Here is a question that has plagued me ever since I was breaking up with my last girlfriend and wandered around my empty apartment in a daze staring fixedly at random objects. Once I stared fixedly at the back of a box of Jell-O. I saw something that made me stare at another box, and another (my old girlfriend liked Jell-O). Anyway, here's the question: why is it that every Jell-O package says not to add fresh or frozen pineapples? And why is there no pineapple-flavored Jell-O, only orange-pineapple? Occasionally I still sink into morbid brooding about this, particularly when having trouble with my new girlfriend. Only you can help.
Bill R., Dallas
Man, does Ann Landers get letters like this? If you put fresh pineapple in your Jell-O, you’ll end up with pineapple floating in Kool-Aid. Pineapples naturally contain a chemical substance that inhibits jelling. Cooking the fruit drives the substance out, and that’s why only fresh and fresh-frozen varieties are prohibited.
None of this has anything to do with the question of why there is no pineapple-flavored Jell-O. General Foods generally decides such things on the basis of consumer preference surveys. To date no great yearning for pineapple Jell-O has been detected, so they don’t make it.
Send questions to Cecil via firstname.lastname@example.org.