Junket Is Nice

Looking for something whimsical to read to your child this summer? Then pick up a copy of the New York Review Children’s Collection’s reissue of Dorothy Kunhardt’s Junket Is Nice. Kunhardt’s name is one that you might recognize; she authored the revered children’s classic, Pat the Bunny. But 80 years ago, Junket Is Nice, her very first children book, was published with much success. Now, I’ll be honest: The story makes no sense whatsoever to my adult mind–a man with a red beard eating lots of junket, an unruly crowd, a young boy with a tricycle–but I think it’s precisely the whimsical and nonsensical plot that makes it so appealing to others. Of course, there’s also the nostalgia angle that will undoubtedly draw readers. But the real question is: What is junket? And could it have been that tasty? A quick search on Google shows that junket is a milk- and rennet-based dessert made with junket rennet tablets; junket rennet (the vegetarian-friendly kind) tablets are still in production and you can buy them from junketdesserts.com; and that it elicited a love/hate reaction from those who grew up eating it. Without actually making and tasting it (the Smithsonian’s Food & Think blog has a recipe), I’d like to know from those of you who used to eat junket: What did it taste like?

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