Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Mormon Studies Review

Article Title

Jell-O Medium


Kate Holbrook


Jello, Salt Lake Olympics, Culture


Lapel pins are a part of the Olympic cultural experience produced to represent the hosting community, and generally one pin becomes more popular than the others. For the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, the runaway favorite pin featured green Jell-O, and enthusiasts paid $150 or more for pins that originally cost $7.1 Aminco International, the company that makes Olympic pins, recognized that Jell-O was no status symbol. “We were worried that Utah would be embarrassed about being known as the Jell-O-eating capital of the world,” admitted vice president David Hyman. Yet he somehow came to decide that, “Utahans are very proud of it.”2 Every few years since 2002, someone writes about Latter-day Saints and Jell-O, and invariably they mention this pin as evidence of some profound truth about Latter-day Saint culinary traditions.