The Good: Great flavor, Taste does not fade, Economically and environmentally smart packaging.
The Bad: None I can find!
The Basics: Even those who are not bowled over by French Vanilla flavored candy will find Gimbal's French Vanilla jelly beans bowl them over!
There is something truly ironic in my relationship with my wife, which is that I am arguably the more sedate, focused and traditionally "boring" half of the partnership, whilst my wife is young, energetic and experimental. But when it comes to foods and flavors, she claims vanilla is her favorite flavor, while I tend to go for the more complex flavors like dark chocolate mint. I mention this because as I stock up on Gimbal's jelly beans, I've discovered I simply had to buy a box of the French Vanilla flavor to keep my wife happy. The real treat of these is that they not only keep her happy, but me as well. This is arguably one of the best vanilla flavored things I have ever tasted!
It is worth noting that Gimbal's French Vanilla jelly beans are roughly analogous to the French Vanilla Jelly Bellys, though the coloring is slightly different and the taste is different as well. I do not know if Jelly Belly or Gimbal's came first, but Jelly Belly is certainly better known, at least in Upstate New York. Conversely, Gimbal's jelly beans are less expensive and that is a nice bonus for those bulking up on them with the ten pound box.
Who needs ten pounds of French Vanilla flavored Gimbal's jelly beans? Anyone who likes vanilla will want them or anyone who likes making food art of little rabbits in snowstorms would find this jelly bean indispensable, I suppose! This flavor is one of the best jelly bean flavors I have ever tried, largely because it taste precisely like vanilla bean and it is sweet and delicious without any waxy taste or aftertaste. The ten pound box is the ideal way for such people to stock up on these jelly beans, at least from an environmental and economic standpoint.
French Vanilla is a flavor of Gimbal's jelly beans. Gimbal's jelly beans are approximately one half inch long by one quarter inch wide and they are roughly bean-shaped. These little candies are marketed to taste precisely like French Vanilla and they live up to that exceptionally well, though I think the line between French Vanilla and Vanilla Bean is an oft-blurred line in this type of candy. Either way, these jelly beans have a clean, creamy taste that is distinctly vanilla in their flavoring.
French Vanilla flavored Gimbal's are available in a wide array of quantities, but the largest quantity available is the ten pound bulk case. This is a decent-sized box with a plastic lining and while some might wonder why anyone would need a ten pound box, I say rabbits in snowstorms (and there are a lot of them)! The French Vanilla flavor is one that is remarkable and a ten pound case is likely only to last about a month around my home. Kept properly, the French Vanilla jelly beans keep for a year even in this level of bulk.
The French Vanilla Gimbal's is easily differentiated from other Gimbal's jelly beans by its opaque white shell with gray spots. In fact, the white for this style jelly bean in more often gray and that makes it exceptionally easy to differentiate from the others. The only similar jelly bean from Gimbal's is Coconut and that is a much whiter white and lacks the spots, so even in low lighting French Vanilla is distinctive.
Ease Of Preparation
These are jelly beans, not finding newborn rabbits in snowstorms! Preparing them is as easy as opening the box and popping one (or several) into your mouth. In the case of the ten pound box, one might want to put them in a candy dish of some form as opposed to always going into the box. Then again, they may be consumed right out of the box with no adverse consequences.
What initially surprised me most about the box of French Vanilla Gimbal's jelly beans was how opening the box did yield a strong scent. Unlike other flavors of Gimbal's jelly beans, opening this box actually smelled like walking into a room where a cake was freshly baked and then iced with French Vanilla frosting.
On the tongue, French Vanilla is smooth, sweet and slightly dry. The flavor is distinctly and obviously that of vanilla beans. This is a taste that defines itself and Gimbal's gets it just right!
As well, the taste of this jelly bean is consistent and delicious. Unlike some which fade to generic sugary, the Gimbal's French Vanilla is consistently sweet and true to the promised flavor. They do not get better or worse when eaten in bulk, but one gets a consistent flavor bean after bean!
Again, these are jelly beans, so anyone looking to them for nutrition is bound to be disappointed. Jelly beans, even Gimbal's jelly beans, are not a legitimate source of nutrition. These are a snack food, a dessert, and are in no way an adequate substitute for a real meal. A serving is listed at thirty-seven beans. This means that in a single serving, there are 140 calories, which is 12% of your daily recommended intake.
The thing is, Gimbal's jelly beans are not as bad as they could be in the nutrition area. They have no fat and no protein, but for those who have ever dated a Vegan, these are Vegan compliant because they contain no gelatin! They have only zero percent of the daily sodium with 10 mg and they are gluten free! The main ingredients are sugar, corn syrup and modified food starch, so it's not like this is an all-natural food, but they could be far, far worse. As well, these candies were not produced on machines with peanuts or other nuts and they are egg, trans fat, dairy and egg free!
Gimbal's jelly beans have a shelf life of approximately one year and I have yet to run across a stale Gimbal's (though arguably that is because of my lack of experience with them). They remain freshest when they are kept in an airtight container (the bag in the bulk box is sufficient if it is kept closed) and they ought to be kept in a lukewarm environment. Storing them in hot places or in an intimate location is likely to make the beans stick together and become gross. Kept in a cool, dry place, the beans retain their flavor perfectly.
As for cleanup, unless one allows the Gimbal's to get hot to the point that the waxy coating on the bean melts, the dyes on these do not bleed or denature, so there is usually no cleanup necessary, not even washing one's hands after eating them (always wash your hands before eating Gimbal's jelly beans; that's just common sense). I have never had French Vanilla Gimbal's jelly beans stain anything.
Gimbal's French Vanilla jelly beans flat-out one of the best vanilla flavored candies I have ever had and they are certainly worth stocking up on for anyone who likes candy!
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© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.