One of the things I missed most when I started keep kosher was JELLO. Ooey, gooey, jiggly jello. Mmm, mmm, good. And totally, totally not kosher.
A few years later, I discovered a REAL and delicious brand of kosher gelatin, which we used to buy often enough in Toronto to keep me happy.
However, here in Israel, there’s no such thing, just the insipid brands of kosher jello, which are based on vegetable gel and don’t – in my limited experience – set up properly to a shiny crystal-clear texture.
So I’ve started playing with real gelatin since we’ve been here, because it’s cheap and plentifully available – and, as I think I’ve commented before, mysteriously pareve. There are two kinds; the red package is meat-source and the blue is fish-source. From bad experience in Toronto, I’ve found that fish gelatin gives a weird tangy taste to everything you use it in. This would probably be fine in a citrus-themed dessert (as shown on the box), but definitely not fine in a chocolaty dessert, or, perhaps, a strawberry one.
For me, the only real flavour of Jello is strawberry. Happily, I have discovered a not-too-hard way to make authentic-tasting strawberry jello right here in Israel using an all-important Secret Ingredient…
Okay, sure, you can’t buy Kool-Aid locally here in Israel, at least, that I know of. In Canada either, for that matter; I searched in vain when I was there in March, but they’ve gone over to those “water-flavour” drops which are pre-sweetened artificially. Ugh.
Speaking of “artificially” – you can use this method to make delicious all-natural jello as well. I have made jello before using ONLY strawberries, when they’re in season (you can’t get fresh strawberries out of season here). I boil them in a heavy-bottom dutch oven with a little sugar until they are completely soft and surrounded by delicious, bright-red strawberry liquid. Yum!
But this time, I really, really wanted the artificial strawberry taste I know and love so much.