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Culinary to Formula Recipe ReduxFood Research and DevelopmentFood Science

Glycerine, Gelatin and Instant Starches were used by our Grandmothers and now its more of a food science thing!

In the 1950s, gelatin, glycerin, and instant starches were commonly used ingredients in the kitchen, especially among housewives. Let’s explore how these ingredients were utilized and the availability of such items today.

  1. Gelatin: Gelatin was often used in various recipes to create desserts, salads, and as a thickening agent for sauces. Housewives would commonly prepare gelatin-based dishes like Jell-O molds, fruit salads with a gelatin base, or even use gelatin to thicken and stabilize whipped cream. It was widely available in grocery stores in the form of powdered gelatin or as sheets.
  2. Glycerin: Glycerin, a thick and sweet-tasting liquid, was used for different purposes in the kitchen. It was primarily employed as a humectant, helping to retain moisture in baked goods. Housewives would often add glycerin to cakes, cookies, and other confections to prevent them from drying out. Glycerin was commonly sold in pharmacies or specialty food stores.
  3. Instant starches: Instant starches, such as cornstarch or tapioca starch, were popular ingredients used for thickening sauces, gravies, and soups. These starches were easily dissolved in water and added to dishes to achieve a desired consistency. They were available in grocery stores and were an essential pantry staple for housewives.

Now, regarding the availability of these ingredients today, it’s important to note that while the popularity of these items may have shifted, they are still widely accessible, although the shopping landscape has evolved. While local grocery stores may not always carry a wide variety of specialized ingredients, including gelatin, glycerin, and specific instant starches, they are generally available online through various retailers or specialty food suppliers.

The rise of e-commerce and online shopping platforms has made it easier for individuals to access a broader range of ingredients that may not be commonly found in local stores. Additionally, many suppliers and retailers cater to specific dietary needs or provide organic and alternative options for those seeking specific products.

In summary, while the shopping landscape has changed over the years, the ingredients used by housewives in the 1950s, such as gelatin, glycerin, and instant starches, are still available for purchase. The shift toward online shopping and specialty suppliers has made it easier to find these items, even if they are not as prominently displayed in local grocery stores as they once were.

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