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Jelly Beans: A Century-Old Treat and Easter Candy Favorite

It’s almost Easter, and you know what that means!  Plenty of delicious Easter candy is now in stock including an all-time favorite – jelly beans.  Jelly beans are a classic candy that has been around for over a century, but their history and connection to Easter might surprise you.

Jelly beans were first created in the late 19th century by an American candy maker named William Schrafft. Schrafft was known for his fancy chocolates and sugar candies, but he wanted to create a new type of candy that was smaller and easier to eat. He came up with the idea of making small, bean-shaped candies that were made from a sugar shell and a soft, chewy center.

At first, jelly beans were only available in a few flavors, like lemon, lime, and orange. They were also sold by the pound, rather than in pre-packaged bags. Despite their humble beginnings, jelly beans quickly became popular with both kids and adults, and their popularity only continued to grow over the years.

The association between jelly beans and Easter is a bit more complicated. There are a few theories about how jelly beans became connected to the holiday, and each one has its own unique story.

Brach’s Classic Jelly Beans

One theory is that jelly beans became associated with Easter because of their egg-like shape. Eggs have long been a symbol of new life and rebirth, which are themes that are closely tied to Easter. By the early 20th century, jelly beans had become a popular Easter candy, and they were often given as gifts or used to decorate Easter baskets.

Another theory is that jelly beans became associated with Easter because of their connection to the popular game of “egg rolling.” Egg rolling is a tradition that dates back to ancient times, and it involves rolling eggs down a hill or other inclined surface. In some parts of the world, jelly beans were used as a replacement for real eggs in egg-rolling competitions. Over time, this practice may have helped to cement the connection between jelly beans and Easter.

Regardless of how they became connected to Easter, there’s no denying that jelly beans are still a beloved part of the holiday. Today, you can find jelly beans in a variety of flavors and colors, and they continue to be a favorite treat for kids and adults alike.

One interesting thing about jelly beans is that they have actually played a role in some historic events. For example, during the 1980 presidential election, Ronald Reagan famously kept a jar of jelly beans on his desk. The story goes that Reagan had quit smoking years earlier and had taken up eating jelly beans as a way to help him kick the habit. The jelly beans became so closely associated with Reagan that they even inspired a new flavor: “Ronald Reagan Jelly Belly beans,” which were red, white, and blue.

Jelly beans have also made appearances in popular culture over the years. In the Harry Potter series, jelly beans are featured as a popular candy called “Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.” These jelly beans come in a variety of flavors, some of which are quite unusual, like “earwax” and “vomit.” While these flavors might not be the most appetizing, they add a fun and whimsical element to the story.

Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Beans

Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Beans

If you’re a fan of jelly beans, you might be interested to know that there are even some unique and unusual flavors out there. In recent years, Jelly Belly has started experimenting with new flavors, like “buttered popcorn” and “ice cream flavored.” While these might not be for everyone, they certainly add some variety to the classic candy.

Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Jelly beans have certainly come a long way since their humble beginnings. Today, they are enjoyed by millions of people around the world, and they continue to be a popular treat for Easter and other holidays. Whether you prefer the classic flavors or the more unusual ones, there’s no denying that jelly beans are a timeless candy that will always hold a special place in our hearts (and stomachs).

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