Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Junket


I am wondering if this is a local (Philly) dessert from the 1950s because no one ever knows what I am talking about when I mention it. How about you guys? It was like a very light, milky pudding. Almost meringue like.

Did you eat desserts in childhood? What was your typical dessert? This may have been mine.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it was Philadelphia it was New York too. I definitely remember it.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

Typical dessert? Jello or pudding (usually chocolate but I also liked butterscotch) or cookies.

Jeff M.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

I remember my mother making Jello pudding all the time, and it always had this nasty skin on top it. Same with tomato soup. We used to drink Zar-X, which was flavored syrup that you mixed with water by the jug.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Zar X. Wow!
We also had a lot of canned fruit. My mother couldn't bake so we only had bakery cakes on the weekend. But we always had dessert. Now we never have dessert but have fruit as part of the meal.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

My mother, who was British, made junket quite frequently when I was a boy growing up in the Pacific Northwest. I loved it, but haven't had it for many years now.

Cheers,
Jeff

Jerry House said...

Junket was a staple in Massachusetts. One dessert I liked was Indian pudding. During strawberry season, it was strawberry shortcake for dinner -- not for dessert. Served on a biscuit with real cream. Your post has brought back a lot of memories...Bosco, Maypo, and so much more.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

How could I forget Delmonte fruit cocktail, canned peaches, and of course, Underwood Deviled Ham.

Anonymous said...

While I never heard of it, according to Wikipedia Zarex was also an American sweet drink concentrate. It was manufactured by the One Pie Canning Company until summer 2008.

Jeff M.

Sounds more like a 1950's horror movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't think I've had canned fruit since the sixties. I bet it's not in that heavy syrup anymore.
Kool Aid is the only packaged drink I recall. Must be similar.

JJ said...

I grew up in Tennessee and remember Junket.

Naomi Johnson said...

Never heard of Junket. Desert? That was so rare when I was a kid, we'd take anything. Oranges and walnuts at Christmas, maybe a peppermint stick or a box of chocolate-covered cherries, we got pretty excited over those things.

Todd Mason said...

Zarex, which is how I remembered it as well, was heavily advertised in the Boston area in the 1970s...the jingle for the television ad helpfully noted, "Zarex begins with a Z!" The grape flavor of this bottled syrup was the most widely distributed, I think. I didn't like it much, nor Hawaii's equivalent, ExChange, which was most frequently (exclusively?) orange flavored and usually (exclusively?) sold in cans, and was also a sweet syrup one added to water, if persuaded by their jingle "ExChange goes down, down, down/And around, 'round, 'round/In your glass, glass, glass/Makes your mind/Go yum, yum, yum/That orangeade called ExChange"...less like Kool-Aid, or Funny Face or Flavor-Aid or Country Time, and more like flavored and colored Karo, in both cases.

I lived all over New England in the 1970s, faintly Anglophile Hawaii from 1979-'84, and in and around Philadelphia since 1996, and I don't think I've ever seen or had packaged (or scratch) Junket.

My folks have always had a sweet tooth that won't quit, so there was usually candy, ice cream and cakes around, and the occasional Jell-O pudding dish, which, along with chip cookies (and steaks) I learned how to cook for myself at a young age...my early addiction to Drake's products, particularly Devil Dogs but also the pies, has never completely subsided. Hostess Suzy-Qs were no substitute, nor Little Debris/Debbie imitations.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think it's an east coast/english thing. No one in Michigan has heard of it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My love of TastyKakes has only been kept at bay since I moved away from Philly. They are powerfully dangerous to me as you know, Todd.

Todd Mason said...

As you know, if you saw and opened the link I've sent you, TastyKake has been bought by the folks behind the down-market Mrs. Freshley's, but they have promised to keep the standards up at TK. We shall see, or taste, perhaps.

Much as the villains at Hostess seem to have discontinued the Funny Bone (peanut butter-filling chocolate cake with chocolate frosting) line from Drake's after purchasing them...

Anonymous said...

I remember Junket from my 50's California kidhood. Haven't seen it in decades, but then I haven't looked either.
Michel

Travis Erwin said...

Never heard of it but with a name like that it has to be good.

Randy Johnson said...

My favorite as a kid was seasonal. During the Christmas season, my Mother, my two sisters, and I would sit in front of a hot fire. Mom would roll these big, fat oranges(much bigger, I remember, than what's available today) to break up the pulp, cut a hole in the top, and insert a porous peppermint candy stick. Sucking that juice through the peppermint was something my siblings and I looked forward to.

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw said...

I don't remember ever having a dessert from a box, growing up, not that we didn't have desserts... Mama baked quite a bit. She would say if it didn't come from her oven or refrigerator, it wasn't going in my mouth. Thankfully, I had a BFF, whose mother did not share my mother's "credo"... I always got my fill of (cover your ears, Mama!) Hostess Sno-Balls, Suzy-Q's and Jello Butterscotch pudding, over at Talia's... lol! The only dessert Mama would make from box was Lime JEllO!! Mmm... I LOVED Lime JELLO... still do, as a matter of fact. Papa used to tease that I would turn green one day, from all the Lime JELLO, which of course only made me want even MORE! You tell a six year that they will turn green from eating something, what do you expect? Of course, that didn't work on vegetables...LOL!!

Anonymous said...

Yes to Sno-Balls. Also those Hostess cupcakes where you could peel the icing off. My youngest sister still has a jones for Ring Dings. And no one has mentioned Oreos! What's up with that?

Some of the cookies I remember were Nilla Wafers, Pecan Sandies, and these really good coconut chocolate chip cookies (maybe from Keebler?) that you just don't see any more.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The fact that my mother didn't bake kept me thin as a kid.
Junket was okay but kind of thin, watery stuff.

John said...

I grew up mostly in Connecticut (three other states as well). I definitely remember seeing Junket boxes in my grandmother's home. And vaguely recall eating it. Sort of a blancmange consistency but very artificial tasting. Must be East Coast.

Our family practically lived on desserts as our dental records will attest. My mother also was devoted to the recipes in women's magazines like Family Circle, Redbook, Ladies' Home Journal and other long defunct periodicals. Here's a sampling of things we had after dinner: Jell-O parfaits with Cool Whip; some kind of dessert pie "casserole" with Nilla wafers on the bottom and pudding and coconut on top; fake Popsicles made by freezing Tang in our ice cube trays and propping a stick in them; a variety of Bundt cake experimnets usually taken from Duncan Hines mixes, etc., etc. If it was in a magazine seemed inventive or had a mouth watering photograph to illustrate it we had it at least once.

TastyKakes! We lived in a subrub outside of Philly (Malvern - actually closer to Paoli) for one year. I remember those, too. And Dolly Madison cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

After I posted my Junket comment, I remembered Oreos. My mother's Poodle recognized the word and would immediately petition for a share. Today it's Newman's O's and my cat is not the least bit interested, thank goodness.
Michel

Kent Morgan said...

Junket was my absolutely favourite dessert when I was growing in The Pas, Manitoba North of the 53rd parallel so it did get around. Up until a few years ago, you could buy it in England under the name of Rennet. However, it never seemed to set the way Junket did. I just checked my grocery shelf in my basement to see if I had any sitting there. I didn't, but did find one called VegeRen that is described as a vegetarian Rennet suitable for cheese and Junket making. Here's the Junket recipe on the package.
Warm one pint of milk to 32C/90F, add one tablespoon of sugar, a few drops of vanilla and ten drops of Rennet, stir well. Pour into a bowl, allow to cool and set.

My mother put it into dessert dishes and let it set in the frig.