Let’s talk about...jelly

Dr Sue Bailey brought back a national treasure to discuss jelly.

Date: 6 August 2018

Fanny Cradock was, and arguably still is, one of the nation’s most treasured celebrity chefs. The TV chef was a controversial character, someone our nation loved to loathe, and you would be forgiven for doing a double take if you saw her in person – she passed away in 1994!

Dr Sue Bailey, senior lecturer in Food Science MSc, brought back this iconic figure by adopting the persona of Fanny Cradock to talk about the science behind jelly at the Museum of Cambridge’s Castle Hill Open Day on Saturday 21 July.

With the help of her daughter, Dr Bailey has perfected Cradock’s iconic look – plaster-thick foundation, line-drawn eyebrows and bright red lips.

“A large part of Fanny Cradock’s work was to engage interest in cooking, particularly in young children,” said Dr Bailey.

“By bringing her persona back to life, I hope to inspire the next generation of chefs and foodies. In particular, I want to teach our young people that cooking is an incredibly fun industry. There’s so many different ways to experiment with food and find out what works best for each professional.

“It’s great to see so many people get involved with this eccentric but successful initiative!”

Through a series of practical demonstrations as Fanny, Dr Bailey explored the history of jelly and find out how science and food can be brought together to lead to loads of wobbly, fruit-flavoured fun.

Dr Bailey explained the history of jelly and about the copper and china jelly moulds which will be on display. She’ll be making jellies in retro aluminium bunny rabbit jelly moulds, so familiar to children of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as testing modern day jelly moulds.

Dr Bailey regularly presents at food shows to showcase her 25 years of food science expertise. Some of her recent appearances include Ecotrophelia, where she has been working closely with London Met’s Fabamallow team to help them win the Big Idea Challenge and Silver at the Ecotrophelia awards. Dr Bailey has also appeared on another national treasure, The Great British Bake Off.

Fabamallow are an entrepreneurial team made up of four of Dr Bailey’s food product development students. In 2018, they have been working hard to launch their idea of a chocolate coated vegan marshmallow.

Image courtesy of Waitrose

Image credit: Roy J Baron Insta: @RoyJBaron