As a kid, I used to admire the colorful gelatin molds sold in the refrigerated aisle at the grocery store. My family never purchased them. Instead, we enjoyed a gelatin dessert my grandmother made during the holidays that consisted of strawberry gelatin, thawed frozen strawberries, and whipped topping all mixed together in a large serving bowl. There was nothing artistic in my grandma’s Jell-O presentation, but it didn’t matter because it was one of our favorite desserts and rarely lasted long before everyone ate it all up. Still, those fancy-looking molds in the grocery store intrigued me when I was younger.
Gelatin molds have been around since at least the late 1800s, and they reached a peak in popularity in the mid-twentieth century, with many Jell-O salads containing both sweet and savory ingredients. There were cookbooks devoted to gelatin mold recipes, and they were often promoted as ways to use up various leftover ingredients such as fruits, veggies, and more, strange as that sounds to our modern palates. Lime gelatin with canned salmon and vegetables, anyone?
Gelatin molds are still sold in grocery stores today in the deli section, although they are strictly dessert and don’t contain unusual ingredient combinations. Aldi reminded me of those bright gelatin molds with a recent special they stocked for a limited time in the refrigerator aisle.
The Lakeview Farms Red, White & Blue Parfait cost $2.45 for a 22-ounce container at the time of publication. It features gelatin in red, white, and blue colors (with strawberry, lemon lime, and “berry blue” flavors) just in time to add some color to a Fourth of July celebration.
This is an Aldi Find, which means it’s only in stores for a short time.
The brand Lakeview Farms is not an Aldi house brand and is not exclusive to Aldi, though. This gelatin ring is a product of Lakeview Farms, LLC in Delphos, Ohio, which manufactures a variety of brands that may be found at other grocery stores. Those brands include Winky Desserts, The Cheesecake Factory at Home, Senor Rico, and more.
It’s not clear whether you can purchase this exact mold at other stores besides Aldi. The store locator feature on Lakeview Farms’ website wasn’t working well for me, so I’m not sure what all the other grocers are that stock their products, but I found some Winky Desserts gelatin cups for sale at Walmart.
I also don’t think this is the first time Aldi has sold Lakeview Farms products; I’m fairly certain they’ve sold Cheesecake Factory at Home cheesecakes as limited-time specials in the past, and I think they have stocked Senor Rico rice pudding.
As for this gelatin dessert, the container states it must be kept refrigerated to maintain safety, and it should not be frozen. It has a best-by date of December of 2021, so it lasts a surprisingly long time in the fridge, thanks, for better or worse, to preservatives.
Ingredients are: water, high fructose corn syrup, gelatin, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, citric acid, sugar, sodium citrate, salt, natural and artificial flavor, potassium sorbate (maintains freshness), dextrose, polysorbate 60, polyglycerol, esters of fatty acids, xanthan gum, methylcellulose, soy lecithin, disodium phosphate, beta carotene (color), red 40, and blue 1.
This dessert contains soy. The package also states it contains “bioengineered food ingredients.”
One container has about six servings, with one serving netting you 90 calories, 1 gram of total fat (1% DV), 1 gram of saturated fat (5% DV), no cholesterol, 45 mg of sodium (2% DV), 20 grams of total carbohydrates (7% DV), no dietary fiber, 20 grams of added sugars (40% DV), and 2 grams of protein.
I dished up this gelatin as a dessert for my family on a recent evening. I didn’t try to pop it out of the mold onto a plate for a fancy presentation. I simply spooned a little of each color/flavor into bowls for everyone to try. I’m not sure how easily this would pop out of the mold anyway, since a small amount of the gelatin remained in the container ridges after I scooped it with a spoon.
Family members’ opinions on this varied. As far as gelatin molds go, it’s all right. The lemon lime flavor is the strongest of all the flavors, while both berry flavors were fairly muted or almost neutral. My family questioned what the white substance was that is mixed in with the gelatin cubes to help hold everything together. It looks like whipped topping, but it doesn’t really have any flavor.
Only two of the four of us finished our servings, while the others ate some and then decided they’d rather save their calorie allotment for other things . . . like my grandmother’s strawberry Jell-O salad, which still comes out as the winner here.
The Lakeview Farms Red, White & Blue Gelatin Parfait features gelatin in patriotic colors with strawberry, lemon lime, and berry blue flavors. It’s sold in a plastic ridged, molded container, which gives it a fancy presentation, and the colors make it perfect for Independence Day cookouts and parties. It tastes like other grocery store gelatin molds we’ve tried, and it’s all right, but our family’s opinion of it was tepid enough that we probably won’t buy it again.