Did they have Jell-O back then?!
They did! Before the middle of the 19th century, gelatin was a status food. In order to make gelatin you needed to have all these trimmings — calves’ hooves and all these things that were cheap, but that you normally only had in a big household. You were ordering half a lamb or half a calf every week from the butcher and eating very well. Then you had all these odds and ends leftover that you made gelatin out of. Poor people didn’t have gelatin. It was only when it began to be made as a commercial product that suddenly Jell-O was everywhere. Jell-O was one of the cheapest and most ubiquitous foods there was. But it was still made in these molds. It’s not good enough to make Jell-O in a big old lump. It was made in a bright color, in a fancy mold, with fruits in it. It became this great presentation that remembered the time when gelatins were expensive. If food is expensive you want to make a big deal out of it.
Oh got it, thank you!