Break out the spoons! Salt Lake City has wriggled back into the title of No. 1 for Jell-O consumption per capita, taking back the slippery "championship" from Des Moines, Iowa.

And the Utah Senate is also jiggling up interest in the slippery dessert: Sen. Leonard Blackham, R-Moroni, is sponsoring a resolution that declares J-E-L-L-O the official snack of Utah.

"Whereas, Jell-O is representative of good family fun, which Utah is known for throughout the world . . . ," reads one of the reasonings in the resolution, which is still being — well, molded.

But wait! There's more. Blackham's resolution also cites our locally varied Jell-O recipes, including mix-ins such as bananas, apples, marshmallows, pretzels, carrots and grapes; the 2002 Winter Olympic green gelatin pin; and the citizenry's long and storied history of eating lots and lots of Jell-O.

"I chose Jell-O because of what it stands for: wholesomeness and family values," he said. "This is fun in the right sense of recognizing something that's a vehicle for some important values."

The resolution would declare Feb. 4-10 as "Jell-O Week," to be celebrated annually.

Jell-O-sponsored festivities on Jan. 31 will feature Bill Cosby in an appearance at the State Capitol for a joint session of the House of Representatives and Senate. At that session, the state of Utah will make the popular actor-comedian — who has been a spokesman for Jell-O since 1974 — an honorary citizen. Jell-O will have a display in the Capitol Rotunda, with samples for passers-by. .

Jell-O spokeswoman Camille Rustige told the Deseret News that Salt Lake City regained the Jell-O championship after a serious "Take Back the Title" campaign promoted by a couple of Brigham Young University students and Scott Blackerby, Bambara restaurant's executive chef. The students circulated petitions at the Utah State Fair, and Blackerby sponsored a competition in which cooks submitted Jell-O recipes.

"Utahns came up with some great, creative recipes, and I dare say that Iowa can't compete with that," Blackerby said.

Jell-O is "kind of one of those that's just been so linked with Utah for so long," Rustige said. During the petition drive, one-third of the participants already thought the gelatin was an "official" snack.

Of course, the good news for Salt Lake City means sad times for Des Moines.

"We haven't told them yet," Rustige said.


E-mail: kswinyard@desnews.com