Quiz about Meet Your Meat Jelly Aspic
Quiz about Meet Your Meat Jelly Aspic

Meet Your Meat Jelly: Aspic Trivia Quiz


Jello/jelly -- it's not just for fruit salads anymore! Many cuisines have made use of natural gelatin to make molded dishes that are savory rather than sweet. Learn more about the culinary history and uses of aspic, the mysterious meat jelly!

A multiple-choice quiz by SatchelPooch. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
SatchelPooch
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
379,862
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
149
1. Gelatin is a colorless, odorless substance that is derived from animal collagen. As a gelling agent it has many culinary uses, generally in sweets such as gelatin desserts, marshmallows, and gummy candies. Less well known is the use of gelatin in savory form.

A simple form of savory gelatin is made by boiling animal bones, skin, and/or cartilage. When seasoned, clarified, cooled, and gelled, what is this dish called?
Hint

Jellied Stock
Jellied Broth
Jellied Consomme
Jellied Bouillon

2. When foods are suspended in savory gelatin, the resulting dish is called aspic. The first known recipe for aspic is contained in a 14th century cookbook called "Le Viandier" and described meat in meat jelly. What characteristic of meat in meat jelly might have been especially appreciated in the Middle Ages? Hint

It looked fancy
It was popular with the nobility
It was easy for cooks to make
The jelly helped keep the meat from spoiling

3. Another virtue of aspic is that it uses parts of the animal that might otherwise be wasted. One popular form of aspic that is made from pork uses meat from the head (not including the organs) and sometimes the trotters or other parts. What is this non-dairy cold cut called? Hint

Salami
Bacon
Forcemeat
Head cheese

4. The relative stiffness of aspic can be controlled by the use of additional gelatin. Traditionally, there are three textures of aspic: delicate, sliceable, and inedible. What is inedible aspic used for? Hint

Lying down and avoiding
Decoration
Frisbees
Insulation

5. Sliceable aspic salads provide cooks with an opportunity to show off their compositional skills. What ingredients would NOT typically be found in aspic? Hint

Cooked vegetables
Hardboiled eggs
Meat or seafood
Fruit

6. Josh Kun's "To Live and Dine in L.A." analyzed over 9,000 restaurant menus from the historic collection in the Los Angeles Public Library. He noticed that aspic dropped off menus in the late 1970s, right around the same time this ingredient began to appear. Hint

Ginger
Basil
Balsamic vinegar
Truffles

7. The French have a word for foods that are cooked as a hot dish but served cold. According to "Larousse Gastronomique," this technique is "one of the most refined in the French culinary repertoire." Aspic is an important ingredient in many of these dishes. What are they called? Hint

Chiffonades
Chaud-froid
Charlottes Russe
Charcuterie

8. One of the reasons that Victorians were so enthusiastic about aspics and jellied foods in general was the expanded availability of gelatin molds. Some of the molds were quite fancy and produced dishes that were so elaborate they were used as centerpieces. Other popular molds produced smaller, perfectly spherical jellies. What were the dishes produced using these spherical molds called? (No dance skills were required to use them!) Hint

Balletes
Beetles
Blancmanges
Brigadiers

9. Online resources suggest several different origins for the word "aspic."

One theory is that the word "aspic" derives from the Greek word "aspis," which means "shield." However, most resources suggest that the word derives from a name for a venomous snake. This same snake supposedly had a key role in Cleopatra's suicide. What is this repellent reptile called?
Hint

Viper
Asp
Aspidistra
Adder

10. In 2001 Laura Shapiro published a book subtitled "Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century." Its title was also the name of a dish that is said to have won a cooking contest in 1905. This aspic-based dish included various vegetables such as cabbage, red peppers, and celery. What was this dish (and this book) called? Hint

Fried Green Tomatoes in Aspic
Jellied Vegetable Ring
Luncheon Aspic Salad
Perfection Salad


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Gelatin is a colorless, odorless substance that is derived from animal collagen. As a gelling agent it has many culinary uses, generally in sweets such as gelatin desserts, marshmallows, and gummy candies. Less well known is the use of gelatin in savory form. A simple form of savory gelatin is made by boiling animal bones, skin, and/or cartilage. When seasoned, clarified, cooled, and gelled, what is this dish called?

Answer: Jellied Consomme

Jellied consomme was once considered an elegant start to a meal. The Victorians were particularly partial to it, but it appeared on menus well into the 1970s.
2. When foods are suspended in savory gelatin, the resulting dish is called aspic. The first known recipe for aspic is contained in a 14th century cookbook called "Le Viandier" and described meat in meat jelly. What characteristic of meat in meat jelly might have been especially appreciated in the Middle Ages?

