Today 22 April is National Jelly Bean Day when we pay tribute to the one of the world’s most popular sweet treats. No one quite knows the origin of Jelly Beans. Some say they are a descendant of Turkish Delight which was popular in biblical times while others point to Jordan Almonds popular in the 1600’s in France. The history of the modern Jelly Bean is traced to Union Soldiers during the Civil War.
An awful lot of Jelly Beans are made and consumed every year. Despite my best efforts, I could not get an exact landing on just how many, though it is said American consume 16 Billion Jelly Beans at Easter alone.
Jelly Beans are made by a process called panning which creates the had outer shell while simultaneously creating the gooey middle. If you have the time or the inclination, you can watch a video on how the little suckers are made.
Time now for some other fun facts: In the early 20th century, a “jelly-bean” was slang for a man of style and no substance. They were the first sweets sold by weight rather than by piece and US President Ronald Reagan loved ’em (for his first inauguration in 1981, 7,000 pounds of jelly beans were distributed) and Jelly Belly created a new flavor, Blueberry, specifically for the occasion.
Jelly Belly is of course the leader in Jelly Beanness. Their Jelly Beans became the first Jelly Beans in space when they travelled on the 1983 Challenger Space Shuttle. A trip to the Jelly Belly website elevates the Jelly Bean to a somewhat spiritual experience – you can search all the flavours (who can go past a pomegranate or toasted marshmallow?), visit their Wedding Centre, choose your favourite recipe, download colouring sheets and wander through the Jelly Belly Collection of Art – Jelly Bean Art Works ranging from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to Girl With A Pearl Earring to Martin Luther King, The Royal Family and Harry Potter.
My Jelly Bean Wrap features a montage of Strawberry Cheesecake Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Yummmmm. Had a little bit of think about the embellishment and went for a little satchel of Jelly Beans as a taste teaser for the wrapped gift which is of course Jelly Beans. I tried a few different looks for the little gift bag and will freely admit to you that the placement of the satchel is what makes or breaks this look. If it is not quite right, it can be well…a bit lop sided if you know what I mean.