HISTORY OF JELLY BEANS:
- The exact origins of a jelly bean are not clear, but it seems like the general consensus is that it was a combo of Turkish Delight candy and an outer shell similar to a Jordan Almond.
- Jelly beans were promoted as morale booster gifts to be sent to soldiers in the Civil War by William Schrafft, a candy maker in Boston.
- Jelly beans were first made with sugar and artificial flavor. Jelly Belly introduced making jelly beans with fruit juice.
- The jelly bean became popular at Easter in the 1930's.
- President Reagan's favorite treat was jelly beans and he kept a jar on his desk. Jelly Belly made the Blueberry flavor just for President Reagan!
- The first jelly beans went into space in 1983.
CRAFTS/DECORATIONS WITH JELLY BEANS:
- Make Jelly Bean Bracelets or Necklaces. We made jelly bean bracelets one year for Easter and the boys loved it.
- Fill glass jars with jelly beans and place on the table for decorations.
- Fill a vase with jelly beans and place in silk flowers.
- Glue jelly beans to a foam circle to make a wreath.
- Fill up your gumball machine with Jelly Beans instead!
ACTIVITIES WITH JELLY BEANS:
- Eat them of course! Have a blind taste test (either blindfolded or just eyes closed) and see if the other person can guess the flavor. For extra fun, add in the gross ones like booger and dirt.
- Make jelly bean themed T-shirts with stamps or iron on transfers.
- Pass out little packets of jelly beans to neighbors, school friends or even strangers and say "Happy National Jelly Bean Day!".
- Place the jelly beans in a jar. Have the family guess how many there are.
- Make cupcakes or a cake and decorate with jelly beans. They could be placed around in a random pattern, a flower pattern, or even a mosaic!
- Add to drinks: just drop them in, grind up in a blender and make shakes or other drinks with them, or simply freeze them in ice cubes
- Have a competition to see who can come up with the best recipe using Jelly Beans.
FLAVORS OF JELLY BEANS:
- From what I found, the "original" flavors were mostly fruit based.
- Jelly Belly:
- Jelly Belly's website states they have 133 flavors! They have the 50 Official flavor list but also have several other lines, including:
- Rookie Flavors. If the new flavors are a hit, they can be added on to the Official list.
- Harry Potter Bertie Botts's flavored beans (including some interesting flavors like dirt, vomit, booger, grass, soap, sausage, rotten egg, earwax, earthworm, black pepper). Be careful when mixing the Bott's and Official jelly beans, some of them look the same!
- Chocolate Dips line: jelly beans covered in dark chocolate. I would love to get my hands on the cherry, raspberry, and strawberry ones!
- Jelly Belly also came out with a new flavor: Draft Beer (alcohol free)! I wonder if this might make a good Father's Day gift for hubby?