Cranberry Jell-O salad
|Alternative name(s)||Gelatin salad, jelly salad, congealed salad|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||Midwestern United States|
|Main ingredient(s)||Gelatin, fruit, sometimes carrots|
Jell-O salad (also called gelatin salad, jelly salad, congealed salad, or molded salad) is a salad made with flavored gelatin, fruit and sometimes grated carrots or, more rarely, other vegetables. Other ingredients may include cottage cheese, cream cheese, marshmallows, nuts or pretzels.
Because of its many elements, the result has speckled bits of color against a colored gelatin background. For example, one might have lime green gelatin with brown nuts or pretzels, bits of white from cottage cheese, and red and orange from the fruit cocktail. Therefore, it has a "salad" appearance. The "salad" theme continues in variants containing mayonnaise or salad dressing. When one uses plain gelatin instead of sweetened gelatin, then the use of vegetables becomes more common, such as in tomato aspic.
The name comes from the brand name Jell-O, a common gelatin product. Jell-O salads are a common feature of U.S. communal meals such as potlucks, most probably because they are inexpensive and easy to prepare. In Utah, where Jell-O is the official state snack, Jello salad is available in local restaurants such as Chuck-A-Rama.