Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22: National Jelly Bean Day

Did you know that there is a National Confectioner's Association?  I didn't, until I tried to find information about the history of jelly beans.  The history of jelly beans seems a bit murky, but most sites agree that jelly beans are probably related to turkish delight.  Jelly beans are a candy store staple, but seem to be everywhere during the Easter candy sales.  There's also a YouTube video about the history of jelly beans.

Personally, when I think of jelly beans, I think of Jelly Belly.  This is probably because I used to live near the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA, and I would visit the factory anytime I had visitors in town.  Sometimes I would drag non-visitors to the factory for the factory tour.  I've been there when candy is being made and when candy isn't being made.  Obviously, I enjoy the tour and I highly recommend it to everyone.  There's also a Jelly Belly factory in Illinois that isn't open to the public, but the Wisonsin warehouse is open for public tours or you can take a virtual factory tour

Jelly Belly is known for their many delicious flavors of jelly beans.  There are the 50 official flavors, then there are such things as the Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.  If you go to the factory in Fairfield, you can get the flavor guide in a multitude of languages.  Every year, I'd get a large gift box, add the appropriate guide to the box, and send it to relatives and friends overseas. 

Looking for an inexpensive Christmas gift for everyone in the office?  One year, after I dragged my parents to the Jelly Belly factory, my parents were amused by Belly Flops, the poor little "irregulars" of the Jelly Belly world.  Back in the day, a bag would cost about $2 at the factory, but Jelly Belly got smart and now a bag is about $9.  Still, it's a pretty good deal for two pounds of jelly beans.  Anyhow, my parents were so taken with the Belly Flops that they bought 20 pounds of the beans, bought a bunch of candy bags,  scooped about a cup of Belly Flops into each bag, tied the bags with ribbons, added a card explaining what Belly Flops are and gave them away to everyone they worked with for Christmas.

So, yeah...I think of jelly beans, I think of Jelly Belly.  Plus, I really, really like the art gallery.

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