#FBF: When good people made bad Jello

Hey…pssst! Yeah. You! Have you preordered your copy of All Manner of Things yet? You can go ahead and do that now. Don’t worry, this post isn’t going anywhere.

Friends, I want to talk to you today about one of the more disturbing things that was common place in the 1950s and 60s.

That’s right.

I’m here to talk about…


Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a good Jello once in awhile. Put on a little whipped cream and we’re talking. Hey, I’ll even let you throw in some fruit.

But that’s not what I’m getting at here, and I think you know it.

I’m talking about people putting weird stuff in their Jello. It was a phenomenon encouraged in all the ladies’ magazines, cook books, and swooned over at church potlucks.

Sure, they usually used flavorless Jello in these recipes. Still, there is something gravely and texturally wrong about these. Wrong, I tell you!

Let me show you some of the more troubling concoctions.

It appears we have some celery going on in there and some funky looking lettuce. But what I find most troubling are the GREEN OLIVES! Why? Why would someone do that?

Please, please don’t tell me that’s green pepper, zucchini, eggplant, and tomato in there. What’s that you say? That’s exactly what’s in that monstrosity? Goodness gracious.

This right here? This is PROOF that Jello knew what people were doing with their product. They can’t even pretend that this didn’t happen. People. Seafood salad with lime Jello? Nope. This is not a good idea.

That’s shrimp. That. Is. Shrimp.

Nope. It doesn’t. I mean, where’s the gravy? Just kidding. Don’t bring gravy into this.

Now you’re just messing with us, aren’t you?

You guys do know that hamburger doesn’t deserve to be treated like this, right?

Hey! That’a fun Jello mold! Hold up. They put salmon in that? Nope. Uh-uh.


Thank goodness this fad fell out of favor (or should I say flavor) in the 1980s. Still, over two decades of this nonsense? That is shocking.

Merciful heavens.

Did you ever eat such an abomination? If so, did you do so willingly or under duress? Even more importantly, did any of you MAKE this kind of Jello salad. Don’t worry, this is a safe place. We won’t judge you.

Well, maybe we will a little.

10 Comments on “#FBF: When good people made bad Jello

  1. I once went to a potluck where a man brought a lime jello dish with hot dog bits! Little slices of hot dog suspended in lime jello. Hot dogs. Lime jello. At the time, I hoped it was a joke, but I never figured out how to ask.

    PS—The shrimp and turkey might be worse.


    • I scoured the internet for a Jello with hot dogs. Alas, I couldn’t find one that didn’t look wildly inappropriate!

      I’ve been to potlucks with Jello salads. They get a big pass from me!


  2. Oh my word! Some of these were truly disgusting! LOL Thanks so much for triggering my gag reflex this morning, Sooze. hahaha


  3. I must share this with my husband and adult (?) children to file under “it could have been worse.” They have been teasing me all week for the strawberry Jello pretzel concoction I made Monday. I feel vindicated. Thank you.


    • Paula, I need you to know if it’s the one with the sweet cream cheese layer. Because if it was, then that is precisely the reason Jello was invented. Man alive. That is one of my favorite things to eat.

      Feel vindicated, friend.


  4. This may be the grossest post I’ve ever read. But I did love laughing over the topic with my husband who, unfortunately, remember vividly some very nasty jello salads. My mother was a staunch hater of jello for the same reason, so I never had this nasty experience. But, if you add cold soda water to the hot jello liquid, then chill as directed, it tastes really cool. That’s the only way I can handle jello, and I haven’t done that since I was like 10. 🙂


  5. umm…yea…I agree to “Uck” about any vegetable or meat jello salad (except the occasional carrot/jello combo). Give me fruits or plain old finger jello any day of the week!


  6. I have a very good recipe that goes great with turkey and ham. Lemon jello, cream cheese, nuts, cherries and crushed pineapple. don’t like jello and cottage cheese though.


  7. Hilarious! I did a pear and cottage cheese and lime jello back in the 70’s.
    I think I have one of those cookbooks, or clipped a recipe or two. Don’t think I ever made anything like these!


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