What Is Gelatin Artistry?
What is a Gubia-needle?
"Gelatin Artistry" as Gelatin Artist Angelica calls it, is edible art made out of beef/pork clear gelatin or with a vegetarian version jelly made out of konjac root.
This gelatin art is a clear, empty, tangible space that you can eat! As weird as it may sound, gelatin art is 100 percent edible dessert that has flavor, sweetness, and that citrus that makes your mouth water and not only that! It's like painting in 3D but instead with a brush, you are using a tool called Gubia-Needles.
Gubia-Needles have not always been used for the elaboration of such art. As far as the history of this art has been tracked down, not much information is out there, just stories of the veteran Gelatin Artists that have been teaching this art for years. But what we know about gelatin desserts is that they have existed since way back in the medieval times. But referring to this art, it is speculated between the eldest artists that this method of elaborating artistic gelatins had possibly come from the catholic nuns in Mexico City. Now these nuns traveled from Spain and other places from Europe to Mexico bringing all those delicacies and culinary recipes with them. That is how Mexico has developed their gastronomic abilities from the Pros. Many nuns in the convents earn their living selling sweets and confections. Their recipes come from the times of the Romans and Moors, which they have preserved over the ages. In medieval times the sweet delicacies they now sell could only be tasted by royalty, or rich donors to the convents.
Sweets have been prepared by nuns who have worked in convent kitchens preparing some real treats. One of the most famous alcoholic drinks ever made by nuns was the "Rompope" an eggnog like beverage. It's believed to have been originally made in the convents of the city of Puebla, Mexico. How can we ever not think that nuns could have develop something so astonishing as a decorated gelatin dessert! They are masters of the confection. It is said that gelatin was originally made from extracting the collagen from beef hide and from pig too. This broth have to be boil numerous times in order to remove the impurities and obtain the clear gel which back then was used for making "aspics" a gelatin made with vegetables and other condiments.
Back to the gelatin art, it's believed that this artistic gelatins once started as been decorated with nuts and fruits on top of clear gelatin by forming flowers. Other version of this gelatins was by using the eggnog. By pouring eggnog on top of the clear gelatin and pricking the gelatin to let the liquid sip in and forming a flower was another way. Through out time the technics for the elaboration of this delicacies have been evolving either in the recipe or the tools that facilitate on forming each petal. The forming of different flowers intricate each detail from a pistil, baby's breath to a full petal. Not even to mention the colorful combination of pigments to add that realistic touch. Gelatin Artistry as we gelatin artists believe was initiated by nuns that taught homemakers back in the days (approx. 60-80 yrs.) as a form of income.
From forming shapes inside clear gelatin as flowers to pricking and cutting with sharp objects such as hypodermic needles to now in days by using a Gubia-needle to make this art so much easy and more realistic, we can say that we will never know who was the actual inventor or creator of this three dimensional art. Many elders claim to have been the original creator of such art but none of who ever claimed have any proof nor would we think He/She would still be alive. Gelatin art has become so creative and complex on designs that artists don't just limit on 3D flowers but go far beyond the basic such as making 3D colorful birds, butterflies, insects, mammals, scenery and human faces. Gelatin Artistry is not only creating figures suspended in clear gelatin but there's other techniques such as water color, encaustic with edible pigments, intaglio, molding and pipping as if it was buttercream to decorate a beautiful work of art. Gelatin art is very versatile to work with in many combination with cakes and fruits and that is what makes this gelatins very unique and delicious.
When Gelatin Artist Angelica started her journey in spring of 2008 on gelatin art, as she practice to perfect her creations she began to sell this desserts in parks, knocking door to door and churches. As she became more popular with her desserts, it attracted more customers and she started catering for events. Flooded by orders she couldn't keep up with making each gelatin dessert with one hypodermic needle and that lead her to start improvising with cut out metal shapes and a glass dropper. That speed up the process but still she felt that she needed a faster way to fulfill her orders from customers.
At the same time the artist was offered a position to teach at a cake and candy decorating supply store two months after embarking this career as a gelatin artist, Cakewalk Chicago located in the south side in Beverly opened the doors for this artist and never did she thought that she was stepping into a new world. As Angelica started teaching people from different ages from children to elders she noticed that some students had a hard time having a steady hand. She knew she had to go back to the drawing board to start designing a tool that could be easily used by the students and that could be an aid to a quicker way of elaborating this gelatin art. On June of 2010 Angelica completed her first tool which she name "Gubia-Aguja". Gubia comes from "Gulbia" in Latin. Which is translated as chisel. Chisel is a metal tool used by carpenters to carve on to wood and "Aguja" in Spanish mean needle.
The combination between this two words make up the word Gubia-needle. A tool made out of two other tools attached together to make two functions at the same time. As the artist began to work with the Gubia-needle she got inspired by nature to bring out more designs of different petals and leaves. As she perfected her vision of a very important tool she believe that this would be an impact to the development and evolution of such art, The Gelatin Artist release the Gubia-needles to the public for sell in her website on September of 2011. Till this day the Artist count with more than 150 essential designs, some available to the public and some still pending to be release to the public soon.
Angelica is eager to show the world what this art is all about. Her talent and creativity has taken her to the spotlight of many exhibitions, displays, publications and the media. The artist counts with a YouTube Channel where it's bein a learning place for student abroad. She believes that this culinary art is not about who got artistic talent because you don't need any artistic ability to learn gelatin art it's more than art itself. It's therapy for the mind, it's a way of income for the homemakers that are looking to develop a business while taking care of their family at home. Most of all it's a way to bond with someone that shares the same interest and passion as you. What other way can you share something sweet and surrealistic by eating one of this amazing gelatin desserts.