Aspic Aquarium

I agree with Hellmann's that this would look cool as a centerpiece at a party. But serving it with mayonnaise? Even as a mayonnaise lover, I'm not sure about that.

Life - May 23, 1960

     Posted By: Alex - Sat May 02, 2020
     Category: Mayonnaise | Jello | 1960s

That looks nasty, and the thought of eating it with mayonnaise makes it even nastier.
Posted by Judy on 05/02/20 at 11:40 AM
You know, I don't understand aspic. This one, I'll admit, looks good as a centrepiece and talking point. but edible?
Posted by Richard Bos on 05/02/20 at 01:18 PM
That has to be, what, 6" tall? To get that definition/complexity, you'll have to make the layers less than 1/2". It takes an absolute minimum of 1/2 hour, even under the best conditions, for gelatin to set up enough to support the lightest inclusions. For those pimiento fish, you're looking at more like an hour. So that's 11 hours, minimum, plus 4 hours after the last layer is poured, for it to set up enough to survive outside the fridge. And gelatin will set up even if you don't refrigerate it, so you'll be mixing fresh for each layer. (Good luck getting the coloring to match exactly so you don't see obvious layers!)

Best case scenario, assuming you know all the tricks and have all the tools, you're starting at 5a.m. to have that on the table at 8p.m..

And I guarantee at least one of your guests will find gelatin/aspic ungodly gross and want you to remove it while they eat.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/02/20 at 02:09 PM
Culinary archaeologists will regard the 60's as the Age of Aspic.
Posted by ges on 05/02/20 at 08:51 PM
Correction: aspics were more a 1950's phenomenon, at least according to a google search for "when was aspic popular." My mother never made them, though she did use jello in a trifle (she was English, and that and Yorkshire pudding were about the only English dishes she made).
Posted by ges on 05/02/20 at 11:11 PM
In "The Ex-Mrs. Bradford" (1936), she makes a supper which is all different kinds of gelatin, and after they eat, she wonders why they're not dead.

For reasons probably best left unexplored, that scene has always stayed with me. With the advances in food technology, where they've identified nearly every flavor molecule there is, I have to wonder if you couldn't, to some degree, actually do that -- a steak-flavored gummy, a jello globe tasting like a baked potato, etc.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/03/20 at 07:01 AM
They already have it in old folks' homes; it's called textured food. Think three-colored aspic made with steak, baked potato and mashed peas. It even comes in big cubes so arthritic seniors can eat them with their hands.
Posted by Yudith on 05/03/20 at 07:15 AM
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