Gotta Love Jelly Beans!
Jelly beans and Easter go together like spring showers and April flowers. US manufacturers produce more than 16 billion jelly beans for the springtime holiday alone. According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), that's enough to completely fill a plastic Easter egg 89 feet high and 60 feet wide (about the height of a nine-story office building).
The exact origin of the jellybean is not truly known. Experts think the jelly center is a descendent of the Middle Eastern confection Turkish delight and dates back to biblical times. The NCA says that the jellybean shell coating is an offspring of a process called panning, first invented in 17th century France to make Jordan almonds.
The jelly bean manufacturing process starts with the center. Sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients are cooked in large boilers and then piped to other casting areas. Finally the mix is squirted onto the trays with the egg-shape indentions and dried overnight. The centers are rotated and continually covered in sugar, gradually building the shell. Colors and flavors are finally added to get the distinct look and taste of the bean.
Whether you eat jelly beans just for Easter, celebrate National Jelly Bean Day on April 22, or indulge in this treat any time of the year—here are fun ways to use these colorful confections with the kids.