August 30, 2012

Jelly Beans of All Flavors



While fruity candy remains a universal favorite, more candy makers are defying traditional sensibilities to satisfy what scientists call kids’ “yuck factor”—the yuckier the better. With the right mix of chemicals, scientists can turn a plain sweet into a lick of hamburger, horseradish or even grass, all of which are replicated in a just-out-line of jelly beans fashioned by Jelly Belly after Harry Potter’s favorite sweets, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. There’s also sardine (all that’s missing is the can) and—achoo—black pepper.1

On our travels to Heuvelton, New York (beginning of May 2012) Monte and I ate at The Jelly Beans Restaurant in Painted Post, New York.

The waitress mentioned that a groups of students dine at the Jelly Beans Restaurant during field trips. One such group presented the restaurant with an art/history project comprised of jelly bean cutouts with messages, about jelly bean history, lettered on them. I surfed the Internet to share details with you.


The beginnings of Jelly Belly Candy Company is traced back to a family named Goelitz. When two young brothers emigrated from Germany to make their mark in America, they set the family on its candymaking course. In 1869, just two years after arriving in America, Gustav Goelitz bought an ice cream and candy store in Belleville, Ill., and his brother, Albert was sent out in a horse drawn wagon to sell their sweets to nearby communities.2

The family’s second generation created a new type of candy, then called “buttercream” candies. They also created Candy Corn, which they’ve made since 1900.

The great-great jelly bean ancestor first appeared in the 1800s, but jelly candies of one kind or another have been around for thousands of years. “Turkish delight, ” a citrus, honey and rose water jell, has been putting smiles on kids’ faces since biblical times.

When the penny candy craze came along in America during the late 1800’s, candy makers began experimenting with sugar candies. The jelly candy inspired by Turkish delight was shaped into a bean and given a soft shell using a French process called “panning”. The first jelly bean was created by an American candy maker whose name has since been lost in time.2

In 1960, fourth generation candy maker Herman Goelitz Rowland, Sr., 19, began carrying on the family candy business.

In a leap of faith that boggles the mind today, Herm and his family decided to expand and begin making first gummi bears…and jellybeans.

Giant jelly beans, regular jelly beans, miniature jelly beans, all sorts of styles were pouring out of the candy factory. The extra touch that became a signature for the company were jelly beans with flavors cooked into the center and in the shells using the very best ingredients regardless of cost — simply terrific tasting jelly beans.

In 1967 some of those beans managed to catch the attention of the Governor of California, Ronald Reagan. Throughout his two terms in office, the Governor ate Herm’s jelly beans and ultimately wrote that famous letter saying “we can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without passing around the jar of jelly beans.”2

In 1976 David Klein had an idea for a jelly bean made with natural flavorings. So he called up Herm at Jelly Belly (formerly known as Herman Goelitz Candy Co.) and an historic collaboration began.

Creating “true-to-life” flavors was, well, a natural evolution. The candy makers cooked up a recipe for a new kind of jelly bean — intensely flavored in the style Goelitz had developed with flavors in the shell and in the center, this time using natural ingredients for flavoring whenever possible. In 1976 the first eight Jelly Belly flavors were born: Very Cherry, Lemon, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Root Beer, Grape and Licorice. Funny enough they are still some of the most popular flavors made.

President Reagan’s passion for jelly beans inspired Blueberry flavor, which was cooked up so he could serve red, white, and blue beans at his inaugural parties.

Jelly Belly was also the first jelly bean in outer space. Free floating, weightless Jelly Belly beans were sent on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 as a presidential surprise for the astronauts…which included the first American female astronaut, Sally Ride.


The jelly bean is an iconic candy in our country. What Easter celebration is complete if jelly beans aren’t tucked inside Easter baskets? What celebration is complete without a bowl of jelly beans set out on the tables?

While staying in Heuvelton during the month of May in 2012, I visited the local library on a regular basis. On the counter was a small bowl filled with jelly beans. I availed myself of some. Umm, umm, good.


Official 50 flavors

Jelly Belly officially has 50 flavors (originally 40) that are made year-round. Additionally, Jelly Belly frequently produces “rookie” flavors that sometimes are added to the jelly beans in the 50 official flavors if they become popular enough.

FINALLY:  If you’ve managed to hold on to the contents of your stomach as you consider these additional flavors planned for fall: dirt and vomit (yes, you read correctly). Who dreams up such vile stuff? “Flavorists,” whose sole job it is to push the envelope of taste.1



The Jelly Beans Restaurant (Painted Post, N. Y.):

Turkey Ranch Restaurant on Steam Valley Mountain in Pa. :

Chocolate: Facts You Might Not Know:


1 USA Magazine, July 2, 2001




Jellies in glass:

Jellies book cover:

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