For the love of jelly beans

Liz, writing in Pittsburgh and not amused by the fresh coat of snow on the ground Monday morning.

Easter is recently in the rearview and with it one of my favorite candies. No, not chocolate.

Jelly beans.

(I am actually a fan of any fruity, chewy candy, but I digress.)

starburstEnjoyed by President Ronald Regan, jelly beans are one of those “once a year” things, at least where I live. Growing up, choices were limited. We usually had Brach’s, which were perfectly adequate, but nothing fancy.

Now, though, seems like everybody has jumped on the jelly bean train.

In years past, my brother-in-law played the Easter Bunny and brought the Easter candy from Buffalo and a local chocolatier (including sponge candy – yum, but again, I digress). But since he has relocated to Pittsburgh, we had to forage for our own candy this year. We wound up with a selection of chocolates from Sarris and Betsey Ann, two local chocolatiers. (Betsey Ann does amazing truffles – again, digression.)

The Hubby originally picked up the “giant jar of jelly beans” from Sam’s Club. But he swapped it out in favor of three smaller bags of jelly beans from Betsey Ann – two fruit and one black. Quality over quantity, he reasoned (or more accurately, hoped). To his credit, the jelly beans were quite good, if a bit on the smallish side.

But that got me thinking about jelly beans in general. The modern market looks a lot different than the Brach’s of my youth.

starburstFruit-flavored jelly beans: These are my choice. The Betsey Ann beans were good (I was not fast enough to get a picture, the bags had been ripped open and poured into the mix by the time I got up). Inexplicably, however, I am also a huge fan of Starburst jelly beans. They come in different varieties: the traditional Starburst fruit, tropical, and their “all red” bag. One of my teams at the day job stocks these throughout the Easter season, which makes me grateful I work remotely a lot, because I cannot leave them alone. The best part? No black jelly beans at all.

Jelly Belly is another entry. I will say, their fruit-flavored beans are very good. However, Jelly Belly contains some rather…untraditional flavors. Buttered popcorn? I’m sorry, if I wanted something that tasted like buttered popcorn I would, you know, make popcorn. I want a jelly bean, doggone it.

jellybellyJelly Bell is also responsible for the horror that is Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans – yes, the candy treat of Harry Potter fame. Now, I have to be fair. The flavors that are “normal” are pretty good. But gras? Dirt? Pepper? And yes, booger? Ugh. I bought my daughter a box of these at a specialty candy store years ago. On the drive home, because I needed to focus on driving, she fed me every…single…disgusting…flavor…bean in the box.

Ixnay on the Bertie Bott’s.

Then there are spice jelly beans. My main objection to spice jelly beans is they look too much like fruit-flavored ones, especially when you have a family that insists on mixing everything together. Pick up a nice red expecting cherry and what do you get? Cinnamon. Not bad, but when you’re a kid and you have expectations…well, you get the idea.

But the all time, “please don’t feed me any” aware goes to black jelly beans. Now, if you like black licorice, you probably like black jelly beans. This is a “love ’em or hate ’em” opionion. I have never met anyone who was “meh” on black licorice/jelly beans. My son and I fall firmly in the “those are disgusting” camp. The rest of the family (Hubby, daughter, and brother-in-law) like them.

Well, they can have all the black jelly beans they want, thank-you-very-much. Unfortunately, they were not on board with The Boy’s and my suggestion that they take all the black jelly beans and we get all the fruit ones.

Oh well.

So tell me fellow Mysteristas and readers: what’s your stand on jelly beans? Black or no black? Inquiring minds want to know.

Photos courtesy of Judlt Klein, FergleFam007, and Kristy Johnson on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.

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Author: Liz Milliron

Liz Milliron has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people's stories, for as long as she can remember. She survived growing up through reading, cutting her mystery teeth on Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark and, of course, Nancy Drew. As an adult, she finds escape from the world of software documentation through creating her own fictional murder and mayhem. She lives near Pittsburgh with her husband and two teenage children, and fantasizes about owning a dog again - one of these days.

22 thoughts on “For the love of jelly beans”

  1. What an inspired post! The picture alone made me happy. Now, to answer your question:

    I hate black jelly beans. I hate black jelly beans like I hate sinking knee deep into a snowdrift while wearing ankle boots. I hate black jelly beans more than I hate trying on swimsuits. I hate black jelly beans more than I hate cleaning moldy dog poop out of the backyard in the spring.

    Not real fond of the earwax jelly beans either.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ixnay on the black jelly beans! *shivers* Blech! Jelly beans are awesome and wonderful – but there are definitely good ones and terrible ones. I’ve learned not to buy cheap ones. Brach’s are okay, I agree. Jelly Belly traditional ones are nice (small), but fun. I love a good jelly bean!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good lord! I confess, I don’t like jelly beans in any form, flavor, or color. It’s like eating chewy sugar, ick! If I were to eat a jelly bean, I might choose a black one because I used to like black licorice until I OD’ed on it in my teens. Never had a bite of it since.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG! You people are ka-RAZY! Black jelly beans are God’s gift to humankind … right after chocolate cake, Guinness, and fried chicken. But fruit-flavored jelly beans are right up there, too. I once ruined Easter by accidentally buying the spice instead of fruit ones. When I discovered the Starburst jelly beans, they became my go-to. Can’t screw up there!

    In future, please send me all your licorice jelly beans. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I LOVE Jelly Belly and regularly purchase their giant assortment at Costco. We even took a tour of the factory while on a family vacation. Fun Fun Fun. They tumble and polish them in things that look like commercial washing machines. (I haven’t figured out how to attach a photo in a response or I would share a photo in front of their giant Jelly Belly logo.)

    I like most flavors, but my favorites are the cinnamon and the hot cinnamon. I do not care for some of their flavors including the licorice or the buttered popcorn; luckily husband #1 likes all the flavors that I don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The good thing about Jelly Bellyisypu can usually spot the weird flavors by the color of them bean. One of our grocery stores used to do “bulk make your own assortment” all year round. That was awesome.

      Like

  6. Not a big fan of candy, and oddly enough, the only jelly beans I remember liking are the buttered popcorn ones! My dad used to receive a jar of Jelly Belly’s from a coworker, and my brothers and cousins and I would all fight about who got the popcorn ones.

    However, I recently posted on Instagram and Twitter about how Easter has the best candy. The only ones I buy are those candy-coated milk chocolate eggs (Cadbury mini eggs) and I always wait for the day after Easter to get them on clearance 😀

    P.S. Licorice is GROSS.

    Like

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