The Celery-Flavored Jell-O That Deserved To Fail

When people think of the '60s and '70s, many things come to mind — bell-bottom jeans, shag pile carpets, orange-tiled kitchens, long straightened hair, and dinner parties filled with all sorts of food items, from quiche to fondue. If you've ever looked through old cookbooks or magazines from the period, you'll surely spot strangely shaped meatloaf or things suspended in clear gelatin. The mid-20th century seemed to be a time when fascination with gelatin reigned supreme. According to Vice, these strange dishes can be traced back to medieval times when the art of reconstructing food to look fancy for the dinner table "was a way to flex and show off all the money and power" they had. Chefs liked to create things like "cooked fish encased in aspic, to give the impression that the fish were swimming." 

While many of us today might feel a little ill looking at these strange concoctions, they were all the rage 50 or 60 years ago. Of course, it stands to reason that if you're a gelatin company, you need to cater to the trending market. While unflavored gelatin was flying off the shelves for all sorts of dinner party creations, why not help out with something a little more savory, like celery, for example?

'Heck no' to celery-flavored Jell-O

According to Insider, Jell-O introduced four savory flavored products in the '60s, including celery, Italian, mixed vegetable, and seasoned tomato. People on Reddit were horrified by the idea, with one person saying, "this is the stuff nightmares are made of," while another put a more positive spin on the idea, suggesting "bloody Mary jello shots." While all sorts of foods suspended in clear, unflavored gelatin were popular back then, this introduction from Jell-O just didn't seem to take off quite the way the company had hoped.

A photo of the offending product was posted to the subreddit r/todayilearned, and one commenter said, "TIL that the creators of Jell-O were originally backed by Satan." Others who lived through the era attested to the popularity of gelatinous recipes, with one person saying, "My mother for years made lime Jell-O with tuna, and it was a favorite at her church."

Another Reddit post suggested that a combination of marketing and the increased use of refrigerators in the '60s and '70s brought all food items, such as layered Jell-O, to the forefront of many households. There are plenty of food items that have been discontinued and plenty of fans lament their disappearance, but this celery-flavored offering is something no one seems to ever want to see on shelves again.