The Joys of Jell-O: Lime-Strawberry Surprise

This dessert is a ridiculous parody of how the illustration suggests it should look.

This recipe comes from a collection of papers that date from about 1930-1955.  The bulk of the materials are from the mid-1940s, which is when I suspect this recipe was clipped from a newspaper.

This dessert is a neapolitan mold of lime jell-o with pineapple; Kraft mayonnaise mixed with cream cheese and walnuts; and strawberry Jell-O.  It’s called Lime-Strawberry surprise, but I’m uncertain what the surprise is.  Surprise, there’s mayonnaise in your dessert?

What I love about this recipe is that someone saw it in a newspaper and thought “Oh boy, that looks good!” and took the time to clip it out and save it.  It answers some of the question of “were people actually making these recipes?”–the cook who clipped Lime-Strawberry Surprise certainly intended to make it.

This is the first mold I’ve featured that showcases the infamous Lime Jell-O.  According to Wikiepedia, “…by 1930, there appeared a vogue in American cuisine for congealed salads, and the company introduced lime-flavored Jell-O to complement the various add-ins that cooks across the U.S. were combining in these aspics and salads. By the 1950s, these salads would become so popular that Jell-O responded with savory and vegetable flavors such as celery, Italian, mixed vegetable and seasoned tomato. These savory flavors have since been discontinued.”

Lime Jell-O smells like what they cleaned the bathrooms with in highschool.  And tastes like it, too.  This recipe was sitting on my kitchen table when my roommate, Jeff, wandered in to see what I was up to.  He read the recipe and with an exasperated sigh declared: “What the fuck is wrong with you, Lohman?”

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Jeff.  The truth is, I kinda thought this recipe would be good.  I wanted it to be good.  But it was so shockingly salty!  It has a salty, mayonnaise seam right through the middle, and is topped-off with another healthy dollop of mayonnaise.  Kraft, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Tomorrow: a delightful trio of fresh vegetables.

3 Responses to “The Joys of Jell-O: Lime-Strawberry Surprise”


  • Fucking gross! (sorry, couldn’t help myself) Maybe sour cream would be a better alternative to mix with the cream cheese.

  • Top with additional mayonnaise!

  • Oh, and did the mayo change over time (the recipe) to suit our wants for more salt? Would it have been more palatable in the mid-century with mid-century mayo? Have our food tastes evolved that fast? The mid-century was when processed food was really starting to be on the schene…was it just because it was so new? Was advertising just that powerful…brainwashing…Jell-O hysteria…curious!

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