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National Jelly Bean Day

Shaped like beans, with chewy, thick gel interiors and soft candy shells, jelly beans are celebrated today. Their primary ingredient is sugar, with some of their other main ingredients being corn syrup, tapioca, pectin, and starch. They come in many colors and flavors, and there are both traditional and gourmet varieties. Often only the shells are flavored in traditional jelly beans, and they are usually sold in an assortment of about eight or so flavors of fruit. Gourmet jelly beans are usually softer and smaller, with both their shell and middle being flavored. There are many more flavors of gourmet jelly beans, such as popcorn, spices, soft drinks, and tropical fruit. The main gourmet brands are Jelly Belly and The Jelly Bean Factory.

Jelly beans usually take between six and ten days to make. Their center is believed to have been inspired by Turkish delights. As for the shell, its roots go back to panning, which came about in France in the seventeenth century and was used to make Jordan almonds.

The first mention of jelly beans may have been in 1861, when William Schrafft, a confectioner from Boston, encouraged them to be sent to soldiers fighting in the Civil War. In America, jelly beans became "penny candy," being sold in glass jars in general stores. They were first advertised in the July 5, 1905, edition of the Chicago Daily News, where they were listed as being sold for nine cents a pound. They have been a popular confection during Easter since the 1930s. Because they are shaped similarly to eggs, they became associated with the Easter Bunny. They also are commonly put in plastic Easter eggs.

How to Observe National Jelly Bean Day

Celebrate the day by picking up and enjoying some jelly beans. If gourmet jelly beans are more your style, you could buy some from Jelly Belly or The Jelly Bean Factory. You could also make a stop at a Jelly Belly factory or explore their flavors online. If you are feeling creative today, you could even try to make your own jelly beans.

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