Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Get It: Sour Grapes On Jelly Belly Sour Grape Flavored Jelly Bellys!

Sour Grape Jelly Belly Jelly Beans - 10 lbs bulk
Click to buy directly from Jelly Belly!

The Good: Good flavor, Great quantity
The Bad: Artificial grape flavor (mild problem)
The Basics: A near-perfect Jelly Belly, Sour Grape Jelly Bellys are one of the best flavors of Jelly Bellys, despite tasting more like artificial grape flavor than actual grapes.

As a Freudian, I had to say that reviewing a Jelly Belly flavor like Sour Grape Jelly Bellys afforded me an opportunity I could not resist to make all sorts of jokes about rationalization. Actually, my wife came up with the real "sour grapes" sentiment as I prepared to rate these Jelly Bellys and because she had such a good point, I decided that I could not consider the Sour Grape a perfect flavor of Jelly Belly. It is so close, but it's not there. The reason for this is simple: Sour Grape Jelly Bellys do not taste like actual grapes, they taste like the manufactured, prepackaged, conditioned taste of grapes that we all recognize as grape flavor, despite it not being quite the taste of actual, real, off-the-vine grapes. Are they bad? No, not by any means. But as my partner sourly pointed out (little joke!) for a company like Jelly Belly that trades on tasting exactly like what they are supposed to, the Sour Grape flavor tasting like Recognizable Grape as opposed to Actual Grape is a detriment, even if it is a slight one. That said, these are a wonderful flavor of Sour Jelly Bellys that deserve the attention of candy connoisseurs!

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 Sour Apple, Tangerine, Green Apple, or their signature flavor Buttered Popcorn.

Who needs ten pounds of Sour Grape flavored Jelly Bellys? If you can't have ten pounds, why should anyone, right? Anyone who might like Sour Grape 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 Grape 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 Grape, with a sour twist, and they live up to that fairly well.

Sour Grape 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 maybe I didn't want them anyway (yes, I know that's sweet lemons!). I suspect that for most people who actually get them, a ten pound case is a year's supply of these jelly beans.

Sour Grape 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 Blueberry, which is a blue color. These opaque purple-blue jelly beans are a bit more blue than they ought to be and in low lighting they may easily be confused with the Sour Blueberry flavor. If the sours are mixed with the standard beans, the only ones one risks mistaking them for is Plum or Island Punch. The Sour Grape Jelly Bellys are disturbingly close to the Plum Jelly Bellys, but are darker and a little more blue than the Island Punch Jelly Bellys.

Ease Of Preparation

These are jelly beans, not being shut out of the job you didn't really want anyway. 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, you're not likely to get them out of the box anyway, without some nepotism, so why bother, right? You can always eat them out of the box, if you can even get into it.


Sour Grape Jelly Bellys have almost no bouquet, so tasting them is the best way to actually get their flavor.

Sour Grape Jelly Belly jelly beans taste like an unsweetened grape juice from concentrate that has turned, like a red wine before it reaches its full potential. The taste is clearly that of grape, though it is the grape flavor that we consider grape, not the even more sour taste of actual grapes. Ironically, had Jelly Belly made a simple authentic grape flavor, it would have qualified as Sour Grape. Instead, this tastes like Bubble Yum's grape flavored bubble gum that one started chewing right after putting a Sour Patch Kid in their mouth. When I made that analogy, my partner sat up, nodded and said, "exactly!" Then she grumbled, "I wish I had thought of that."*

Sour Grape holds up remarkably well over many beans as well and this is one of the Sour Jelly Belly flavors that actually does not burn out the tastebuds. Usually, if one has something that is super sour consistently, it agitates the tastebuds and they lose their sensitivity to the sour flavor. Fortunately, this is not the case with Sour Grape. It is a more mild, sour flavor than some of the other Sour Jelly Bellys and it does not overwhelm the senses.


Again, these are jelly beans, so anyone looking to them for nutrition needs to understand they are designed to compete with Sour Patch Kids (as if anything could!) 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 concerned Vegans consider the wax in the coating to not be Vegan compliant. I suppose it depends on just how strict a Vegan your Vegan is, if this matters at all. Every Vegan I know considers these to be 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). I have noticed, though, that Sour Grape is a flavor more susceptible to heat. If they are not kept cool, more than any other flavor I have had around, these sweat and their shell is softer. I have no explanation for it, but they do not seem to go bad, they just seem softer than most Jelly Bells. 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. 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 (people with cleaner hands get the better Jelly Bellys!). I've never had Sour Grape Jelly Bellys stain anything.


Sour Grape is a generally wonderful flavor of Sour Jelly Belly, despite tasting more like processed grape flavor than actual grapes. Most consumers will not notice the difference, making them ideal for more casual consumer. But for those with serious and discriminating tastebuds, there is a noticeable difference.


For other Jelly Belly flavors reviewed by me, please check out:
Caramel Corn
Sunkist Lime
Soda Pop Shoppe Assortment

* She didn't really, but it was funny and fit the "sour grapes" theme.

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

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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Sour Grape Jelly Belly Jelly Beans - 10 lbs bulk Click to buy directly from Jelly Belly!

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