Aspic in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Aspic is the clear jelly/gelatine like substance that foods are set in. It has the advantage of helping preserve the food, especially meat, and its initial use was in medieval times as a way of ensuring meats did not spoil as quickly.
Aspic tends to be made from meat stocks which have naturally occurring gelantine in from the meat bones.
Aspic plays a very small part in culinary life these days but has in the past been extremely vogueish. In the 19th century, especially in England and continental Europe, many dishes (especially at grand banquets) would be presented in Aspic.
Aspic also enjoyed something of a revival in the 1970s at dinner parties.
Nowadays most people buy aspic in powered form (just add hot water) rather than making it from scratch.