So it may not be Easter anymore–we’re actually a good two weeks separated from it now–but nothing says the Easter and spring season quite like jelly beans! Actually, jelly beans hadn’t been associated with Easter until the 1930s, and in terms of classic sugary candies they’re a relatively new design. They are rumored to have been created around the Civil War, but the first documented appearance of jelly beans occurred in 1905. And jelly beans weren’t always the sugary sweet candies we know and love today: our now fruity flavors like cherry, orange, lemon, and grape used to be the spiced flavors more reminiscent of older candies, like ginger, cinnamon, and clove. (I think I like the modern flavors better.)
Literary cultists like myself also remember jelly beans playing a quirky and memorable role in the Harry Potter book series: Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans were magical jelly beans that tasted like everything, from plum pudding and butterscotch to black pepper, earwax, and vomit D: The most popular brand of jelly beans in the world is Jelly Belly, making gourmet jelly beans of traditional, fruity, modern, and unique flavors. They were even behind the real-candy marketing campaign to create real Bertie Bott’s Beans (which I am not ashamed to say I bought on multiple occasions, and didn’t mind the black pepper that much at all!) Jelly Belly always provides a flavor cheat-sheet in their bags and boxes of beans, and includes jelly bean “recipes” to mix certain beans to get a unique new flavor combination.
In freshman year of college, my roommate bought a gigantic tub of Jelly Belly beans to the dorm, and my friends and I gorged ourselves the entire semester to get a delicious and compact sugar rush. The biggest problem with buying a huge tub of assorted beans, however, was by the end of the semester we were stuck with all the “duds” in the jar that no one wanted to eat: the antiseptic lemons, the inexcusable blueberries, and of course, everyone’s bean bane, licorice. We eventually ended up throwing out the beans we didn’t want to eat, and considering the volume of the tub that could have been filled with delicious beans we would have eaten, it was such a waste!
But at Heavenly Delights, you don’t have to worry about getting any duds to weigh you down. A simple candy shop on the East Side, they don’t have a high-profile owner like Dylan’s Candy Bar or a great selection of vintage sweets like Economy Candy. What they do have, though, is a massive self-serve station of Jelly Bellies, of any and every flavor you could ever want. (They do not have the booger ones from JB’s Harry Potter days, however!) Bulk candy for something like jelly beans is the best: get as many of your favorite flavor as you like! I have to say I’m a fan of the very polarizing buttered popcorn flavor, but you may decide you need four whole pounds of Very Cherry, or a great mix to your liking. So find a Heavenly Delights in your area and snack away!
847 2nd Ave (between 45th St & 46th St)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Two words: JELLY BELLIES. Almost every candy you can imagine is available here in bulk, and almost every flavor of Jelly Belly, although I prefer the Tutti Frutti. They are fresh here, unlike other Heavenly Delight locations (the one on 3rd avenue and 36th, for example) where they are stale and hard as rocks. There are all sorts of candies, including Nerds, Runts, Chupa Chups, Linda’s Lollies, etc. They also have ice cream, nuts and sodas.”–Maria M.
“I love Jelly Bellys. I especially love being able to pick my own flavors in order to avoid flavors I really do not care for like buttered popcorn and licorice. For me, strawberry daiquiri, watermelon, raspberry, mango, french vanilla, coconut, and island punch combine for a tasty culmination of sweet goodness.”–Marcus V.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!