The psychology behind why you should eat fried jello


Having grown up in the South Bronx, I didn’t go to many County Fairs as a kid. Actually, I don’t believe I ever went to any as a kid. I did go to little fairs that were held in empty lots in the Bronx. Do those count? There were Ferris wheels at those and countless ’80s music blasting. However, I don’t believe we had fried pie, fried frog legs or fried snickers bars at the Bronx fairs back then. I eventually ended up having fried pie outside Atlanta and it was yummy. I have also managed to have fried avocado and it was interesting. If its fried, I am likely to give it a try. I am lucky in that my blood pressure is pretty perfect. Here’s knocking on wood.

The Los Angeles County Fair is going on at the moment and I am excited to go for one reason. Two weeks ago, or so, fried jello won best fried food at a recent Texas fair.  Fried jello! Yum and yuck? Well, I want to give it a try and I believe other people do as well. Here are some good psychological reasons for trying fried jello.
1. Why not?  There is no better reason for trying fried jello than why shouldn’t you? Give it a shot. For the most part, I don’t think you have anything to lose by trying it. I doubt you will puke. I doubt you will feel your tongue burn. I don’t think it will lead to salmonella poisoning.

2. It’s weird and gives you street cred. By trying something “weird” you get a bit of a brain boost or mental pick-me-up. You feel jazzed. You get to brag and appear cool whether you are in high school or have been in the workforce for 20 years.  Imagine at the next cocktail party or tiring networking event, you can bring up fried jello and people will be interested to hear you talk for abut a minute or two.

3. A mass movement on fried jello may lead to Bill Cosby selling it on television. Before he got a creepy reputation, Bill Cosby used to sell jello (a long, long time ago). Personally, I found the jello ad creepy but the public at large ate it up (pun intended). By everyone eating a ton of fried jello, we may get Bill Cosby to come out of hiding. Schadenfreude?

4. You are feeling sick and dehydrated but hate water. Here is the thing. I will use “I” statements here. I hate drinking water. I often get dehydrated. I also love salty food. Hence, if I eat some very salty, odd food, I might (just might) get myself to drink water. At that point, I have no other choice. This may seem odd, but trust me there are other people out there that hate water.

5. Its better than fried jelly beans. As human beings, we like making downward comparisons. By saying that there there is someone else worse off, we feel a little better. I am not making this up. Its a psychological finding. And it applies to fried jello. There is always something worse and fried jelly beans seems to be it. By eating fried jello, you appear cool and avoid the real icky stuff.

6. You like being surprised.  You are open to new experiences. There is a psychological personality construct called openness and one of its measures is how adventurous you are with your food. So, want to impress a date with how open you are to the world? Go to the county fair and eat some fried jello.

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