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Re: vegetarian gelatin

Paul asked:
>Can anybody help me with using gelling substitutes for Jello or other
>gelatin-based products?  I gave up Jello (and try to look out for other
>products containing gelatin) as soon as I learned it was what a close SAD
>friend calls "barbarian."  Since then, I have had no experience using
>vegetarian and/or Kosher "gelatin,", etc.    And quite honestly, I miss
>wiggly-jiggly  food, sometimes.   Any suggestions?  Comments? 

Hi Paul;
        Try agar (also known as agar-agar and kanten, depending on the
source).  It's a sea veggie, but don't be alarmed... it doesn't taste of it
*whatsoever*.  It's a whitish colour, and comes in either sticks, flakes,
granules or powder, usually in a little celo packet.  Most health food
stores seem to carry it in with the Japanese foodstuffs, or along with the
more familiar seaweeds (dulse, kalp, wakame, etc.).  One cookbook I have
hints that the flakes provide the most consistent results (the flakes are
all I've tried, frankly).  It's pricey, but you use so little of it at one
time that it works out well in the long run - and besides, it's worth it.
        For a gelatin dessert, you use two tablespoons of flaked agar to 3.5
cups of liquid.  I sweeten the juices I use it with, on occasion (so 'to
taste' is probably the best recommendation).  The granulated form is twice
as strong as the flaked; the powdered is three times as strong.  Play around
with the concentrations to get the right 'wiggliness' for you, since too
much produces some real 'jujube' textures.

Hope this helps,