Today is the celebration of National Jelly Bean Day, a holiday that is eclipsed each year by the better known and more relevant Earth Day. However, the scheduling of the occasion allows, at least most years, for the convenient purchase of jellybeans after Easter when they are half price. Groovycandies.com shared that 16 billion of them are produced for Easter each year, but no percentage was given regarding how many are actually eaten and how many are tossed after they are found stuck to fake grass in the bottom of baskets. I see tons of them for sale each year, but it seems there are always plenty leftover after the fact too. I’m guessing most who are splurging on candy for Easter are choosing chocolate (mmm, like Cadbury mini eggs) instead.
I have personally never been a huge fan of jelly beans, they just seem a little too sweet for me (although I manage to like gummy bears just fine). My opinion changed a bit once I tried Jelly Belly’s brand as I found the flavors were both unique (including some that taste like earwax, dead fish and dirty socks as part of the Harry Potter inspired Bean Boozled line) and more flavorful than others I have tried. Even though they aren’t my favorite candy, I felt I should reacquaint myself with them before writing this post, only in the interest of research of course. I tried the Krispy Kreme donut flavored ones, and as if jelly beans weren’t sweet enough on their own, these are boosted by the additional taste of a sugary glaze. Yum!
According to candystore.com, the most popular flavor of jelly bean is buttered popcorn. I suspect that it’s popularity is driven, at least in part, because the buttery and salty essence of popcorn adds a nice balance to the concentrated sweetness of the candy. The top five favorites also include licorice, cinnamon, watermelon, and cherry, in that order. One of the most fun things about the Jelly Belly brand is that they offer recommended flavor “recipes” and it’s fun to scroll the internet and see some of the wacky combos people have come up with. Spring break tastes like coconut, tangerine, pomegranate, and peach? Yeah, I can see that. Some of the recipes called for A&W cream soda beans. Cream soda? My favorite jelly beans when I was a kid, before flavors got so fancy, were the white ones and I liked those because I thought they tasted like vanilla. Maybe I should look for some cream soda Jelly Bellys at the half off sales this week? Might be a flavor worth celebrating!