The Good: Some are tasty, Environmentally responsible bulk, Nothing bad in them
The Bad: Inconsistent tastes
The Basics: Extraordinarily variable, between beans that taste just like Strawberry and those that taste like fruit gone bad, the Sour Strawberry is a tough flavor to want to bulk up on!
The hallmark of the best Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors is consistency. The flavors I come back to time and time again and am proud to bulk up on are the flavors that taste exactly like what they claim to, bean by bean. The ones that hold up less well than the others are the ones that have an inconsistent taste. When I sat down to my case of Sour Strawberry Jelly Bellys, my ideal was that these would taste like actual strawberries, as strawberries are actually a little sour and the Stawberry-flavored Jelly Bellys in the main line of these candies tastes more like idealized strawberry. My fear was that they would be inedibly sour and turn my tastebuds. Strangely, I got both from these Jelly Belly jelly beans. The reason is simple: Sour Strawberry Jelly Bellys are an erratic flavor that is either very true to Strawberry or a perversion of the same, depending on what bean one eats. The result is a strangely disappointing flavor overall.
For those who might never have had Jelly Belly jelly beans, these are easily the best jelly beans on the planet, packing a lot of flavor into a very small size. Unlike most jelly beans which are only vaguely flavored and are more based on colors, Jelly Belly jelly beans have a wide variety of actual flavors, like Coconut, A&W Root Beer, French Vanilla, or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.
Who needs ten pounds of Sour Strawberry flavored Jelly Bellys? I miss my strawberry patch from when I had my own house and the Sour Strawberry Jelly Bellys offered me hours of reminiscing of eating fresh strawberries . . . and weeding that giant patch! Anyone who might like Sour Strawberry Jelly Belly jelly beans will likely find that this is the best way to get them in bulk in an environmentally responsible way for the least amount of money.
Sour Strawberry is a flavor of Jelly Belly jelly beans from the Sour line. Jelly Belly 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 Strawberry, with a sour twist, and some hold up and others do not.
Sour Strawberry flavored Jelly Bellys 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, "Some of us miss the good and the bad of having a strawberry patch!" I suspect that for most people, a ten pound case is a year's supply of these jelly beans.
Sour Strawberry flavored Jelly Bellys are fairly easy to recognize and distinguish from other Jelly Bellys, especially in the Sour Assortment. There are only ten Sour flavors and the closest within the assortment are the red Sour Raspberry, which is pretty easy to keep apart from these pink jelly beans. If mixed in with the regular assortment, they most closely resemble Cotton Candy. In fact, they are virtually identical by sight and taste is a most unpleasant way to discover which is which!
Ease Of Preparation
These are jelly beans, not weeding a strawberry patch the day after a hard rain and not finding a single slug. 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 become no more consistent if you leave them out or have the box open! Eat them freely from the box or however you please!
Sour Strawberry Jelly Bellys have a faint scent to them that prepares the consumer for a fruity taste experience. The scent does not enhance the taste in any significant way and the scent cannot inform the consumer of what kind of bean they will get.
Here, my testing diverges. The Sour Strawberry Jelly Bellys taste one of two ways from that point on. Some, are delicious, slightly tart jelly beans that taste quite truly of strawberry. They are not the manufactured, produced flavor we are conditioned to think is strawberry from candles and candies. Instead, that initial strawberry flavor is slightly tart and wonderfully fruity. It could be the perfect embodiment of strawberry.
But place the next Sour Strawberry Jelly Belly on your tongue and it is likely to be rank, generically fruity and utterly unpalatable. The lesser Sour Strawberry Jelly Bellys appeal to those who like turned food and they are nauseating with the way they cut through the tastebuds and make one gag on how sour they are. These truly sour Sour Strawberry Jelly Bellys are also only marginally strawberry flavored. Instead, they are more generically fruity.
Despite the inconsistencies in the bean to bean taste, the Sour Strawberry jelly beans actually are consistent through the case and each one either tastes exactly like strawberries or like whatever foul mutation of strawberries the others are flavored like.
Again, these are jelly beans, so anyone looking to them for nutrition needs to understand they are designed to compete with Sour Patch Kids and other sour candies, so they're not going to be terribly nutritious! Jelly beans, even Jelly Belly 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-five beans, with each Jelly Belly jelly bean having approximately four calories. This means that in a single serving, there are 140 calories, which is 12% of your daily recommended intake.
The thing is, Jelly Belly 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! Some Vegans consider the wax in the coating in the Jelly Belly jelly beans to be not Vegan compliant. I suppose it depends on just how strict a Vegan your Vegan is, if this matters at all. Generally, they are animal free! Jelly Belly jelly beans have only one percent of the daily sodium with 15 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.
Jelly Belly jelly beans have a shelf life of approximately one year and I have yet to run across a stale Jelly Belly (though that could have something to do with a package never surviving a year around me and this flavor isn't going to last six months, one way or the other!). 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 cool environment. Storing them in hot places is likely to make the beans stick together and be gross. Kept in a cool, dry place, the beans retain their flavor perfectly.
As for cleanup, unless one allows the Jelly Belly 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 (though it's never a bad idea to wash one's hands). I've never had Sour Strawberry Jelly Bellys stain anything.
Unfortunately, the Sour Strawberry Jelly Belly jelly beans are just too mixed for my tastes; I like to know what I'm getting before I bite into something and with these Jelly Bellys, the result is far too mixed and I'm not much for that much culinary risk! I cannot imagine who would be . . . outside adventurous children who don't care if they get sour or sweet!
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© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.