Homeschool Holidays
The History of Jelly Beans


Homeschool Holidays - Jelly Beans

The history of jelly beans started back around biblical times with the introduction of Turkish Delight candy, a soft, jelly sticky filling with a coating of sugar or coconut. Turkish Delight came in flavors of rosewater, lemon, cinnamon and mint. Small pieces of pistachios, hazelnuts or walnuts added extra falvor to the candy.

In the 19th century, the French developed a hard shell candy called Jordan Almonds. The hard shell was made by placing the almonds in a bowl and moving them from side-to-side to coat them with sugar and syrup. This method developed by the French was called panning. Coloring was added and Jordan Almonds come in a variety of colors such as blue, green, yellow, purple and pink.

Jelly beans are made out of sugar, cornsyrup and food starch. The process for making jelly beans takes from 6 to 10 days. The ingredients are placed into a large vat and then into a cornstarch-coated mold to form the egg shape. The filling then dries for 24 hours.

After drying, the mixture goes through a process of sugar coating, flavoring and coloring added until a hard shell forms. The jelly beans then set for 48 hours to dry. A coating of confectioner's glaze is then sprayed on to give each jelly bean a shiny shell.

The original candy maker of jelly beans is unknown but there were advertisements that promoted sending jelly beans to the Union soldiers during the Civil War. General stores sold penny candy and jelly beans were in large glass jars. With an array of colors and flavors and its egg shape, in the 1930's the jelly bean was included as an Easter candy.

Jelly beans come in all sorts of natural and artificial flavors. Today, there are over 100 different flavors of jelly beans. And for those watching their sugar there are sugar-free jelly beans which have become popular over the last few years.

Jelly beans are not just for Easter; they are for those of us that have a sweet tooth throughout the year.

And let's not forget National Jelly Bean Day on April 22nd. How will you celebrate?

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