The per capita consumption of Jell-O™ in Mexico has to exceed Utah, where it reigns as the official state snack. In Mexico, it’s a basic food group. Entire aisles of the supermarket may be devoted to feeding the national fetish. Mexico has taken flavored gelatin beyond the usual scope of fruit flavors to include sherry, eggnog, vanilla, pecan, chocolate, anise, red currant, tamarind, green apple and mango.
It’s not just for sick people and children. Well-traveled and even the rare Mexicans who actually read books have been known to wax eloquently about gelatinas they have known. There are even magazines devoted entirely to making gelatin desserts. It’s gone far beyond Perfection Salad.
Its incarnations range from gelatinas served up in plastic cups by street vendors to layered versions with stuff floating in it. Mexicans don’t stop at making gelatina with water; adding milk to it makes an opaque version all the better to disguise floaters.
Mexico City Gelatin artist Lourdes Reyes Rosas, the high priestess of three-dimensional gelatin art, has trained thousands in the art internationally, bringing the art and science of creating gelatin cakes filled with realistic gelatin flowers to all levels of Mexican society. There’s nothing that will impress a group of friends than an elegantly presented gelatin creation. Reyes Rosas says “besides being a form of emotional therapy, [it] may be a source for an income and profitable business.”
Yes, we consider gelatina just as good as psychotherapy and anti-depressants in this country.