Here are some resources about aspics

Originally published at: Here are some resources about aspics | Boing Boing


I feel like I should have a bone to pick about how often this post says “aspics.”


I also have earned the nickname Jiggle Daddy, but for reasons unrelated to gelatin.

That said, the article is well done and explains a lot of old cook book weirdness.


Aspics are indeed cursed food


It is no coincidence that this was published on the 50th anniversary of the release of King Crimson’s Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, is it?


Back when Sohla el-Waylly was still doing her show with history channel, she did an episode on aspics…

She makes some in the old style (with fish tongues/lips), if that kind of thing grosses you out, FYI…


I highly recommend the book " The Great Gelatin Revival: Savory Aspics, Jiggly Shots, and Outrageous Desserts" by Ken Albala.

As always, LILEKS has some images of a distressing period in American food culture:

(Best be sitting down for some of the horrors contained within).


This is very frustrating. I read the post hoping to find a community armed with helpful resources to help eradicate the scourge of aspics from society, and instead I find all this… this… glorying in it?.. /s


Besides the pictures from unhinged “check out lane” cook books from the 60’s and 70’s (a dangerous and lawless time for food recipes) my only encounter with aspics was being forced to eat a “head cheese” sandwich my grandmother made for me once when I was about 14. It was a hot day and I’d been falling trees on the back of her property 3-4 acres) for a road and a large shed/workshop it was the late 80’s. I’d dropping and limbed a good number of trees that day working since about 7am and was so hungry when lunch rolled around and then I get up to the house and my grandma hands me a big glass of water and a weird sandwich. The “gelatin” had melted since she’d made it so the bottom piece of bread was all soggy and falling apart and the chunks of mystery meat on the sandwich smelled so bad. I remember getting yelled at by her because i didn’t want to finish it. I think it took about 3-4 glasses of water to help me finish choking down that sandwich. Then I grabbed the chainsaw and axe and hauled ass back to the lot I was clearing so I could spend the next 20 minutes throwing up into some blueberry bushes before I got back to work. Long story short, I have deep seated hatred for all things “aspics”.

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Real pain in the aspic, isn’t it?


I recommend “Aspics With Threatening Auras” on Facebook.





Julia Child’s first book was written at the height of the aspic revival, and thus has a full section devoted to it. It’s still in print of course, so it’s funny to go buy a famous cookbook new on the shelf today and find a huge section of it devoted to this weird (to modern eyes) thing.

My understanding is that the invention of powdered instant gelatin in the 1960s was quite a revolution and is what created the new wave of interest. No more boiling hooves for hours to make these fancy dishes!


As a kid, I always liked the gelatin you’d get in a pork pie. Not too fussed either way now.

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My old dad swears by jellied eels.

Don’t. Just not ever.


I have two tins of aspic cutters from our catering days but we never used them for aspic we used them for butter or pie crust cutouts.

My wife uses them for pie crusts cookie embellishments, jello, etc…

Hot pork pie is best pork pie. With peas and brown sauce

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