These retro jello recipes aren’t the scary retro recipes we see sometimes with fish in sweet jello or other horrifying recipes. These are delicious!
Can you talk about retro food and not talk about jello? Gelatin has been around since the time of the Egyptians and in the 1600s we have written evidence of it being experimented with as food.
The brand Jell-O and what we largely think of when we think of gelatin now was first patented in 1845. It didn’t catch on for a while though. It finally started to catch on after a successful marketing campaign in 1902.
They started to advertise in the Ladies Home Journal and 15 million booklets were distributed. And the popularity just kept growing. You can’t look at a vintage magazine without seeing a recipe featuring Jell-O.
Now we think of it as only a dessert but the mid-century loved to use Jell-O in everything, especially weird salads. You can see some of those interesting recipes in the post Vintage Recipes Made Modern.
We did kind of throw out the baby with the bathwater though with the move away from the weird Jell-O dishes. There were some really fun recipes that we seem to have lost. Honestly, Jell-O by itself is kind of boring so I think we need to bring back some of the Jell-O-based desserts from the mid-century.
Below is a Jell-O ad from a Ladies Home Journal that I own. It is the June 1953 issue. This is a good example of a retro Jell-O recipe that still sounds delicious. This is a recipe I hope to recreate and share soon as well.
And really while some mid-century recipes seem very unhealthy they did use a lot of fruit in their desserts and that is a good thing to bring back. We still need to be aware of how much sugar we are consuming but I’m a firm believer in moderation and throwing some fruit in there at least gives some nutrition value.
These retro jello recipes are ones that are actually delicious and we should bring back. They are the ones I think we are missing out on since we moved away from the questionable past of jello-based recipes.
More Retro Recipes
- Old-Fashioned Cake Recipes
- Vintage Cranberry Noel Dessert Recipe
- Vintage Cheesy Potato Casserole Recipe
- Retro Ham and Cheese Pancake Recipe
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