The Good: Good flavor, Taste does not fade, Economically and environmentally smart packaging.
The Bad: Waxier taste than Jelly Belly's comparable flavor.
The Basics: A good flavor of Gimbal’s jelly beans, Buttered Popcorn is good, but a bit waxier than serious beanophiles will want!
As I made my way through the many flavors of Gimbal’s Gourmet jelly beans, I found myself feeling lucky to be enjoying a new old favorite in the buttered popcorn flavor. The “new old favorite” comes from the fact that I was spoiled by Jelly Belly’s Buttered Popcorn flavored jelly beans (click here for that review!). That was, just as it was for many people, my first experience with truly distinctive, original flavors of jelly beans. Unfortunately for Gimbal’s, their buttered popcorn flavor bean is not as richly flavored and the feel of it being a unique taste experience is certainly contradicted by the fact that I have tasted something that is both similar and better. Even so, the Gimbal’s Buttered Popcorn jelly beans are good. They just aren’t the superlative jelly bean – either in this flavor or by Gimbal’s. Even so, for those looking for an affordable way to stock up on Buttered Popcorn jelly beans, Gimbal’s easily fits the bill.
It is worth noting that Gimbal's Buttered Popcorn jelly beans are roughly analogous to the Buttered Popcorn 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 Buttered Popcorn flavored Gimbal's jelly beans? Anyone who loves popcorn, but does not enjoy the hassle and noise of a hot air popper will like these! This flavor is a good rendering of buttered popcorn flavor, though it has a more waxy taste than the competitor. 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.
Buttered Popcorn 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 Buttered Popcorn and they live up to that fairly well, though having had the Jelly Belly flavor, this is a notable step down. Even so, these jelly beans have a buttery, slightly salty taste that is distinct.
Buttered Popcorn 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 anyone who enjoys both a quiet house and likes the flavor of buttered popcorn; the two ought not to be mutually exclusive! The Buttered Popcorn flavor is one that is good and a ten pound case is likely last for months. Kept properly, the Buttered Popcorn jelly beans keep for a year even in this level of bulk.
The Buttered Popcorn Gimbal's is easily differentiated from other Gimbal's jelly beans by its opaque white shell with yellow spots. There are no other white or yellow jelly beans in the assortment which look even mildly like this flavor.
Ease Of Preparation
These are jelly beans, not silently popping popcorn in a hot air popper! 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 Buttered Popcorn Gimbal's jelly beans was how opening the box did not yield a strong scent. Unlike some other flavors of Gimbal's jelly beans, opening this box smelled only vaguely like melted butter and mostly it just smelled waxy and sugary. The scent to this jelly bean is hardly distinct.
On the tongue, Buttered Popcorn is waxy, sweet and slightly buttery. The flavor is mildly that of buttered popcorn and while the buttery – real butter, not margarine! - flavor comes out, the taste of popcorn is almost entirely absent. Instead, there is a waxy taste and without much coaxing, this flavor transforms on the tongue from buttery to sugary and waxy without ever fully making the consumer feel like they have just eaten popcorn in a different form.
That said, the taste of this jelly bean is consistent and delicious. Unlike some which fade to generic sugary, the Gimbal's Buttered Popcorn is consistently sweet and true to their original 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 jelly beans 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 Buttered Popcorn Gimbal's jelly beans stain anything.
Gimbal's Buttered Popcorn jelly beans are a good flavor, but they are not one I am able to rave about, mostly because they are a little waxier than I would like. Most consumers will find them to be an affordable way to have an intriguing jelly bean experience, but they are robbed of perfection by their imprecise taste.
For other Gimbal's jelly beans reviewed by me, please check out:
Orange 'N' Creme
For other food reviews, please be sure to visit my index page for other reviews!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.