I’m Full of Beans

I love jelly beans. The ORIGINAL jelly beans, not the Jelly Bellies. (You can underscore that for effect.) The problem with this little love of mine, is that decent, traditional jelly beans are very hard to find. Occasionally I get lucky and find a large bag of Brach’s Original jelly beans at a random drug store, and I try to stock up, but they never seem to last as long as I’d like. And the best, absolute best, are produced by See’s Candy, but these beans are only sold during the Easter season, and they only come in very small bags, so you have to order like 100 if you’re shooting to satisfy cravings throughout the remaining 11 months of the year.

My girls and I always jump into little boutique candy stores in our version of a “Holy Grail filled with jelly beans” quest, and though we can find Jelly Bellies in every flavor from cherry to vomit (which my Harry Potter groupie thinks is a riot), we can never just find the good old-fashioned beans. This creates some sort of existential candy dilemma for me. I want to fall to my knees and scream to confectioners everywhere, “When did the world get so complicated? Can’t we just hold on to one last simple thing? Does everything have to be doctored, enhanced and super-sized (or in the case of the jelly bean, miniaturized)? Is there nothing left that is pure? Why is this happening? Where is this going? Am I all alone in my search for the original jelly bean?”

Yeah…I should have gone to Juilliard.

At any rate, in the absence of actual jelly beans, what my daughters and I have accumulated instead is jelly bean trivia.  Apparently we’re full of beans as well as useless information!

Did you know…

My friend the jelly bean hails from a Middle Eastern confection known as the Turkish Delight, which was also made of soft jelly and coated in confectioner’s powder.

Get this…

The earliest known appearance of the jelly bean was during the American Civil War, when William Schrafft, of Boston, led a program to send jelly beans to soldiers.

Try this on for size…

The standard flavor of a red jelly bean is cherry. Yellow? Why lemon, of course.

And for your next Trivial Pursuit party…

In U.S. slang in the early ’20s, a “jelly bean” was a young man who made great efforts to dress very stylishly, presumably to attract women because he had nothing else by which to recommend himself.

Here’s one for ya’…

The outside of a jelly bean is basically the same colored hard candy coating found on a Jordan almond (which I also love!).

No way…

It takes seven to 21 days to make a single Jelly Belly.

Get ready…

April 22 is National Jelly Bean Day! That’s only eight months away!  Yip-Yip-Yippppppeeeeeeeee! (And I’m not even on a sugar high!)

Holy cow…

16 billion jelly beans are produced each year before the commencement of Easter festivities.

You don’t say…

Though everyone knows Ronald Reagan loved jelly beans, who knows Ronald Reagan started eating jelly beans while trying to kick his smoking habit? He never gave them up (the beans, not the cigs).

And now, dear friends, you can never say you don’t know beans about beans!

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