The Jello Belt is a colloquial term in American English that refers to the parts of the western United States with large populations of "Mormons" (properly called Latter-day Saints). In academic literature, the area is more commonly called the "Mormon culture region" or the "Mormon corridor."
It generally refers to a roughly-defined area of land centered on Utah. The Jello Belt extends northward through western Wyoming and eastern Idaho to Yellowstone National Park. The Jello Belt reaches south through San Bernardino, California and Mesa, Arizona. In Arizona, the Belt extends throughout all of the eastern part of the state, almost to the U.S.-Mexico border. The eastern half of Nevada is the Jello Belt's western edge.
The name "Jello Belt" references the affection that Mormons supposedly have for Jell-O (a gelatin-based food), particularly when served with shredded carrots, or blended with canned fruit and set in molds. Green (Lime) Jell-O, for some reason, is the most stereotypically Mormon of Jell-O flavor-colors. Jell-O has been designated Utah's official state snack food.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The Jello Belt?
I had heard of the Bible Belt, the Sun Belt, the Grain Belt and the Corn Belt. But I had no idea until I stumbled across an article on my bloglines feed today that there is a Jello Belt. Yep! My home state of Utah is smack dap in the middle of the Jello Belt (not surprisingly). The exact definition per Wikipedia follows. Enjoy!