This past Monday a toddler in Paso Ancho died from asphyxiation after ingesting a popular gelatin treat resembling a small Jello Snack Pack called “Mini Gelatinas” a common candy that any Gringo that has been to a piñata party will tell you are as abominable as they are abundant here.

Well it turns out they are also illegal and very dangerous. Although one would think that they would have been banned from day one due to their foul flavor they weren’t actually banned in Costa Rica until 2003 and it was due to something much worse…..


These minigelatinas, as Ticos call them, were banned by the Ministry of Health over a decade ago due to a chemical known as Konjac. Konjac, unlike most gelling agents does not readily melt in your mouth and due to several highly publicized deaths and near-deaths, products containing Konjac were subsequently banned in the USA, Costa Rica and the European Union. In all 17 people reportedly died from choking on konjac between 1995 and 2008 but besides the recent case in Costa Rica no updated numbers could be located.

Hit me again and I will rain death upon you
Although most of the Gringos we spoke to had never been able to successfully choke down more than half of one we were able to conclude that these terrible tasting trachea barricades come in a variety of flavors including disgusting, more disgusting, and I just threw up in my mouth.
WTF did I just eat?
Although the minigelatinas are popular among Ticos looking to cut corners but still fill a piñata most of the expats we spoke to said they usually just threw them in the trash or handed them out to homeless people.  A Canadian man with no children we spoke to in Nosara said he liked to throw them at hitchhikers. 
Say good bye to that new car smell
The CR Post recommends that our American readers to keep throwing these things in the trash like they always do.