Sunday, March 11, 2007

Why I love and hate jelly.




Jelly, Its so simple a bit of water and then a bit of gelatin(e). Wikipedia even has an entry on it. Although if you Google Jelly . You won't get many results, why? Well us Aussie's and some of the U.K are pretty much the only people to call it Jelly. In America its called Jell-O.

Why do I hate jelly? Well a lot of it has to do with time. Jelly is one very simple product, but it always requires forward planning and that's the part that really sucks. if i want to make and eat jelly i have to wait 4-8 Hrs before i can have it (unless i go up to franklin's and buy some pre-made jelly but i'm lazy so i'm not going to do that[Even though i can see Franklin's from where i live).

Now on to the next part? Is jelly a drink or is a food? if it were a food i would expect it to be served with a fork? and if its a drink then i would expect to have in a cup... for such a simple product it sure is harder to categorize it.

Now one of the other weird things about jelly is its made from animals... yes that's right your eating (or is that drinking?)
The gelatin in Jell-O comes from the collagen in cow or pig bones and connective tissues.



In the 19th Century jelly was a very popular dessert but what made it so spectacular around those times where the spectacular and complex lengths that people would go to make jelly moulds. These days i'm happy if my jelly sets properly i don't really need jelly moulds.

It seems jelly is very easy to make and generally thanks to electricity and technology it is very to make when you break jelly down in to its processes its a lot more complex than than you would of first though about it.

firstly we need to combine the gelatin(e) sugar and water together and stir until the jelly sugar crystals disappear totally. If you try this with cold water you would end up with crunchy milky jelly. (i hate crunchy jelly) why is this? it has to do with water.. water generally can absorb some sugar and become saturated. but at normal room temperature water cannot absorb alot of anything. Therefore we need to heat the water so i can absorb more sugar. If you want to know why heating H20 allows you to dissolve more sugar then read this page

So now we've got those sugar crystals dissolved and our jelly solution has become very saturated water. We need to remove the heat from the solution this is typically done in a very scientific process called "putting your jelly in the fridge" and again if you want to know why your jelly solution becomes cool in the fridge then you can read this page to under stand how a fridge works. Otherwise the simple one word answer to why things cool in a fridge is "Conduction"

As the Liquid (your solution) cools the gelatin(e) sets making the solution semi solid to a point. since jelly is mostly water it won't set completely solid (unless you let the water evaporate that is). Jelly typically will only say semi solid when cooled below room temperature. If you leave it in the sun it will turn liquid again.

for all the efforts that been put into jelly it seems easy yet hard to make depending on which way you look at it. Its also seems that i could go on and on about jelly but if i did that then i wouldn't be eating jelly tonight. So i'd better stop typing and go and heat up some water.

Caio!

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