Answer: The jelly helped keep the meat from spoiling

Meat jelly provides an anaerobic environment for meat, so the meat stays fresher longer.
3. Another virtue of aspic is that it uses parts of the animal that might otherwise be wasted. One popular form of aspic that is made from pork uses meat from the head (not including the organs) and sometimes the trotters or other parts. What is this non-dairy cold cut called?

Answer: Head cheese

Head cheese (also called brawn) was originally peasant food, since like sausage it helps use every part of the pig except the squeal. It is still popular in Scandinavia and Eastern European countries, each of which has its own traditional version.
4. The relative stiffness of aspic can be controlled by the use of additional gelatin. Traditionally, there are three textures of aspic: delicate, sliceable, and inedible. What is inedible aspic used for?

Answer: Decoration

Inedible aspic is very stiff. It is sometimes used to coat serving platters. Some people think all aspic is inedible though!
5. Sliceable aspic salads provide cooks with an opportunity to show off their compositional skills. What ingredients would NOT typically be found in aspic?

Answer: Fruit

Like sweet gelatin salads, aspics can be made in layers, which allows the cook to suspend different ingredients prettily throughout the dish. Aspic ingredients are usually savory rather than sweet, so fruit would be a very uncommon inclusion.
6. Josh Kun's "To Live and Dine in L.A." analyzed over 9,000 restaurant menus from the historic collection in the Los Angeles Public Library. He noticed that aspic dropped off menus in the late 1970s, right around the same time this ingredient began to appear.

Answer: Basil

Americans' interest in international cuisines might have begun with Julia Child's "The French Chef" but it really took off in the 1970s. Immigrants who came to the US after the passage of the Immigration Act in 1965 opened restaurants featuring dishes using ingredients new to most Americans.

It's no surprise that interest in relatively fussy old-fashioned dishes like aspic waned when exciting new dishes from countries like China, Italy, or Ethiopia were on offer.
7. The French have a word for foods that are cooked as a hot dish but served cold. According to "Larousse Gastronomique," this technique is "one of the most refined in the French culinary repertoire." Aspic is an important ingredient in many of these dishes. What are they called?

Answer: Chaud-froid

Chaud-froid dishes have reached quite dizzying heights of decorative excellence. Legend has it that they were discovered when the Marechal de Luxembourg was forced to leave the dinner table one night in 1759, and when he returned later he was so hungry that he ate the cold chicken whose gelatin-enriched sauce had by then congealed.

He liked it so much that he asked for it to be made again, on purpose this time.
8. One of the reasons that Victorians were so enthusiastic about aspics and jellied foods in general was the expanded availability of gelatin molds. Some of the molds were quite fancy and produced dishes that were so elaborate they were used as centerpieces. Other popular molds produced smaller, perfectly spherical jellies. What were the dishes produced using these spherical molds called? (No dance skills were required to use them!)

Answer: Balletes

The spherical molds themselves were sometimes called bombes. The dishes made with these molds often contained many different ingredients and were quite elaborately composed. Ivan Day writes on the Historic Food website that these complicated molded dishes were "typical of the highly artificial cuisine of the late nineteenth century."
9. Online resources suggest several different origins for the word "aspic." One theory is that the word "aspic" derives from the Greek word "aspis," which means "shield." However, most resources suggest that the word derives from a name for a venomous snake. This same snake supposedly had a key role in Cleopatra's suicide. What is this repellent reptile called?

Answer: Asp

"Shield" would make sense if you consider that aspic is often used to coat or protect other foods. It is less clear why "asp" would suggest "molded meat jelly" to the 18th century French people who originated the word "aspic." Perhaps aspic's color or (cold) temperature was thought to resemble the snake's. Not very appetizing in any case!
10. In 2001 Laura Shapiro published a book subtitled "Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century." Its title was also the name of a dish that is said to have won a cooking contest in 1905. This aspic-based dish included various vegetables such as cabbage, red peppers, and celery. What was this dish (and this book) called?

Answer: Perfection Salad

You can find recipes for Perfection Salad on many recipe websites. Modern versions are more sweet/sour than savory and tend to be based on fruit gelatin.

The book "Perfection Salad" is well worth seeking out, if only to be glad how much the role of the homemaker has changed in the last century.
Source: Author SatchelPooch

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
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