Monday, April 30, 2007

Tomorrow is May Day!

In Hawaii, May Day is Lei Day.

May Day is Lei Day in Hawai`i

May 1st

"...May Day is Lei Day in Hawai`i
Garlands of flowers ev'rywhere,
All of the colors in the rainbow
Maidens with blossoms in their hair
Flowers that mean we should be happy,
Throwing aside a load of care,
Oh, May Day is Lei Day in Hawai`i
Lei Day is happy day out there."
~ Red Hawke, 1928

May 1st marks ka lâ hânau (the birthday) of The Hula Pages, an auspiciously appropriate day, as this day holds special and sentimental hula significance for every keiki o ka `âina (child of the land).

Source of Photo: Unknown. If known to you, please e-mail.
Credit will be gratefully cited and linked.

For those blessed with a childhood in Hawai`i, there was no finer or more festive day of Hawaiian celebration. For this Aunty's home village in Puna on the Big Island, The May Day Pageant, held at the school, was a far bigger event than the Christmas Program, which came in second, a distant second. May Day was not, and still is not, an official Hawaiian holiday, but villagers took off work anyway, whether they had kids in school or not. It was a day that drew us together like a powerful magnet. We came together as a community in celebration and remembrance of our cultural heritage and diversity.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tomorrow is... Joe's birthday!!

Happy Birthday, best friend!

Also, it is National Oatmeal Cookie Day.

Best Oatmeal Cookies

This is a family favorite that I have been making for years. It's the most requested oatmeal cookie recipe I've ever made. I found it somewhere years ago, but have lost the source. The secret is soaking the raisins which makes all the difference.
cookies click to change U.S./Metric measurement system or number of servings
time to make 1¼ hours 1 hour prep
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Not the one? See other Best Oatmeal Cookies Recipes

  1. This is a very important first step that makes the cookie: combine eggs, raisins and vanilla and let stand for one hour.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars.
  3. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and soda and mix well.
  4. Blend in egg-raisin mixture, oatmeal, and chopped nuts.
  5. Dough will be stiff.
  6. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet, or roll into balls and flatten slightly.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

"Best Oatmeal Cookies" Recipe #54351

Posted: Feb 18, 2003

Recipe Photo
photo by CulinaryQueen
3 photos

This recipe had a very nice flavor. I followed your directions except for cutting back on the sugar (3/4 c each plus I didn't pack the brn sugar). I took them into the office where they were immediately inhaled by everyone ... they couldn't stop raving about them. Thank you for sharing.

Friday, April 27, 2007

April 28 is
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect summertime dessert.
Crust Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold LAND O LAKES® Butter
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Filling Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 cups fresh blueberries
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Combine 2 cups flour and salt in large bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water with fork just until flour is moistened.
  2. Divide dough in half; shape each half into ball. Flatten slightly. Wrap 1 ball of dough in plastic food wrap; refrigerate. Roll out remaining ball of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into 9-inch pie pan; unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan.
  3. Combine sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, nutmeg and cinnamon; mix well. Stir in blueberries. Spoon blueberry mixture into prepared pie crust.
  4. Roll out remaining ball of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Cut out decorative shapes in dough using small cookie cutter. Place dough over filling. Seal, trim and crimp or flute edge. Cover edge of crust with 2-inch strip of aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes; remove aluminum foil. Continue baking for 10 to 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and juice begins to bubble through cut-outs in crust.
  6. Cool pie 30 minutes; serve warm. Store refrigerated.

Makes 8 servings.

TIP: If fresh blueberries are unavailable, substitute frozen blueberries and increase baking time by 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving)
Calories: 360
Fat: 15 g
Cholesterol: 40 mg
Sodium: 190 mg
Carbohydrates: 53 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 4 g

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Land O Lakes, Inc.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

April 27 is National Prime Rib Day and Write an Old Friend Today Day!


Blackened Prime Rib


FROM: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

A definite different twist on an old classic. This prime rib will really spice things up! Use the pan drippings for au-jus or make some delicious Yorkshire Pudding. Whip up a batch of fresh horseradish sauce and serve this prime rib with garlic asparagus or a fluffy baked potato. Please note the total time includes 1 hour for marinating.

Boneless Garlic and Rosemary Rubbed Prime Rib with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

SUBMITTED BY: USA WEEKEND columnist Pam Anderson


Anchor dinner with a festive rib roast. For great color and flavor, sear it first in a skillet, then rub the meat all over with minced garlic and rosemary before popping it in the oven.

Cajun Prime Rib


Don't be afraid of all the salt and spice. They provide full flavor through out the meat. The kick comes from the Cajun seasoning that is put on just before grilling. For diners who like less heat you may omit the Cajun seasoning. A great company roast, and everyone can have their meat cooked to their preferred doneness.

Country Club Prime Rib


Here is how we used to do prime rib at a country club where I cooked 20 at a time every Saturday afternoon.

Garlic Prime Rib


Quick and easy marinade and so tasty, I was trusted with this recipe but I can't keep it to myself!

Kim's Prime Rib


The garlic, and soy sauce, and Worcestershire flavored sauce for this roast is literally injected with a turkey baster. Recipe may be halved or doubled.

Kosher Salt Encrusted Prime Rib Roast


Its flavor-enhancing power is salt's greatest culinary asset. Try this slowly cooked (4 to 5 hours) roast and see for yourself.

WOODY WOODPECKER DAY On this, his birthday, we pay tribute to the man who created the fun-loving, slightly manic bird he called, Woody Woodpecker. Cartoonist Walter Lantz was born on this day in 1900 in New Rochelle, New York.

