Jello - under the influence
February 6th, 2007

Sometimes things have a similar or even the same name across different languages, sometimes they don’t. And then there are times where the origin of a term is more than questionable. Take the English jelly and American Jell-O/jello for instance, both stand for a gelatin dessert and are quite obviously a modification of its main ingredient, the mighty gelatin. Jelly, jello, all fine by me. But what on earth made someone come up with the name Wackelpeter (roughly translates to Jiggling Peter) in German? Should we know Peter? Who is this guy anyway? Was his anxiety over this dessert responsible for making him shiver – jiggling – and who, with an ill attempt at humor, started calling the dish after him? Ok, admittedly, a bit far fetched and the internet knows better, too: The name affix Peter dates back to the 19th century, where it was used as an affix to playfully paraphrase something. Now if Jiggling Peter doesn’t float your boat, it’s good to know that there is another official name for it. A much more poetic one, I think: Götterspeise (translates to food of the gods or ambrosia).

Jello

Food with an atypical consistency is almost always a guarantee for “Ahhs”and “Ohhhs” at home cooked dinners and these little jello glasses are a big hit with guests; provided they are not allergic to jello. While we used coffee in the past, using alcoholic liquids like ice wine, Prosecco or Campari (among many others) work especially well: What you get is a dessert and digestif merged into a single dish. This time round we prepared two different ones, a red Campari and an almost colorless Prosecco jello, which -layered in tiny glasses- looked downright fascinating.

Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile dissolve the confectioners sugar in the mineral water and bring to a boil, then remove syrup from the stove and let cool down for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the Prosecco (or other alcoholic liquid) as well as the two sheets of gelatin (squeeze well), stir and make sure the gelatin fully dissolves. The amount of gelatin is pretty small compared to this recipe, expect the final result to be on the soft end, but cutting of accurate shapes is neither needed nor really possible.

Now pour the mix into a flat container, chill in the fridge for about 2 hours or until firm, then scoop with a spoon and fill into a glass or dessert dish. Enjoy – and don’t get tipsy ;)

Jello with booze

Recipe source: own creation

Required time: prep. 15 min., chilling: at least 2h

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Ingredients (serves 2-3):

2 sheets of gelatin

30ml mineral water, non sparkling

40g confectioners sugar (or to your liking)

120ml of your favorite alcoholic drink (try ice wine, Prosecco, Campari or other)

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