This seems like a strange concept: Vegetarian gelatin. The secret is that it’s made from plants, not from gelatin*. We do see this dessert popping up across the US, but it’s been quite common in Southeast Asia for a while. For religions reasons, a significant portion of the population in this region needs food to be Halal certified. This creates an opportunity to experiment with different foods that taste great while also meeting the dietary constraints of those observing religious practices.
So what does it taste like? If the name brand stuff offered flavors like lychee or pineapple, this tastes just as good, but with 1/3 less sugar. The lychee was recently taste-tested on some American children at a picnic and several asked for more. Halal jelly is quick setting and can be ready to eat in as little as 45 minutes at room temperature. Personally, I like mine ice cold, so in about 2 hours, you are ready to rock and roll.
A quick note on the lower of sugar content: It’s actually a refreshing change from the name brand stuff in the US. Once you remove overpowering taste of sweet, you get to really enjoy the flavors of lychee, pineapple, etc. It makes for a light snack when you mix in a bit of your favorite fruits as well. We at MIEW will continue to find not only great foods, but great snacks to bring to the US market. Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as we do.
*But you called it “gelatin” … While there are Halal gelatins, most of the dessert jelly is made with a food additive called vegetable gum, or carrageenan, that acts as a thickening agent. You’ll also find this ingredient in items ranging from salad dressing to soy milk to ice cream to toothpaste.
Have you had any non-traditional gelatins? Tell us about it at @MIEWfoodsLLC