The Artist Trying to Explain Kentucky’s ‘Meat Shower’ of 1876

A historical head-scratcher inspired the world’s worst jelly bean flavor. (Atlas Obscura)

EVERY OCTOBER, AROUND 200,000 PEOPLE gather in Kentucky for Court Days, the largest outdoor event in the state. Ever since 1794, locals have bought, traded, or sold various goods at the festival, held in the city of Mount Sterling. But in one of the strangest offerings in Court Days history, Kurt Gohde, professor of art at Transylvania University, handed out meat-flavored jelly beans in 2007 to anyone who would eat them.


Some people said the flavor of the dark red jelly beans reminded them of raw bacon. Another pair agreed with each other that they tasted like “strawberry pork chop.” Gohde, who commissioned the jelly beans with their specific flavor profile, describes them as tasting like “a heavily sugared bacon, with a metal aftertaste.”


The jelly beans were flavored like the 1876 meat shower, a mysterious event where chunks of flesh rained down over nearby Olympia Springs, one early March day. Gohde had hoped that meat connoisseurs at Court Days might help him determine the true identity of the mysterious substance.


Read the full story at Atlas Obscura.

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