JELL-O: A Biography

JELL-O: A Biography

by Carolyn Wyman
     
 

The author of SPAM: A Biography is back again-This time with the definitive biography of an even bigger edible American icon: JELL-0!

Who didn't grow up on JELL-O gelatin? Hospitals dished it out after your tonsils were removed and Mom always had a box stashed away in case of a dessert emergency.

For more than one hundred years, Jell-O has reigned as

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Overview

The author of SPAM: A Biography is back again-This time with the definitive biography of an even bigger edible American icon: JELL-0!

Who didn't grow up on JELL-O gelatin? Hospitals dished it out after your tonsils were removed and Mom always had a box stashed away in case of a dessert emergency.

For more than one hundred years, Jell-O has reigned as "America's Most Famous Dessert," selling more than one million packages a day and more than 500 million each year.

But where and when and how did it all begin? No one is more qualified than junk food authority Carolyn Wyman to tell the whole amazing truth of this fruit flavored dessert.

Complete with over two hundred photographs and illustrations, JELL-O: A Biography uncovers everything from the history of the product and its marketing and sales strategies through the year to off-the-wall recipes and alternative uses such as Jell-O shots and Jell-O wrestling.

Jell-O is not just a food product, it is part of America's history and culture. Painstakingly researched and playfully presented, JELL-O: A Biography is the sweet story of the primordial slime's success and a fabulously entertaining read. After all, there's always room for Jell-O.

AMAZING BUT TRUE:
Little-known facts about America's Most Famous Dessert
—By the 1920s Jell-O was served as a good ol' American welcome treat to immigrants at Ellis Island.
—Though Jell-O sponsored his radio show for years, according to his wife, Jack Benny "never ate the stuff."
—Who does eat it? Residents of Salt Lake City and Des Moines are neck-and-neck in annual Jell-O consumption-a competition they take very seriously.
—As a teenager, actor John Malkovich lost 70 pounds in 6 months on a Jell-O only diet.
—In Cecil B. De Mille's 1923 production of The Ten Commandments, Moses's parted Red Sea was created by superimposing running actors onto footage of a quivering strawberry Jell-O mold.
—A salad or a dessert? The great debate continues . . .

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR SPAM: A BIOGRAPHY
"Syndicated newspaper columnist Carolyn Wyman's witty, extensively illustrated overview playfully mixes Spam's history with examples of its use and abuse. . . .
Bottom line: Unexpectedly tasty dish."-People
"An affectionate tribute to the mushy, pink concoction of pork and ham that has been slithering onto dinner tables around the world."-Los Angeles Times
"Wyman is the perfect biographer for Spam, never losing her ability to write tongue-in-cheek."-San Francisco Examiner
Publishers Weekly
Carolyn Wyman follows Spam: A Biography with JELL-O: A Biography to honor the shimmering staple now in its second century. Invented in 1897 by Pearle Wait, the processed food was ahead of its time and immediately worked its sweet way into the hearts and stomachs of America. In war and peace, sickness and health, Jell-O was there. Jack Benny and Bill Cosby were both spokesmen for the products and a cut-up Jell-O box figured in the conviction of spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Chock full of history, lore and ephemera as well as recipes for main courses and desserts, ideas for crafts, and just plain silly stuff, this one little volume delivers, just as "the dainty dessert" has always done. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
While we all have enjoyed a Jell-O salad, or dessert, there is much more to the Jell-O saga than the average consumer knows. This book is filled with loads of history, lots of trivia and even a few recipes. Did you know that Jell-O played a key role in the conviction of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg? According to the FBI, Julius cut a Jell-O box into two oddly shaped pieces and gave one piece to his brother-in-law to use in identifying his Soviet spy courier. Jell-O was actually invented in 1897 but in look, feel and convenience it was way ahead of its time. It has been used as the basis for art projects: paint, finger paint, play dough, sand art, dioramas and sculpture. It can be used for deodorizing cat litter and even as hair color and setting gel! An index would have been helpful in finding specific items of interest, but perhaps the author's intention was to have the reader simply read the entire book. Category: Cookbooks, Useful Arts & Crafts. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Harcourt, 146p. illus., $15.00. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Shirley Reis; IMC Dir., Lake Shore M.S., Mequon, WI SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156011235
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/31/2001
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
8.01(w) x 8.06(h) x 0.47(d)

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Meet the Author

Carolyn Wyman is the author of Spam: A Biography, I'm a Spam Fan, and The Kitchen Sink Cookbook. She has written for several trade magazines and national publications, such as the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times. For over ten years her weekly column, "Supermarket Sampler," a review of new food products syndicated by Universal Press, has appeared in more than one hundred newspapers across the country. Wyman lives in Middletown, Connecticut.

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