The one thing I could not abide in Provo was jello salad. I could do the honor code, the no-coffee thing, the knee-length-skirts and three hours of church. And funeral potatoes I whole-heartedly embraced. But jello salad? That was asking too much.


Which is why I was especially interested in reading this Slate article, “Mormonism’s Jell-O Mold”. The author comments on how


a gelatin-based snack food commonly associated with lowbrow cooking became the shining example of Utah cuisine. Where did this oddly specific stereotype come from, and what does it mean to label a group of people—especially a religious minority—with any one food?


Those of you interested in Mormonism, foodways, stereotypes, or marketing campaigns (or, like me, in all four) should check it out. I thought the author’s analysis was especially thought-provoking and I’d love to hear what you thought.





6 thoughts on “jell-o

  1. heidikins says:

    I don’t like jello salad, ever. My grandma used to make raspberry jello (with fresh raspberries and fresh peaches in it) layered on top of crushed pretzels and topped with whipped cream. I’d rather just have raspberries and peaches with whipped cream and skip the rest of that junk. At my very Mormon, very large family parties there hasn’t been a jello dessert in probably 15 years. And we are all a-okay with that.


  2. Donna says:

    Oh, that article was so very interesting. Growing up, I definitely remember a few jell-o salads, but it didn’t seem too gratuitous. And I remember the the ad campaign and the notoriety that Utah got for loving jello, but it is so interesting to see how marketing shapes things and directs, rather than mirrors, reality.

    I would seriously take jell-o salad over the honor code any day. And just out of curiosity, how much jell-o salad were you confronted with there in Utah?

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