Jelly beans are a small bean-shaped type of confectionery with a hard candy shell and a gummy interior which come in a wide variety of flavors. The confection is primarily made of sugar.
The Turkish Delight, a Middle Eastern candy made of soft jelly, covered in confectioner's powder, was an early precursor to the jelly bean that inspired its gummy interior. However, it is generally thought that jelly beans first surfaced in 1861 when Boston confectioner William Schrafft urged people to send his jelly beans to soldiers during the American Civil War. It wasn't until July 5, 1905 that the mentioning of jelly beans was published in the Chicago Daily News. The advertisement publicized bulk jelly beans sold by volume for nine cents per pound, according to the book, "The Century in Food: America's Fads and Favorites." Today, most historians contend that in the United States, they were first linked with Easter in the 1930s.
The basic ingredients of jelly beans include sugars, corn syrup, and starch. Relatively minor amounts of the emulsifying agent lecithin, anti-foaming agents, an edible wax such as beeswax, salt, and confectioner's glaze are also included.The ingredients that give each bean its character are also relatively small in proportion and may vary depending on the flavor.
Most jelly beans are sold as an assortment of many different flavours, most of them fruit based. Assortments of "spiced" jellybeans and gumdrops are also available, which include a similar number of spice and mint flavors. The colors of jelly beans often correspond with a fruit and a "spiced" flavor.
How Jelly Beans are Made