Product Type: other Sweets
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Jelly Belly Beans
Member Name: angeelu
Jelly Belly Beans
Date: 13/11/04, updated on 09/01/05 (673 review reads)
Advantages: Loads of flavours, Suitable for vegetarians, Low in calories
Disadvantages: Hard to find, Some nasty flavours
Jelly Belly Beans have been around almost 30 years now (since 1976), yet they continue to be the best jelly bean there is (so far as I'm concerned!). They pride themselves on being the first jelly beans to be sold in single flavours as well as having their own menu!
A Brief History!
Back in 1976 there were just eight flavours of Jelly Belly jelly beans:
* Very Cherry
* Root Beer
* Cream Soda
* Green Apple
...quite a mixture of flavours really! There are now 50 different flavours. Jelly Belly were the first beans to be flavoured all the way through - traditional jelly beans at the time tended to contain the flavour in the sugary coating of the bean and no flavour in the centre, but Jelly Belly flavoured their beans all the way through. Jelly Belly were also the first to release a jely bean that wasn't fruit flavoured - this was their Chocolate Pudding flavoured jelly bean.
What Is a Jelly Belly Jelly Bean?
If you've never encountered a Jelly Belly Jelly Bean you're missing out. As the name suggests, they're bean shaped sweets made out of a jelly like substance, but unlike many jelly sweets the jelly is vegetarian-proof. The outside of the bean is an almost fine sugary texture to bite into, and it's a smooth and shiny to look at.
As already mentioned, the beans are generally available in an amazing 50 flavours. At certain times of year, such as Christmas, new limited edition flavours are also released. The current top 50 contains a diverse bunch of flavours including such things as: Bubblegum, Buttered Popcorn, Cafe Latte, Coconut, Island Punch, Jalepeno, Juicy Pear, Lemon Drop, Margarita, Mango, Pina Colada, Raspberry, Strawberry Jam, Tangerine, Watermelon and Wild Blackberry.
'Rookie' flavours are also produced from time to time - these are new flavours that are basically tested out on the public - depending on their popularity they'll either be added to the top 50, or they'll disappear as quick as they were introduced. Current Rookie flavours include Apricot, Cinnamon Toast and Roasted Garlic!!!
In addition to the above, you can also find Sour flavours. There are currently 10 Sours including: Sour Apple, Sour Blueberry, Sour Orange, Sour Raspberry and Sour Watermelon.
So far as nutritional content goes, there are 4 calories in every jelly bean and zero fat! Being so sweet and tasty they're great to nibble on during the day if you've got a sweet tooth, and they won't make you pile on the pounds quite so fast as munching at other sweets might do (though being high in sugar you'd better rush your teeth regularly!) For the Arkins followers you may be interested to know there's 1g of carbohydrates per bean. They're suitable for vegetarians and certified Kosher.
So Where Can You Buy Them?
This is often the tricky part! In my local town Woolworths was the only place I'd ever found them, though the recent closure of the store has left me jelly-bean-less for the time being. The Jelly Belly website offers a stockist finder in which you type in your post code and it'll tell you the nearest stockist, though for me it's not been updated with the Woolworths replacement (http://www.jellybelly-uk.com/pages/retailer/retai ler.shtml). Alternatively, you can buy online.
Price-wise, these Jelly Beans are a bit pricier than your standard cheapy kids treats. Kilo bags cost around £18.00 but it would take you ages to eat through that many! 40g Big Bags are about £2.00. (Prices taken from the Jelly Belly website). If you find them in store somewhere then you buy them Pick'n'Mix style, where you choose which flavour(s) you want and bag them up in a special Jelly Belly cone shaped plastic bag - you then pay for them according to what your bag full weighs. This is a great way to buy them as you get to try just one or two of a new flavour you're not sure about, and you get to put in plenty of your favourites!
The Final Verdict
If you've not tried them before I strongly recommend you give them a go. If you can find the Pick'n'Mix ones then just try a few one day and you'll soon be hooked. Alternatively, whether you already like Jelly Belly beans or you fancy just trying them, you can order a sample online! The first 100 people per day who apply for a sample are sent a mini bag of mixed flavours - if you're thinking of applying for this it's better to order in the morning to increase your chances of being in the first 100 per day.
There are definitely flavours I don't want to try and there's flavours I've tried and don't want to try again, but equally there are plenty of flavours I do like! These are the kind of sweets you really can't eat too many of in one go as they soon get sickly, but the fruity ones in particular are really refreshing to eat, almost thirst-quenching!
Overall rating - four stars * * * * (one knocked off for them being difficult to find)
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