"¢ What exactly is Jell-O? According to the original 1845 patent, it is a "transparent concentrated or solidified jelly containing all the ingredients fitting it for table use, in a portable form, and requiring only the addition of a prescribed quantity of hot water to dissolve it, when it may be poured into glasses or molds and when cold will be fit for use." If that didn't whet your appetite, I don't know what would!

"¢ Other things that have gelatin include marshmallow, the shells of hard and soft capsules for medicine, and paintballs. And to refresh you memory on what gelatin is ... "The raw materials used in the production of gelatin are from healthy animals and include cattle bone, cattle hides and fresh, frozen pigskins." Mmmm.

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There are plenty of uses for Jell-o, including Art. Artist Liz Hickock makes Jell-O architecture. Jell-O can also be used for espionage.

"¢Â Jell-O vs humans: On March 17, 1993, technicians at St. Jerome hospital in Batavia test a bowl of lime Jell-O with an EEG machine and confirm the earlier testing by Dr. Adrian Upton that a bowl of wiggly Jell-O has brain waves identical to those of adult men and women. Jell-O has also been used as a cancer therapy.

"¢ From the Annals of Bringing people together: During the 1920s, immigrants entering Ellis Island in New York City were served Jell-O on arrival as a way for the people to say "Welcome to America!"

"¢ Jell-O is even a friend-maker in space. Shannon Lucid, an astronaut on a 140 day mission aboard the Russian Mir space station in 1996 kept track of time by wearing pink socks and eating Jell-O on Sundays. She shared the snack with her Russian crewmates for Easter and soon they all began eating Jell-O every Sunday.

"¢Â There used to be an all-Jell-O restaurant in Atlanta and I never knew! "The restaurant, Hello, I'm Gellatin, has 20 dishes on the menu, every one made with Jell-O. " To be honest, I don't even know how this is possible.

"¢ And of course, no Jell-O post would be complete without a word from spokesman Bill Cosby:

"¢ Need more Jell-O? Buy Jell-O molds or visit the Jell-O Museum.

"¢ My mother used to pack me a Jell-O cup for dessert every day in my lunchbox for years (what can I say, I'm a creature of habit). What about you, Flossers? Any Jell-O memories or recipes to share?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.