The Good: Taste generally good, Environmentally responsible bulk
The Bad: Not as sour as many of the Sour Jelly Belly flavors
The Basics: Flavorful, but hardly tongue-ripping sour, Sour Raspberry Jelly Belly jelly beans are more average than extraordinary.
There was a tiny bit of irony when I first reviewed the Sour Raspberry Jelly Belly jelly beans; which is that the standard Raspberry flavor was one of only a handful of flavors I had not yet reviewed at the time. I was certain when I reviewed that bean, I would kvetch about how it was not sour and the taste is the taste we are conditioned to believe is raspberry even when it is not quite the right flavor (I know how I am). So the additional irony with the Sour Raspberry Jelly Bellys is that these are not quite as sour as other Sour Jelly Belly flavors, which might leave those who like sour flavored confections wanting more. Even so, these are good, but a surprisingly average jelly bean.
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 Caramel Corn, Cinnamon, Candy Cane, or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.
Who needs ten pounds of Sour Raspberry flavored Jelly Bellys? I suppose anyone who would eat ten pounds of raspberries if it weren't for the thorns on the raspberry bushes might be the target demographic. After all, Sour Raspberry Jelly Bellys don't grow on thorny bushes. Anyone who might like Sour Raspberry 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 Raspberry 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 Raspberry, with a sour twist, and they live up to that very well.
Sour Raspberry 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, "There are no thorns in this box, so who doesn't need this much fruit substitute?!" I suspect that for most people, a ten pound case is a year's supply of these jelly beans.
Sour Raspberry flavored Jelly Bellys are fairly easy to recognize and distinguish from other Jelly Bellys, except in the Sour Assortment. There are only ten Sour flavors and the closest within the assortment is Sour Strawberry, which is a slightly brighter red, though both are opaque red jelly beans. These opaque dark red jelly beans are ridiculously close in color to the Raspberry, Strawberry Jam or Pomegranate jelly beans in the main assortment. Mixing these in with the regular assortment, then, could end up as a pretty
Ease Of Preparation
These are jelly beans, not cutting through the thorny raspberry bushes after Miracle Gro Monday! 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, there is no reason for hygienic people not to eat them right out of the box! Eat them freely from the box or in a dish, as you see fit!
Sour Raspberry Jelly Bellys have no discernible aroma to them, even in quantities like the ten pound box. This can be alarming to consumers because this provides another way in which they may not be prepared for the sour nature of the jelly bean.
When one puts the Sour Raspberry Jelly Belly on their tongue, though, they are likely to discover the scent adequately prepared them for the tang of this Jelly Belly, but not the full flavor and richness of it. This bursts on the tongue like an appropriately sweet raspberry before giving a slight, juicy kick of sour. The sour, though, is in no way overwhelming and these Jelly Bellys are very much like a sweetened, pacified version of the raspberry flavor that those who have had such things as raspberry patches in their back yard would be familiar with. The taste has a minor sour flavor to it, but even after the slight kick of the sour taste, the Sour Raspberry reinforces with a wash of sweetness as it goes down the throat. All the while, the fruit flavor is precisely that of raspberries, but they are a pacified version of that fruit . . . or maybe a version that just isn't as twisted to sour as the other Sour Jelly Belly jelly beans.
Sour Raspberry holds up remarkably well over many beans as well and the tastebuds are likely to as well, considering how this Jelly Belly is not nearly as sour as the others in this line.
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). 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; the Sour Raspberry flavor seems especially susceptible to sticking together when in a hotter or more humid environment, probably due to their darker color. 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 (but seriously, why wouldn't you wash your hands before eating Sour Raspberry Jelly Bellys?!). I've never had Sour Raspberry Jelly Bellys stain anything.
Sour Raspberry Jelly Belly jelly beans are good, but this is not a flavor that is likely to light the sky on fire for fruit flavor authenticity, nor please those looking for a tongue-numbing sour taste. Instead, the fruit flavor is fairly true to real raspberries, though a little sweeter than the real thing. Still, it's better than most candies out there and anyone who likes actual raspberry flavor will likely enjoy the Sour Raspberry Jelly Belly jelly beans.
For other Jelly Belly flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
Mixed Berry Smoothie
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.