The manatee watches...

Feb 27, 2013

Tomato's Final Form

In my article the other day about the states of matter of canned tomatoes, I forgot to mention one disgustingly horrible form of canned tomatoes that one used to be able to find: Tomato Aspic. Thankfully, in canned form, tomato aspic is largely unavailable these days I hope that it remains that way. (Full disclosure: my great grandmother forced me to eat tomato aspic with just about every meal when I visited her. I had never though jello could make me gag so quickly.)

For those not in the know, aspic is a form of savory gelatin. Think of it as salty jello with a hint of sour. It is vile stuff. The Wikipedia page on aspic prominently features a gelatin with both chicken and hardboiled eggs suspended within it. It was commonly used as a method to preserve food.

Tomato aspic takes the worst part of savory jello and combines it with raw tomato purée. It was a bad idea when someone thought it up and it remains a bad idea to this day. Just take a look at this loaf of congeled tomato sauce:

Thankfully, the days of ambiguous matter-state tomato were largely left behind at the end of the 1950's. For those looking for some vintage tomato recipes, however, here's a delightful layered tomato aspic conconction courtesy of Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum. Ingredients include onion, celery, cucumber, cottage cheese, green pepper, and of course, tomato sauce and gelatin. I am not sure why a chewing gum company used this as an advertisement but perhaps it was because of the awful breath that you'd be left with after biting into this abomination:


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