Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Wild Blackberry" Jelly Belly May Be An Obscure Flavor, But They Are Great In Bulk!

Wild Blackberry Jelly Belly Jelly Beans - 10 lbs bulk
Click to buy directly from Jelly Belly!

The Good: Environmentally responsible bulking, Tastes great
The Bad: Esoteric flavor, Slightly harder shell than others.
The Basics: Another winner from Jelly Belly, Wild Blackberry Jelly Bellys are a true embodiment of the flavor of the obscure fruit, but seem to get stale quicker than most.

As part of the current assortment of Jelly Belly jelly beans, there is a new rising star flavor: Wild Blackberry! Having worked at and attended any number of summer camps in the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes in Upstate New York, I am quite pleased to say I know what blackberries, especially those grown in the wild, taste like. In fact, one morning while I was out jogging at a YMCA summer camp, I ran into a blackberry patch and a bear there! And, despite how weird the Wild Blackberry flavor tastes, this is a very true tasting Jelly Belly and one well worth joining the pantheon of great Jelly Belly flavors!

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 dark chocolate (reviewed here!), 7-Up, the Superfruit assortment (click here for that review!) or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.

Who needs ten pounds of Wild Blackberry flavored Jelly Bellys? Anyone who ever gets nostalgic about shocked bears running out of the blackberry patch will want to commemorate the event with these, I suppose. Anyone who might like Wild Blackberry 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.


Wild Blackberry is a flavor of Jelly Belly jelly beans, a premium jelly bean, and this flavor is very true and a new addition to the 50 flavor assortment. 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 Wild Blackberry and they meet the expectations of picky consumers quite well.

Wild Blackberry 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 suggest anyone who thinks a bear might go after these instead of them if they get caught together in a blackberry patch is a good market, if a bit esoteric. I suspect that for most people, a ten pound case is a year's supply of these jelly beans.

Wild Blackberry flavored Jelly Bellys are easy to recognize in the Jelly Belly assortment. These Jelly Bellys are dark, opaque purple and none of the other Jelly Bellys have even remotely the same color. On its own in the ten pound box, of course, there is nothing to confuse them with.

Ease of Preparation

These are jelly beans, not trying to outrun a bear through the morning in a blackberry patch, so it's not like there is a challenge to eating or understanding them. 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, one could always get a bear-shaped candy dish to enjoy them out of . . . or just eat them out of the box. Whatever.


Wild Blackberry Jelly Bellys have a faintly fruity scent and while Blackberry has never had a strong scent-association with me, these do smell an awful lot like what we are conditioned to believe blueberries smell like. The aroma prepares the consumer well for the taste of a decent berry-flavored bean.

As is the habit of Jelly Belly, the company got this flavor quite right. Placing the bean on one's tongue, the consumer is rewarded with a strong berry taste. When one bites into the jelly bean, it tastes just like blackberries, sweet and rich. The flavor is distinctly different from blueberries and raspberries and it tastes quite truly like blackberries growing in the sunlight.

Unfortunately, Wild Blackberry Jelly Belly jelly beans have a consistent taste, but a surprisingly hard shell. Out of twenty-five I pulled out of the box randomly, twenty-three had a thicker, stiffer shell than any other Jelly Belly I had tasted. But bean to bean, this is a very consistent and delicious flavor.


Again, these are jelly beans, so anyone looking to them for nutrition needs to understand that they do not have any of the moderate nutritional benefits of actual Wild Blackberries. 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, but I think this might be a flavor that actually gets stale quicker given how hard the beans are. Having only had my box for a few months, the fact that they are not supple is troublesome. 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, but you should wash your hands before eating them anyway (especially if bears have been enjoying them with you, who knows where those bear's hands have been?!). I've never had Wild Blackberry Jelly Bellys stain anything.


Wild Blackberry Jelly Bellys offer consumers a chance to delight in an obscure, but delicious, berry flavor while still managing to not have real fruit!

For other Jelly Belly flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
Lemon Drop
Toasted Marshmallow


For other candy reviews, please visit my index page!

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

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