Gelatin is an odorless, colorless, tasteless thickener derived from collagen, a protein extracted from the bones, cartilage and tendons of animals. Two forms are available: powdered gelatin, popular with American cooks, and sheet or leaf gelatin, which is commonly used in Europe. Do not confuse powdered gelatin with the sweetened, fruit-flavored gelatin desserts sold in boxes. Both powdered and leaf gelatin must be rehydrated, or allowed to "bloom," in cool water and then melted before they can be added to a recipe.
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