Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Near-Miss On Perfection, Peanut Butter Jelly Bellys Get It (Almost) All Right!

The Good: Great realistic flavor, Environmentally responsible bulk, Taste does not fade
The Bad: No real nutritional value, About ten percent lack any taste.
The Basics: A delicious and realistic replication of peanut butter flavoring, Peanut Butter Jelly Bellys still fall short of perfection due to a defect in them.

Jelly Belly jelly beans are creative and the taste engineers who come up with them are certainly ambitious and imaginative. After all, who looks at jelly beans and thinks "peanut butter?" I suppose I ought not to be surprised. After all, jelly beans look a lot like peanuts, I suppose. But that Jelly Belly makes Peanut Butter flavored jelly beans that are actually spectacularly like peanut butter gets them a lot of credit with me!

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 cappuccino, wild blackberry, mango, or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.

Who needs ten pounds of Peanut Butter flavored Jelly Bellys? I suppose anyone who would sit down and eat a whole tub of peanut butter would be the most likely candidate. Anyone who might like Peanut Butter 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.


Peanut Butter is a flavor of Jelly Belly jelly beans. 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 peanut butter and they live up to that . . . for most of the beans in the box.

Peanut Butter 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 quietly respond, "Anyone who grew up on government surplus peanut butter." I suspect that for most people, a ten pound case is a year's supply of these jelly beans.

Peanut Butter flavored Jelly Bellys are remarkably easy to recognize and distinguish from every other Jelly Belly; they are the only tan beans. Peanut Butter Jelly Belly jelly beans are opaque light brown.

Ease Of Preparation

These are jelly beans, getting government peanut butter in an almond butter year. 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, it's not like they will stick to things like real peanut butter, go right into the box, no harm in that!


Peanut Butter Jelly Bellys smell just like peanuts, so they do have that going for them. In fact, opening a package of Peanut Butter Jelly Bellys yields a scent as strong as opening a five pound tub of actual peanut butter; the scent is nutty and good.

As for the actual taste, Peanut Butter is a great embodiment of that flavor. Sweeter than normal peanuts, it is a little dry, giving it the taste and - surprisingly - the texture of peanut butter. It is uncanny how these taste just like peanut butter given that they are so small, but they get the flavor just right. In fact, this one is almost disturbing for how much they taste like peanut butter.

Unfortunately, Peanut Butter Jelly Bellys seem plagued by a condition where about one in ten is virtually tasteless. The other nine in a handful will be flavorful and peanut buttery, but that tenth is just tasteless and generically sweet. This seems consistent through the run, but I cannot find any cause and it has nothing to do with how many of the beans one eats.


Again, these are jelly beans, but they don't have the fat of actual peanut butter! 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! They 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 doesn't even last six months usually). 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 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 (always wash your hands before eating Jelly Bellys, these don't come from a sterile and benevolent government). I've never had Peanut Butter Jelly Bellys stain anything.


Peanut Butter Jelly Belly jelly beans are a great flavor of Jelly Belly and were it not for the inconsistencies in flavor between some of the beans, this might be a perfect flavor. As it is, with almost ten percent - in my experience - coming out bland, this is a tougher sell than the flavor deserves.

For other Jelly Belly flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
Buttered Popcorn
Grape Crush


For other candy reviews, please visit my index page!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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