Jelly bean

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Jelly beans are small bean-shaped sugar candies with soft candy shells and thick gel interiors (see gelatin and jelly). The confection is primarily made of sugar and sold in a wide variety of colors and flavors.

Jelly bean
Jelly bean flavor and color assortment
Place of originBoston, Massachusetts, United States
Created byWilliam Schrafft

History edit

The origin of jelly beans is obscure. According to one common story, they existed as early as 1861, when Boston confectioner William Schrafft urged people to buy them as gifts for soldiers in the American Civil War.[1] A more definite reference appears in food testing records of the United States Department of Agriculture published in 1887.[2] Most historians contend that jelly beans were first associated with celebrations of Easter in the United States sometime during the 1930s due to their egg-like shape.[3]

Manufacture edit

The basic ingredients of jelly beans include sugar, tapioca or corn syrup, and pectin or starch. Relatively minor amounts of the emulsifying agent lecithin, anti-foaming agents, an edible wax such as carnauba wax or beeswax, salt, and confectioner's glaze are also included.[4] The ingredients that give each bean its character are also relatively small in proportion and may vary depending on the flavor.

Slang edit

1920 sheet music cover

In United States slang during the 1910s and early 1920s, a "jellybean" or "jelly-bean" was a young man who dressed stylishly but had little else to recommend him, similar to the older terms dandy and fop. F. Scott Fitzgerald published a story about such a character, The Jelly-Bean, during 1920.[5]

In popular culture edit

When Beatlemania broke out in 1964, fans of the Beatles in the US pelted the band with jelly beans (emulating fans in the UK who threw the British candy Jelly Babies at George Harrison, who reportedly liked eating them).[6][7][8]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "A Bowl Full of Jelly Bean History". National Geographic. Archived from the original on April 17, 2021.
  2. ^ U.S. Department of Agriculture Division of Chemistry (1887). Foods and Food Adulterants (Report). p. 721. Bulletin No. 13.
  3. ^ "Jelly Beans: A Colorful History and Association with Easter". AT&T. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2011-05-10.
  4. ^ "How Products are Made – Volumes – Jelly Beans". Gale-Edit. Archived from the original on 2010-05-16. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
  5. ^ Fitzgerald, Francis Scott; Bruccoli, Matthew Joseph; Baughman, Judith (2001), "The Jelly-Bean", Before Gatsby: the first twenty-six stories, University of South Carolina Press, p. 341, ISBN 9781570033711
  6. ^ "Letter reveals The Beatles' fear of jelly baby fans". mirror. May 14, 2009.
  7. ^ "George Harrison's 1963 plea: stop throwing jelly babies at Beatles" The Times 14 May 2009
  8. ^ Perry, Charles (19 March 2008). "The secret life of jelly beans". Los Angeles Times.

External links edit