Friday, February 12, 2016

There's always room for Jolly Rancher.

I like Jell-O. You like Jell-O. Yes you do. Don't lie to me.

A friend of mine, in his bachelor days, was trying to lose weight. Living on his own he had found it way too easy to eat ice cream and such every night, and it had become a bad habit. He started working out regularly and changed his dessert to sugar-free lime Jell-O. He told me that he came to look forward to that sugar-free lime Jell-O like it was a giant Dairy Queen banana split.

As desserts go, even the full-sugar Jell-O is not that bad; just 80 calories a serving. (Compare that to a Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey---one serving = 300 calories, more than half from fat.) We enjoy some Jell-O of an evening; not every day, no, but it makes a fine treat. My wife is partial to cherry Jell-O.

When I saw this, though, I knew we had to try it.

Jolly Rancher gelatin---who knew?

We like Jolly Ranchers, and have the cavities to prove it. I was a bit wary about another spinoff, though, White the Jolly Rancher jelly beans are fantastic, replete with the awesomeness of the hard candy, I thought the Jolly Rancher Bites were revolting, nothing but sour and a weird taste I can only describe as vulcanized sugar. The gelatin is not made by Hershey's, who has owned J.R. since 1996, but under license by Jel Sert, makers of Jell-O competitors Royal and My*T*Fine.

How does it stack up against Jell-O? At first it was very appealing, featuring that unique Jolly scent, but I have to say the flavor was not very strong, and faded fast. Maybe this is common to all Royal gelatin mixes. I have to say it was just all right, not the bowl full o' fantastic one might have hoped.

Still, it's not a bad treat by any means, and I have to give Jel Sert and Jolly Rancher the thumbs-up for trying. I would suspect this would be really popular to make gel shots with vodka for underage drinkers, so there will probably always be a market for it.

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