How America Embraced Aspics With Threatening Auras – Gastro Obscura

March 24, 2023

How America Embraced Aspics With Threatening Auras – Gastro Obscura:

As with so many things considered cutting-edge from the early to mid-1900s, this former food of the future is now a subject of derision and morbid fascination. Facebook groups like “Crimes against jello and vegetables and other mid-century transgressions” and “Aspics with threatening auras” collectively have tens of thousands of members, all of whom revel in the weirdest examples of the genre.

Whether it’s a whole turkey in aspic from the 1920s or a gelatin loaf portrait of Queen Elizabeth, the appeal lies in juxtapositions that feel, well, wrong. It’s what Freud would have called unheimlich, but in today’s internet parlance is known as “cursed.” Like an eyeball with a set of human teeth protruding under the lashes, the cursed aesthetic hinges on an image’s ability to make the viewer squirm.

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