Jelly bean

Jelly beans or jelly eggs are a type of confectionery that comes in many different (primarily fruit) flavors. They are small (the size of a kidney bean or smaller) and usually have a harder shell and gummy interior. The confection is primarily made of sugar.

The interior jelly traces its origin back thousands of years to the candy called Turkish Delight while the shell is essentially the same as developed in the late 19th century for the Jordan almond candy. The two were brought together around the beginning of the 20th century. It was not until 1930 or so that jelly beans became an Easter candy, presumably from their resemblance to eggs.

One prominent maker of jelly beans and other confections is the Jelly Belly Candy Company. When Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, one of his well known practices was keeping a jar of this company's jelly beans on his desk.

Jellybeans are also the currency of Disney's Toontown Online.

Jellybelly inventor

Many people know about the company that manufactured Jellybellys but not many people know about the person responsible for the actual creation and formulation of the Jellybelly brand of jellybeans. His name was Marinus van Dam. He was born in Ooltgensplaat, Holland on October 24, 1929. He immigrated to the United States after obtaning a candy manufacturing degree in Holland. Soon after he went to work for the Herman Goelitz candy company (now known as the JellyBelly company) after arriving in the U.S. and rose to the level of vice president before moving on to other companies and finally starting his own business Marich Confectionery. President Reagan was a well known fan of JellyBellies and actually had a jar a top of the table on his first cabinet meeting as president of the United States. Marinus was later in charge of personally taking the JellyBelly jars with escort to Airforce one. The jellybeans would then be flown to the white house where Reagan enjoyed the tasty treats.

When Marinus was asked how he developed the Jellybelly he answered that most jellybeans at the time were inexpensive candy that contained a 56% sugar content and where sold as penny candy. All jelly beans started out with plain uncolored starch centers that were sweeted with sugar. Only the outer candy coating was colored and flavored. He though "How can I bring this candy to the adult market?" The solution was to greatly enhance the jellybeans so that they would appeal to everyone. The centers for the new jellybean were colored and flavored with real fruit juices and natural flavors. This flavor enhancing process was also used on the outer candy shell. The finished Jellybelly contained about half the sugar of the regular jellybean, was more flavorfull and consequently helthier than the generic jellybeans sold at discount stores. Marinus passed away on January 6, 1997 but Marich Confectionery, the company he created, continues the legacy President Reagan loved so much.

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Marinus van Dam


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1920 sheet music cover

In United States slang in the 1910s and early 1920s a Jelly bean or Jellybean was a young man who made great effort to dress very stylishly (usually to attract women) but had little else to recommend him; similar to the older terms dandy and fop and the slightly later drugstore cowboy. However, the word was also used as a synonym for pimp. See also jelly roll.

The type was memorialized in the song, "Jelly Bean (He's a Curbstone Cutie)", kept popular through the 1940s by Phil Harris. It was written by Jimmie Dupre, Sam Rosen, and Joe Verges, and published in New Orleans in 1920 by Universal Music Publishers, Inc.

External links

See also John Jellybean Benitez for information on the record producer.ja:ゼリービーンズ


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