Jelly beans have a long history

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Jelly beans have brought fame and fortune to the Fairfield area over the years.

LunaBella Peralta, Events editor

The soft chewy texture, unique flavors, and fun shape are what make Jelly Beans a classic favorite among all ages. Their creation is one that combines century old techniques with modern twists to develop the perfect candy. Each colorful bag is filled with history as this iconic sweet has made its way as an American staple.

Its flavors can be credited to Middle Eastern Turkish Delights and a 17th century French confection technique called panning. Described as a delicious and chewy treat, Turkish Delights can be dated back to pre-Biblical times and are credited as the center of Jelly Beans (Origin of the Jelly Bean or, Why Are They Called Beans?).

As for the hard Jelly Bean shell, the panning technique was traditionally created in France for covering almonds by rocking them in sugar and syrup. Today, the process is modernized using machines that perfectly cover the beans in a candy shell.

These two techniques made their way to the United States where Jelly Beans made their first appearance in a Civil War advertisement in 1861(Origin of the Jelly Bean or, Why Are They Called Beans?).

However, the question still remains. How did Jelly Beans get their unique shape? This mystery can be found in the Jelly Belly Candy Company archives list where many of the first candies were shaped to reflect the 1800s common diet. This included chestnuts, carrots, and the famous beans.

Since then Jelly Beans have made their way from general stores to candy isles at supermarkets. Their hundreds of flavor variations make their way into Easter baskets and candy bags. According to the Candy Company, 1,680 beans are made every second and 15 billion are consumed every year (Fun Facts). So the next time you grab a bag think of the history and process of these little candies.