Jelly, a form of food, prepared either from the juice of ripe fruits, boiled to a proper consistence with sugar ; or without it, from the flesh, intestines, or bones of animals, which are stewed so as to become perfectly stiff and firm when cold.
The jellies of fruits are cooling, and acescent; in all disorders of the first passages, they are of eminent service, especially when diluted with water. - On the other hand, those prepared from animal substances are very nourishing, and useful to invalids. They ought, however, to be uniformly made of young meat; as the flesh of old quadrupeds and birds is hard, tough, and productive of a thick glutinous jelly, which is extremely difficult of digestion.
A wholesome jelly may be obtained by boiling a large portion of blanched oats, with some hartshorn shavings and currants, together with a leg of veal cut to pieces, and the bones of which are broken. These ingredients are to be boil d or stewed over the fire, in a sufficient quantity of water, till the whole be reduced to a kind of jelly, which, when strained, and suffered to grow cold, will become firm and elastic. Such a preparation is much used on the Continent, in all hectic disorders, and eaten with broth of snails, or cray-fish. A few spoonfuls of the jelly are taken every morning, diluted with a bason of either of those broths, or any other warm liquor; a dish which furnishes grateful and invigorating aliment to phthisical patients, or those who are afflicted with lingering complaints. Although we are no advocates for liquid food in general, which is apt to distend the stomach, and impair the powers of digestion, by not affording them proper exercise ; yet such preparations may occasionally be very useful, if conjoined with a due proportion of either well baked bread, or other substantial nutriment. - See also Broth.