Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Speckled Little White Beans (LOTS Of Them!): Jelly Belly French Vanilla Jelly Beans Rock!

French Vanilla Jelly Belly Jelly Beans - 10 lbs bulk
Click to buy directly from Jelly Belly!

The Good: Tastes like vanilla, Delicious, Environmentally responsible bulk, Good aroma
The Bad: Not terribly nutritious, Minor taste problem when eating them in bulk!
The Basics: One of the most innovative and tasty flavors of Jelly Belly jellybeans, French Vanilla's taste fades rather quickly when consumed in bulk.

One of these days, I am going to get away with writing a review in free verse poetry. I mention this at the outset of my review for Jelly Belly French Vanilla jelly beans because as I have gone through a ten pound box, I have discovered that this might be one of the most underrated of all Jelly Belly flavors. This is a pretty unassuming flavor, available on its own, but often passed up - I've noticed - in my local bulk food section.

But these little beans are one of Jelly Belly's best and for those who want to take a leap on wonderful, this is the way to go. French Vanilla is one of the flavors that reminds consumers just why Jelly Belly jelly beans are a confectioner's standard to be met and one seldom exceeded. Jelly Belly jelly beans come in atypical flavors, like 7-Up, Peach, Orange Juice and their signature flavor, Buttered Popcorn. French Vanilla is a welcome addition to that pantheon of beans.


French Vanilla 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 French vanilla and they live up to that well. Not since having Breyer's Vanilla Bean ice cream have I tasted a vanilla product so rich in powerful vanilla flavor.

French Vanilla 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, French Vanilla beans make great additions to wedding favors - they are white, which is a bridal color, and they taste delicious, like love is supposed to. Sigh. The French Vanilla flavor, is one that is underrated, but since getting a ten pound box, I've started to find more and more uses for them (they enhance usually bland vanilla frosting on cupcakes, for example)! Moreover, when I have set multiple flavors of Jelly Belly jelly beans out at parties, I have noticed French Vanilla is one of the flavors that gets pretty quickly gobbled up. I want to say that a ten pound case is a year's supply of these jelly beans, they would certainly keep for a year even in this level of bulk, but my first case lasted only a month (then again, I was using some for wedding favors).

The French Vanilla Jelly Belly is easily differentiated from other Jelly Belly jelly beans by its spots. This is a white jelly bean with tiny black spots on the surface of the jelly bean. There are other white Jelly Belly's - coconut (opaque white) and A&W Cream Soda (a more translucent white) - but none of them have spots or markings like French Vanilla does.

Ease Of Preparation

These are jelly beans, not electing an uncorrupt government official. 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. Then again, weddings or bridal showers are a great excuse to eat as many as you want, so under such circumstances, you could always just open a box and see what happens.


As with all of the best Jelly Belly flavors, the strength of French Vanilla flavored Jelly Belly's is that they taste exactly like French Vanilla! First, they smell like vanilla beans. When one opens the bulk box of these, it smells just like opening a jar of vanilla extract, without the alcohol scent.

But the taste is precisely and accurately that of french vanilla flavoring, with all its richness. They have the taste of French vanilla both on the shell of the candy and in the center.

The only drawback to the taste of French Vanilla Jelly Belly's is in the consumption of many of them at the same time. Unfortunately, if one decides to pig out on French Vanilla-flavored Jelly Belly's, this is one of the flavors that quickly becomes more sugary. In fact, in a race for Jelly Belly's that quickly denature to a sugary taste, French Vanilla might be near the head of the line. While French Vanilla is an excellent flavor of Jelly Belly, I've found that eating more than a handful at a time causes the brain to simply stop tasting the actual French Vanilla flavor.


Again, these are jelly beans, so anyone looking to them for nutrition needs to remember that French Vanilla jelly bellys do not grow on trees, come fresh from the Earth or do a little joyful dance that magically makes them a cure-all for all that ails you. 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 . . .). 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 a pocket 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 Belly's, germs are everywhere and it would be a shame for the fine people at Jelly Belly to be blamed for making you ill!). I've never had French Vanilla Jelly Belly's stain anything.


French Vanilla Jelly Belly jelly beans are one of the best flavors of Jelly Belly's and while they taste precisely like French Vanilla or vanilla bean products, eating too many causes the taste to fade quickly. Given that they are so delicious, that's a bit of a drawback for these tasty beans.

For other Jelly Belly flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
Sour Watermelon
Strawberry Daiquiri


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.

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