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Growing in the UK in the 1970s my family regularly ate pink rabbit shaped blancmange.

I was wondering what the origin of the having pink blancmange served shaped like a rabbit is? It seems it was a widespread custom in the UK at the time.

enter image description here

(Not my picture, found it on twitter)

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  • At a guess this was the advent of easy-to-get plasticware, so cheap, easily available moulded shapes were a novelty. Why the pink blancmange? Perhaps easier to get this out of a mould than jelly?
    – bob1
    Feb 4 at 0:02
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    Wow, do you have any pictures of this? Not needed for the question, I just wanna see them.
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 4 at 0:38
  • Can't find anything about the reason for the rabbit molds. I can confirm that they were very popular, both with strawberry-flavor pink blancmange, and with other colors. But no info on who introduced them or how they popularized them.
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 4 at 0:45
  • I recently found a rabbit mould in the back of the cupboard, but that was apparently only used for jelly in the 80s. (also UK). @bob1 you can get jelly out easily if you dip the mould in hot water.
    – Chris H
    Feb 4 at 7:54
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    A multitude of moulds was used by the Victorians for various types of flummery. Polson Brown went into blancmange big-time (the 'modern' cornflour version) by the late 50's so by the 60s everybody in the UK knew it. How we got to the ubiquitous rabbit mould from there I cannot establish. This is an interesting historical look, but doesn't specifically cover the rabbit - historicfood.com/Jellies.htm
    – unlisted
    Feb 4 at 7:58
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Sorry to disappoint you guy's but we can go back another decade for the "pink blancmange" eating part of my childhood and Mum had a glass "rabbit-shaped" mold. So its popularity was not driven by the plastics manufacturing industry.


As for the pink colour

life in general was a lot more basic at that time* There were 97 houses in our street and these were a little bit posh we had inside toilets and a bath. Only 6 homes had a car and 3 were work ones. Only 3 houses had a phone.

Well I remember my mum did not have much choice in food colours

I did some research and this is what I found; in the early 20th century to stop people from being poisoned

The United States Food and Drugs Act prohibited the use of poisonous or harmful colors in confectionery and the coloring or staining of food to conceal damage or inferiority. Protecting the Consumer

The federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 finally created strict rules governing the use of synthetic foods and, surprisingly, only seven colors were approved for widespread use in food and they are still on the list today. They are

Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue FCF), Blue No. 2 (Indigotine),

Green No. 3 (Fast Green FCF),

Red No. 3 (Erythrosine), Red No. 40 (Allura Red AC),

Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine), and Yellow No. 6 (Sunset Yellow FCF).

So we basically had 4 colors and green was already spoken for, "the grass"

Blue rabbit? No, not really; Yellow rabbit? Urrrm!

Red rabbit OK. But blancmange is white so a few drops of red colouring and Hey presto! we got our Pink Rabbit! And since a lot of us Kids had a nice white rabbit with red eyes as a pet, well you guessed it the Pink Rabbit worked just fine.

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