Victorian America’s Dandelions

Victorian America’s Dandelions

Dandelions were so much more than weeds to our Victorian ancestors. Not only were the tender plants sought for springtime vegetables and salads, but for tea, coffee, wine, beer, and prominent medicinal value. 19th century cook books and newspapers share the Victorian-American viewpoint on the value of dandelions from blossom to root. Recipes for edibles and curatives, advertisements, and more!

Victorian Jelly: Commercial Gelatin

Victorian Jelly: Commercial Gelatin

Credit goes to a Victorian-era inventor for out-of-a-box gelatin. What an amazing labor-saving invention! Until now, wives and daughters everywhere had been making gelatin out of pigs feet and a good deal of elbow grease.

How did nineteenth century scientists manage to capture the essence of gelatin and put it in a box? And how much did it cost?

Victorian Jelly: Molds

Victorian Jelly: Molds

Fancy jellies graced 19th century tables, molded in dishes made of tin, zinc, copper, and various ceramics. Photographs of antiques, together with vintage advertisements, illustrate this Victorian kitchen staple.

Victorian Jelly: Ivory Dust

Victorian Jelly: Ivory Dust

Victorian-era jellies were thickened with a variety of articles–including ivory dust.

Yes, the dust created from carving and shaping ivory into things like knife handles.

Victorian-era U.S. publications tell the story.

Victorian Jelly: Desserts

Victorian Jelly: Desserts

Victorians (in every English-speaking nation) adored jellied desserts.

Vintage recipes from cookbooks and newspapers (from both sides of the Atlantic) illustrate how cooks made foods gel.