Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Do you have a spare bowl of candy beans?

"You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by the way he eats jelly beans."
Ronald Reagan


All you "Arrested Development" fans will recognize my oh-so-witty headline referencing the Bluth family's love of a certain jelly bean-type confectionary. For those of you that missed out on that fabulous show, rent the DVDs. It's worth it.

Continuing in the tradition of weird food-related holidays, today is National Jelly Bean Day. Now, I don't know about you, but this is certainly a celebration I can get behind...particularly now that Jelly Belly has gone and whipped up a yummy sugar-free version using Splenda. And they taste just as fabulous as the original version, but with 40 percent fewer calories. Holler!
Anyhoo, while the sucralose-sweetened bag doesn't feature all of the Jelly Belly flavors, it still has a number of the most popular and lip-smacking ones including Very Cherry, Tangerine, Green Apple, Juicy Pear and Licorice.

By the way, here is some jelly bean background information to satisfy your inner history geek. The interior jelly apparently traces its origin back hundreds of years to a candy called Turkish Delight. However, the earliest known appearance of the modern jelly bean was during the American Civil War when William Schrafft of Boston promoted sending the candy to soldiers in the Union Army. It was not until 1930 or so that jelly beans became a hugely popular Easter item, presumably from their resemblance to Easter eggs.

So I might have to do some Jelly Belly mix and matching tonight to whip up new recipes. Did any of you used to do that as a kid? We'd simultaneously munch on three or four different flavors at once in an effort to taste different concoctions - such as combining Chocolate Pudding, Cappuccino and Peanut Butter for a Mud Pie flavor or mixing Very Cherry & Dr. Pepper together to get Cherry Cola.

In case I hadn't mentioned it, Jelly Beans are awesome!

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