Office supplies for dessert

Illustration by hayley doshay

While one of the most important things about vegan gelatin desserts is whether the gel can keep office supplies suspended in their fruity, jiggly bliss, the other is that it does not contain any animal tendon, skin or bone, which is what traditional gelatin is made of. So will it be the stapler in Bakol Jel Dessert's lemon flavor, the mouse in raspberry, the scissors in strawberry or the phone receiver in cherry? That's a personal decision. Bakol also offers a clear unflavored version, which can be used for adding to recipes that call for regular animal-collagen gelatin. The Kitchn ( has a couple of other suggestions for a gelatinous alternative: agar (alga) and carrageen (Irish moss). Jel Dessert may not be as shockingly sweet as its much more famous counterpart Jell-O, but that's an attribute. Plus, Bakol doesn't seem to have a shocking but not sweet alleged serial rapist as its spokesman emeritus.