Grass jelly may be an Asian drink, but it's not crazy

Raymond Chen

Chris Pirillo discovered Crazy Asian Drinks, a Web site devoted to the beverage preferences of people from the eastern part of Asia. Now, the text is really funny (which is important), but I would like to come to the defense of grass jelly drink. First of all, when I was growing up, grass jelly wasn’t a drink. It was a dessert. It came in a block, and you diced it up into pieces about one cubic centimeter in size—not the microscopic flecks that you end up in the beveragicized version. You put a few spoonfuls of it in a bowl and stirred in some sugar water and crushed ice. Of course, you had to crush the ice yourself by hand, because that’s the way it was done; it built up the anticipation. (You had to crush it uphill both ways.) When you assembled the dessert, you ate it with a spoon. This grass jelly drink is just a pale imitation of the original. It’s like if somebody mocked Jell-O gelatin because it was served to them pureed in a shot glass.

(And Happy New Year, everybody.)


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