December 29, 2009


Jelly Beans are my favorite confection. See, that term will never beat out "candy" because it sounds too much like "infection." Anyway, my love began with classic BRACH'S Jelly Beans (or Jelly Bird Eggs if it's Easter time) and they remain a staple of mine even though the BRACH'S people can't stop monkeying around with the flavors. I'll never forgive them for changing the white beans from Vanilla to Pineapple.

As Jelly Bellys were snowballing in popularity in the early 80s I started hearing playground rumors about the Jelly Beans that tasted like other foods, and how you could follow recipes to create new flavors. It was a big deal when my grandpa returned from a business trip with a sampler box in hand. My whole family took part in a gleeful candy cook-off. It felt like a true advancement. They really were gourmet; the first gourmet anything I'd ever eaten.

However, eating Jelly Bellys required a certain amount of effort. They had to be sorted and identified (lest I mistakenly eat a vile peanut or coffee flavored bean) and often mixed. Throwing a random batch into your mouth had the potential to taste like a casserole made from everything on the top shelf of the fridge. They didn't lend themselves to casual Jelly Bean eating, and there are times when one must eat Jelly Beans by the fistful. Thankfully, this conundrum was solved with the advent of the single flavor receptacles. I was finally able to buy half Bubble Gum half Tutti-Fruitti flavor cocktails a half pound at a time.

Sheesh, this was only supposed to be a brief introduction to a trailer for a new documentary film called Candy Man about the rise and fall of Jelly Belly inventor David Klein. You may be asking "What fall?" According to the film's web site "David's eccentric personality and peculiar sense of business led him to give up the business just as it was about to explode. He has struggled with bitter regrets ever since. Jelly Belly has grown into a billion dollar enterprise, and the company has deliberately erased him from its history."

Here's the trailer...

I'm quite interested in seeing the story of the guy responsible for so many of my life's yummiest moments. For more info check out


Anonymous said...

Candyman:the David Klein story will air November 27 on the Documentary channel at 8:00 eastern and pacific....thank you david klein

Anonymous said...

I own a flower shop in a small rural town in NY. I was going to buy into the jelly belly line but after seeing the documentary on t.v, quickly changed my mind. I will NOT support people who would do to David what those schmucks did. I will spread the word to boycott jelly bellys forever... Not so sweet for candy distributors. Deana Datri Coxsackie NY

Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said...

I have heard contrasting views upon the creation of Jelly Bellys so I wouldn't mind watching the film to get further perspective. Whoever made them however, you can't deny how fantastic they are!