Jelly Beans

Jelly Beans, Candy, Confection

It is impossible to trace the specific origins of the Jelly Bean. Only part of its history remains and the rest are lost in time. However, most experts believe that the Turkish Delight, which is a known Mid-Eastern sweet, is the forerunner of the modern day Jelly Bean and has been in existence since the Biblical times.
The process known as panning was made in 17th century France and was used to make Jordan Almonds. Panning was done mostly by hand is now automatic, but the process has remained essentially unchanged during the last 3 centuries. The panning process gave birth to shell coating and now, large rotating pans are utilized to perform the heavy work. It is the Master Confectioners that work on the art of mixing and adding the ingredients to make the perfect shell.
In some way, these processes reached the factories in the usa. The Jelly Beans began production there and soon earned a place among the many glass’penny candy’ jars that were on display in the candy stores. In general shops, the Jelly Beans were sold by weight and contributed to the buyers put in paper bags. They were associated with the Easter Bunny was believed to deliver eggs on Easter as a sign of new life and the start of spring.
Manufacturing a Jelly Bean begins with the making of its center. To do this, ingredients such as sugar and corn syrup among others are put in large boilers which are heated to cook the mixture. The heated mixture is then passed through pipes and travels to the starch casting area. At this point, there are various trays containing impressions of the size and shape of the middle of the jellybean that are layered with cornstarch by machines. The mixture is then squirted out on the trays and dried overnight. The next day, the cornstarch layer is removed and the beans are run via a moisture steam bath and are sprayed with sugar. The beans are then set aside for 24 to 48 hours.
What sets the jellybean besides other candies is its special shell coating. This is accomplished by the panning procedure. While the middle of the drum rotates, sugar is gradually added to build up the shell. Then, different colors and flavors are added to the mixture to provide the jellybean its signature flavor and look. The shiny look is due to the addition of Confectioner’s Glaze which is a process that can take 2 to 4 days. After the beans are’polished’, they are packed and ready for shipping to candy shops around the world.
There have been two types of jellybeans since 1976. These are the conventional and the gourmet jellybeans. Even though both types require 6 to 10 days to make, the difference is in their recipes which provides each their unique qualities. The conventional jelly bean normally holds its taste only in the shells. The gourmet varieties however have flavored shells and centers. They also are smaller and thicker than the conventional jellybeans.

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