Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's Not Just The Surprise: Berry Blue Is Too Vague A Flavor Of Jelly Belly!

Berry Blue Jelly Belly Jelly Beans - 10 lbs bulk
Click to buy directly from Jelly Belly!

The Good: Environmentally responsible bulk, Sweet
The Bad: No real nutritional value, Loses flavor too quickly (becomes generically sweet), Doesn't taste like berry!
The Basics: Generically sweet and not berry flavored, Berry Blue disappoints die hard Jelly Belly fans!

There is something seriously wrong with a product that takes something I love and transforms it into something different, no matter how good the new iteration is. This concept was driven home to me recently when I picked up a 40 flavor bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans and eagerly grabbed for the light blue bean. When I was younger, this was one of my favorite flavors: Icy Blue. Or was it Icy Mint? It had "icy" in the name and it was such a powerful mint it always chilled my mouth*. It had been years since I picked up a mixed bag of Jelly Belly's so I was looking forward to that flavor again.

One might be able to imagine my surprise when I placed the bean in my mouth and was greeted with a vaguely sweet, somewhat fruity Jelly Belly. There are so few times in my life when I have actually been so surprised that I emit a "What the hell?!" That was one of them. Checking the legend on the back of my Jelly Belly bag, I discovered that this was Berry Blue. I have since attempted to give Berry Blue a fair shake.

It is not worth it.

To be fair to Berry Blue, upon further inspection, is a little more vibrant in color than Icy Mint was. Its hue is a bit more blue than Icy ever was.

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 Crushed Pineapple, Sour Grape, Dr. Pepper, or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.


Berry Blue 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 like berries and they fall shy of that.

Berry Blue flavored Jelly Belly'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, it's hard not to go through these when they are around. The Berry Blue flavor, especially, is one that is so delicious that once one starts eating them, one needs to come up with a reason to stop. I have taken to jarring these beans up when I get them in this extreme bulk just to help ration myself.

Ease Of Preparation

These are jelly beans, not advanced brain surgery. Preparing them is as easy as opening the box and popping one (or a handful) 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, but who am I to dictate how you eat them?! Eating them out of the box is fine!


On the taste front, Berry Blue suffers from what so many teas I review suffer from. I seem to recall that Celestial Seasonings' Wild Berry Zinger lost some points because I couldn't identify a single berry flavor in the tea. Similarly, Berry Blue gets off to a bad start by not having a scent. Standing over my bulk box, with a concentration of Berry Blue Jelly Belly's before me, I smell . . . nothing.

Unfortunately, the potential for disappointment continues as I bite into the bean. On the tongue, Berry Blue is slightly sour, with a flavor more like lemon than, say, blue raspberry. Biting into it, there is a rare experience for a Jelly Belly: nothing! Berry Blue either does not contain a flavored center or the flavor is so subtle as to be undetectable. Instead, the center is slightly sweet gelatin that simply cuts the sour, vaguely-fruity exterior of the bean! It is rare I feel betrayed by food, but the Berry Blue Jelly Belly makes me think that my poor Icy Mint was axed in favor of filler!

Berry Blue's flavor is only remotely fruity, like diluted fruit juice after the initial lemon taste. Sadly, it's so indistinct that one wonders what berry it was supposed to taste like. As it is, it merely tastes like slightly sour disappointment, followed by sugar. This is like the confection equivalent of a bully who gives his victims a lollipop after a purple nurple.


Well, these are jelly beans, so anyone looking to them for nutrition needs to wake up and try again! 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.

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 do, however, have beeswax and that makes some more militant Vegans not want these beans. 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 . . .). 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 or sunny places is likely to make the beans stick together and be gross. Kept in a cool, dry place, the beans retain their flavor well, whatever that flavor is.

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. I've never had Berry Blue Jelly Belly's stain anything.


Even in the responsible bulk of the ten pound case, Berry Blue is impossible to recommend. It is a shame the good people at Jelly Belly let this one escape the factory. There's no good reason I can come up with to buy this bulk pack of Berry Blue Jelly Belly's, save - perhaps - as a practical joke on one's taste buds or if Berry Blue is one's favorite team's colors. Come to think of it, don't the Seahawks have a kind of silvery light blue that's this color? Perhaps seahawks might enjoy these better than I did . . .

For other Jelly Belly flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
Smoothie Assortment
Top Banana
Sour Watermelon


* While fact checking for the review, I discovered my beloved flavor was called Ice Blue Mint.

For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment