17 April 2012

Jam, Jelly, and Jell-O - The Difference

Since teaching English in Japan, I have often been asked what the difference is between jelly and jell-o. My normal response to this question is always that they're exactly the same. At one time, an American that I was teaching with was so taken aback by this and quickly stopped me and told the class that they were "completely different!" I was so confused, the class was confused, and when I tried to explain my reasoning and brought jam into the picture (not to mention preserves!), the American was confused too. It was a mess! But also a good teaching opportunity to share with the students that even though Americans and New Zealanders both speak English, that doesn't necessarily mean we speak the same "language." In truth, that probably confused them the most. That was over a year ago and it was only last weekend that I was able to finally settle the great JJJ or Jam, Jelly, and Jell-O debate!

Ever since that incident with that teacher, I have asked a lot of Americans to explain to me the differences between the three and they aren't always sure of how to describe it to me... but from what I gather, jam is pretty much the same in both countries and is thick with seeds and pulp inside, jell-o is what jelly is in New Zealand, the wobbly gelatin stuff, while Jelly in America (which doesn't exist where I come from) is a mixture between the two resulting in a watery jell-o or a watery jam with no seeds or pulp. It has taken me the longest time to wrap my head around this concept. Probably longer than needed (much to Jun's amusement). Growing up in a "jelly"-less land made me always raise an eyebrow whenever I would hear people on t.v. saying peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because to me that mean eating peanut butter with the wobbly gelatin stuff! And that just sounded eewww >_<  

I asked the missionaries in my ward, Elder Willard and Elder Merrell, a few months ago the same question and they did a pretty good job of explaining it. I guess I must have looked really lost and confused (yet again!) because Elder Willard said that he would ask his Mum to send all three of them over so I could finally understand lol I know it sounds ridiculous, but I was really excited hahah! Despite me living in Hawaii for a few years, I don't ever remember eating jelly and I just really wanted to understand hahaha I'm such a geek I know :P

Anyway, we invited the missionaries over for dinner last Sunday. We have two companionships in our ward (Willard, Loud, Fry, Posey) so it was a little party even though they had to dine and dash to get home before curfew. We had okonomiyaki and Jun did such a good job! I think his Mum would be proud coz it was GOOD! And Elder Willard brought the JJJ!!! So THANK YOU to Elder Willard's MUM! ^____^ I lathered the jelly on to the bread and it got soaked up really quickly! It was just like a thin chunky jell. I put more on and then added some peanut butter. I told the missionaries that this was my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich and they were all like whaaaaat?! o_O?! They couldn't believe it haha. It was also the first time eating grape flavoured JJJ too, so an added bonus! Over here in Japan, they also have a lot of grape and even peach flavoured things. I don't think that these flavours are that big in New Zealand though. I took a big bite right out of the middle of the sandwich! It was actually pretty good, flavour-wise. I think I still have to get used to the runny texture though. I felt like it was slipping and sliding all over my teeth lol. And then Elder Willard gave me all three to keep! ^__^ It pays to be persistent sometimes. And before I forget, I love how they are stored in squeeze bottles! Such a good idea because I hate how the jam jars get stuck after being in the fridge for a while and then you have to bust out the tea towel for grip. But I can now happily say that I know the difference between jam, jelly, and jell-o! FINALLY!! Now Jun can stop rolling his eyes at me hahaha

This is what Elder Willard gave to meeee! I have been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast since lol

Nom nom nom! Thank you America! lol

 We had Pavlova for dessert! I have made a few in the past and every time I make them, they come out differently but I think this recipe is a keeper! Ric did all the hard work, I just licked the spoon.

 Half way through devouring it. It was so soft and marshmellowy on the inside! Would have been even better if there was a crisp crust on the outside but oh well. The missionaries didn't know any better so all good ;)

Elder Loud had mentioned Gushers to me once before and I didn't know what they were, and he happened to have some on him so he gave us some! He gave us two packets, but I ate them both mwuahaha! They are SO GOOD! Where do I get more?! They are like my favourite candy now!

 And these are our awesome missionaries serving in Kunitcahi Ward! The next transfer is next week and so someone might be leaving :( I like talking to the missionaries just a little bit more than I did before because I have a brother serving in Brisbane, Australia and so I kinda feel closer to him. And if I make friends with the missionaries here, I feel like there is someone over there will wanna make friends with my brother :)

It was a nice ending to our weekend. Jun and I both agree that we should invite the missionaries, or just friends, over to dinner more often. So our door is always open if you ever wanna come over!

This was kind of a weird post... being about jelly and all... but now if a student asks me for the difference, I know what to say!

That is all :)


  1. sooooooooo funny . . . and the truth shall set you freeeee

  2. that pav looks seriously good ric!

    1. Dani -
      FYI on the peanut butter and jelly. Use two slices of bread. Spread the peanut butter on one slice and spread the jelly on the other slice then but both slices together. A lot less messier. :) Welch's Concord jelly is the best. I've been eating Welch's since I was a child.

  3. OMG DANI GUSHERS IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE FRUIT SNACK EVER!!! And btw, I thought jelly and jell-o were the same thing to lol :-/ Actually when I lived in Aussie, I'd get so confused at everything too and not sure what was what in the grocery stores lol

    1. THEY ARE SOOO GOOD AYE! haha im kinda gutted tho coz i know japan doesnt have them :( and yes it was sooooo confusing!!! hahaha but glad i finally know the diff! ^__^

  4. OK, how come I just now discovered your blog? hahaha You're so funny, Dani ... thanks for sharing all this stuff. I'm going to be a regular reader from now on. :) Love you guys!