins, especially elaborate ones, often, rather than as a special holiday dish, was a clear sign of wealth. It showed you could hire a dedicated cooking staff to go through the arduous and (frankly) stinky process of making it."
Who knew? Fascinating!