When Emily Wallace and Kate Medley set about organizing a pop-up Jell-O exhibit titled O Moldy Night, they didn’t expect such a big crowd—or such an impassioned one. But then about about 500 people showed up. The musician and folklorist Sara Bell’s “Ophelia Drowning in Aspic,” (that’s Ophelia, the character in “Hamlet”), which won the My Jell-O Americans Choice Award at the event, actually brought someone to tears. And the mayor of Durham, North Carolina, where the exhibit took place, stayed up late the night before crafting limericks for the show's "shimmy awards," which he agreed to judge.
“There once was a large orange aspic, whose sagging was really quite drastic, the diner’s all giggled as it joggled and jiggled but that aspic proved rather elastic.” — Steve Schewel, mayor of Durham, North Carolina
The “best jiggle” award, meanwhile, which had judges going around to poke each mold, was called “Back That Aspic Award.”
Feast your eyes on a collection of photos from the exhibit, which featured some 40 molds, and listen to Milk Street’s podcast, where Wallace and Medley speak with Christopher Kimball about their show—plus what’s next in the world of Jell-O!
“Big in Japan”
“Big in Japan,” by Billy Cotter, chef and co-owner of Dashi, Durham, North Carolina
“'Bojell-O' took its cue from Southern fried chicken chain Bojangles and featured as the base sweet tea and then fried chicken tenders inside, and then had piping of Bojangles mashed potatoes. It was pretty inspired.” — Wallace (How did it taste? Let's just say the chicken tenders required a lot of gelatin in order to stand up straight...)
"Ophelia Drowning in Aspic"
“Ophelia Drowning in Aspic,” by musician and folklorist Sara Bell. It won the event's "My Jell-O Americans Choice Award."
“Boot Fruit Boogie"
“Boot Fruit Boogie," by Ashley Melzer
“Lady Edison Pork Jelly Salad"
“The Lady Edison pork jelly, which visually somewhat resembled a brain, was definitely a crowd favorite taste-wise.” — Medley
"Jell-O Gin Fizz"
"Jell-O Gin Fizz," by Durham-based home cook Erin Durkin
"Chocolate Ham," by Laird Dixon and Sam Suchoff of The Pig in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
"Happy Birthday," by Samantha Genke of Boxcarr Handmade Cheese
Photos: Courtesy of Emily Wallace and Kate Medley. See more here.