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Jun 9, 2010 09:38 AM

Jell-O...I didn't know it's made with ground cow hooves and connective tissue!

I was watching a game show and this was the question.
How did this one slip by me for all these years..
So ground hooves, connective tissue mixed with strong acid makes gelatin..
I had no idea..learn something everyday!

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  1. Did you ever do a long, slow braise of a meat with lots of connective tissue? And then the braising liquid that reduced down became very gelatinous after cooling? Same idea.

    1. yep - Jell-O (and all non-Kosher or non-vegetarian gelatin) is made from collagen...and the process you described is the easiest way for them to extract it from the animal parts. Kosher gelatin is made from fish bones, and vegan gelatin is usually made from agar.

      1. There's always room for cow hoofs.

        1 Reply

          The "glue factory" colloqialism, usually in reference to old horses, reflects the same type of process, animal-based glues being made from hide and connective tissue. Kraft used to have a gelatin-processing plant in the town where I worked outdoors. Close by was the tannery that figured in the non-fiction book, "A Civil Action", and the adapted movie. When these businesses were operating, the smell was sickening for those not used to it - including me, since I most often worked on the other side of town and dreaded the days when I worked near the processing. It put me off Jell-O for a number of years!

          1. Out of curiosity, what did you think it was made of?

            5 Replies
            1. re: shanagain

              Not speaking for the OP, but for me - candy, and unicorn tears.

                1. re: librarianjen

                  hee forgot the lollipops!
                  It never ever occured to me that Jell-O was made from ground up hooves and connective tissue..still in shock..all those happy commercials with those cute kids..spelling J-E-L-L-O.
                  The marketing is such that if they really did bring up the fact of what it really is, do you think that most kids and adults would be so inclined to eat it?
                  I guess the hot dog is going strong.. ; )
                  Who knew watching Cash Cab last night that my happy Jell-O world would be rocked forever!

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    I can't remember when I found out that gelatin was made from animal bones and connective tissue, Beach Chick, but it was sometime during childhood -- I imagine I probably read a book that mentioned aspics or something and then learned how they made aspic and gelatin... I don't remember being surprised, but then I grew up in a house where the Thanksgiving turkey carcass became a pot of very gelatinous stock! :)

                    This all reminds me of an episode of Mad Men from this last season when a client has been the subject of an expose' on dog food, which the public is scandalized to discover was made from horse meat!

                    1. re: LauraGrace

                      I found out years ago by reading an article in the New York Press. I thought it was gross then but have gotten over it,