Saturday, August 6, 2011

Canned Grass Jelly?

You know, there comes a time when you have to face your own prejudices and ethnocentrism and either admit that you were wrong or scramble to let everyone in the room know that you have friends belonging to the group you just derided, thereby absolving yourself of all blame and accusations of racism, or at least that's what your racist brain will convince you, you racist, racist. 

You know that you did something wrong.  You’re just too defensive and confused to admit it…and everyone knows. 

Where was I going with that?  Anyway, call me a stupid American, but I just never thought of grass being a dessert food, with the exception of the mint grass from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.  Apparently I was wrong.  Behold!

You need:
One can on Deluxe Grass Jelly Dessert

What’s in this?  The ingredients are listed as “water, grass jelly, sugar, mung bean, coconut sap and extracts, konjac, chickpeas and algae extracts.”


I’m not entirely sure what country grass jelly is from.  My extensive study of Asian characters (which consists entirely of watching the occasional dubbed anime and the opening quotes from Sun Tzu in the beginning of Romance of The Three Kingdoms 8) fails me, so I’m going to turn to the internet for assistance.  Ok, according to Wikipedia, grass jelly hails from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.  It comes with its own spoon too. Let’s get this bitch into a bowl and see how it is.

Oh my God.

I’ve never had a dessert remind me of a festering wound before.  First time for everything, I guess.  I’m feeling…hesitant.  I think it's the color that's putting me off. It smells kinda like wheat grass.


The gelatin itself has a strange, sweetish, almost tea-like flavor.  There’s almost a hint of…honey?  The chickpeas taste as you would expect them too.  I think these cubes in here are konjac and they’re like really chewy gelatin.  The mung beans just sort of…sit there tasting like mung beans.  I don’t understand.  A bunch of bland stuff in a weirdly sweet gelatin.  I’m sure it’s good for you but it feels like I’m eating a bowl of condiment.  Like this is supposed to go on something else.  I can’t finish this.  It’s not “bad” per se, it’s just really strange to my pallet. I'm sure that properly prepared grass jelly is better though. I'm not soured to the dish, but I don't think I'll be having it from a can again any time soon. Stay queer!

1 comment:

  1. Never had grass jelly like this, but try the plain canned stuff (without other things mixed in) blended into a smoothie or some soymilk- i'm fond of making them with vanilla Silk and bananas, with whatever additional flavoring is laying around... the grass jelly gave it a wonderfully 'cooling' sensation, very good for hot days. Apparently that's the main appeal of the stuff in cultures where it is used... you can also find canned grass jelly drinks. Note that this is the kind of thing that is tough to serve to people who didn't grow up to it, as a pale white drink with bits of dark black grass jelly floating in it looks kind of bizarre.

    The jelly is just the result of boiling a particular plant with some starch and potassium carbonate; there shouldn't be any konjac in it.