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Del Monte Fruit & Gel--Mixed Fruit in Cherry Gel

Del Monte Fruit and Gel

When I was a kid, I used to love going to cafeteria style eateries, and part of the thrill was getting a big plate of wobbly gelatin for dessert. Even now I still enjoy eating Jell-O gelatin. The downside is, although it's pretty simple to make--you just boil water and mix--you have to wait a few hours for it to set in the refrigerator. True, you can buy them now already pre-made in invidividual snack cups, but you still have to store them in the refrigerator.

Nowadays, you can buy gelatin cups that keep in room temperature--although they taste a lot better cold. Del Monte and Dole both make fruit and gelatin cups. The question is, how do they compare with traditional gelatin that is based on animal products?

Nutrition Facts
Calories    90Calories from fat    0
Total fat    0g
    Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium    40mg
Total Carbohydrate    23g
   Dietary Fiber 0g
   Sugars 20g
Protein    0g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 30%
Calcium 2%

The Del Monte gelatin is different from Jell-O. It is slightly more rigid, lacking Jell-O's "bouncy" characteristics. But I happen to like this. It is somewhat similar to agar. It breaks apart more easily in the mouth, making it easier to eat. The cherry, peach, and orange gel varieties are all flavorful, and they have a good balance of fruit to gelatin. Del Monte also sells a lite variety, Mandarin Orange is Orange Gel, which has 1/3 less sugar than its regular varieties.

The fruit is of the same quality as that of the canned fruit that Del Monte sells. Which is to say, it will never taste like fresh fruit, but I still enjoy canned fruit.

Dole Fruit Bowl--Fruit in Gel

Dole Fruit Bowls--Peaches in Strawberry Gel

When I first tried Dole's brand of fruit and gel a long, long time ago, I did not like it. The gelatin seemed very heavy and had more of a starchy feel like that of pudding rather than gelatin. Either my memory of the taste is wrong, or Dole changed the gelatin, because it is vastly improved. In fact, it is closer to tasting like Jell-O gelatin than Del Monte's version. Whether that is a good thing is a matter of individual preference. I happen to prefer Del Monte.

Nutrition Facts
Calories    80Calories from fat    0
Total fat    0g
Sodium    70mg
Potassium    70mg
Total Carbohydrate    21g
   Sugars 19g
Protein    <1g
Vitamin C 40%

The second big difference is that Dole has a lot of fruit in their cups. "30% more" than what they had before. If you prefer more fruit than gelatin, then Dole's your brand. Their flavors are on par with Del Monte, although I found the lime flavor in their Pinapple in Lime gel to be a little "artificial" in flavor. Tons of pinapple, though.

Both brands make for a pretty good snack for kids. They are fairly low in calories, are light and refreshing, and contain a good dose of Vitamin C. The Del Monte brand has slightly superior gelatin I think, but if you like fruit more so than gelatin, you'll probably prefer Dole. I buy both--whatever happens to be on