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Ancient 'Jell-O'

August 08, 1996|CHARLES PERRY

Antonin Care^me, the early 19th century founder of la grande cuisine, often used gelatin to stabilize elements in his elaborate feasts for the eye. He was particularly aspic-oriented when it came to serving meat and fish. He also made molded gelatin desserts such as gelee au cafe moka, flavored with strong coffee and kirsch.

Another was gelee a la vanille, flavored with vanilla extract and kirsch; you could add a little pink food coloring to it for fun. If you've ever wondered what sort of impressive trifles the Empress Josephine and her pals nibbled on, this was almost certainly one of them.

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