Yes, we are aware that Des Moines is the third insurance capital of the world (behind London and Hartford). We're also familiar with the history and significance of the Iowa Caucus.
Pause for yawning here.
What we find most fascinating about the Hawkeye state capital is its ongoing battle against Salt Lake City for the title of Jell-O gelatin capital of the world!
Way back in 1999, Des Moines was awarded this jiggly honor by Jell-O's manufacturer Kraft Foods. Though New York consistently slurps the most sweet in terms of total quantity, Des Moines took the U.S. lead in per capita Jell-O gelatin consumption that year. A prevalence of church functions, frequent family related events and the 3rd largest senior-citizen population in the country are factors thought to have contributed to Des Moines' gooey reign. While we could not find any actual numbers, suffice it to say that having a serving of Jell-O each week in these parts is not uncommon.
Dismayed former champion Salt Lake City viewed the Des Moines crowning as a Jell-O shot to the face. Determined to win back the wiggly claim to fame, Salt Lake launched an all out goo-slinging barrage before the Iowans knew what hit them. Utah newspapers ran stories about the upset; Salt Lake restaurants held Jell-O recipe contests; and BYU students gathered signatures petitioning for Jell-O as the official state snack. The sticky effort succeeded and along with its other sub-first titles, Des Moines is now considered the second Jell-O capital of the world.