Many remember Walter Lantz only for Woody; however, one of his most famous moments was the creation of an animated opening sequence for Universal Studio’s first, major musical, The King of Jazz in 1930.

Lantz’ Woody Woodpecker made his first appearance in the 1940 film, Knock, Knock. He became so popular that his wacky laugh and taunting ways were celebrated in The Woody Woodpecker Song. By 1948, Lantz and his studio were celebrating the hit record success of that song, too.

Walter Lantz put several more decades of wonderful cartoon characters and films under his belt before he was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. It was 1979 when he was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscar ceremonies.

Walter Lantz has left us and many generations to come with a lifetime of enjoyment; one can still see Woody Woodpecker in cartoons on television. You’ll recognize that zany laugh anywhere!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April 25 is National Pretzel Day, Shuffleboard Day, and Hug an Australian Day!

The History of the Pretzel

As we are with a lot of foods the exact origin of the pretzel is unknown.

As early as 610AD at a monastery somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy, where monks used scraps of dough and formed them into strips to represent a child's arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity.

The monks offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers. The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there, the pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms.

The Pretiola journeyed beyond the French and Italian wine regions, hiked the Alps, wandered through Austria, and crossed into Germany, where it became known as the Bretzel or Pretzel.

In medieval times merchants traveling to the Frankfurt Fair risked being robbed by bandits. In order to guard the tradesmen, the towns' people would ride out, greet the vendors and offer them pewter pitchers of wine and loads of crisp dough on their spears, called Geleit-pretzels.

The Whimsical Pretzel shape worked its way into the culture not only as a reward but as a symbol of Good Luck and prosperity. I suppose it had the same effect as a logo did appearing in festivals and celebrations, as well as a quick snack available from street corner vendors.

Probably two of the most fascinating things about the pretzel is it was served on Easter with 2 hard boiled eggs and hidden around the farms, for the kids to find. This very likely was the forerunner of the Easter egg hunt. Weddings in Europe for a time used the tradition of the bride and groom tugging at a pretzel like a wishbone, the larger piece assured the spouses fulfillment of their wishes.

There are pictures of pretzels in paintings that help us to find how old their existence really is. Here is a one of the more famous pictures in which we find pretzels, called "The f ight between carnival and lent" by Pieter Bruegel in 1559. You can see the pretzels in the lower right hand corner.

From this came the saying we still use, "Tying the knot".

So how did the hard pretzel spring into existence? Skip ahead to late seventeenth century Pennsylvania. A baker's helper fell asleep tending pretzels baking in the hearth. When he awoke, the flames had died, he believed the pretzels hadn't cooked long enough and started the fire up again. When the Master Baker came in, he was furious that an entire batch of pretzels wasn't fit to eat. In the process of throwing them out, he tasted one and realized he was on to something big! Not only did he like the taste of these delicious crunchy morsels but realized due to the moisture being baked entirely out, that freshness was preserved and they would keep longer to sell.

It was the immigrants from these countries who brought the "bretzel" to our shores during the 1800's, later becoming known as the "pretzel". Some believe that the pretzel recipe was brought over on the mayflower and they were made and sold to the Indians who loved them.

The first commercial pretzel bakery was established in the town of Lititz in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania by Julius Sturgis in 1861. The modern age of pretzel making began in 1935 when the Reading Pretzel Machinery Company first introduced the automatic pretzel twisting machine. Prior to that, most commercial pretzels were actually shaped by a cracker-cutting machine, then placed on baking pans and put into the baking ovens by hand. This innovation made pretzels available to people in all parts of the country, and helped the fledgling industry grow...

Some more modern bizarre pretzel facts include these noteworthy items: Largest pretzel ever baked:40 lbs, 5-feet across, by Joe Nacchio of Federal Baking, Philadelphia, PA; Pretzels in the movies: 20 lb., 4’ pretzel in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World”—same baker; Pretzel capitol of the world: Reading, PA., where one plant can package over 10 million pretzels per day!

Annual pretzel sales top $180 million and are the second most popular snack, right behind potato chips and just in front of popcorn.

Source: Snack Food Association

Today in History...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Laurens Hammond at the Model A It was on this date in Chicago, IL that Laurens Hammond announced news that would be favored by many churches across the United States. The news was the development of the pipeless organ -- and a granting of a U.S. patent for same. The year was 1934.

Hammond, a decades-old name in keyboard organs in churches, theaters, auditoriums and homes, is the same Hammond who fostered many of the developments that would make electronic keyboards so popular in modern music. The Hammond B-3 and B-5 organs, for example, became mainstays for many recording artists, while inventions in Hammond organ loud speaker development (the Hammond Leslie Tremelo speaker) produced still other important milestones that allowed small organs to emulate the big concert theater console organs.

Later, solid-state circuitry and computers allowed keyboards the flexibility to sound like other instruments, permitting the organist to play many instruments from the organ’s multiple keyboards.

And you thought there was an entire orchestra hiding in the closet ...

Today is National Zucchini Bread Day!

Barb's Best Zucchini Bread

Recipe #32880
28 ratings
This is an awesome recipe from my sister. I don't know where she got it, but it is absolutely scrumptious and a must-have for all of you gardeners out there

time to make 1½ hours 10 min prep
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Not the one? See other Barb's Best Zucchini Bread Recipes

  1. Preheat oven to 325* and grease bottom only of two 9 x 5 bread pans.
  2. Beat eggs until foamy.
  3. Stir in sugar, zucchini, oil and vanilla.
  4. Combine dry ingredients and spices and gradually add to wet ingredients.
  5. Fold in nuts and raisins.
  6. Pour into prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 60 to 80 minutes or until center tests done.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes on rack and then remove from pans.
  9. Cool completely on rack before slicing.

Monday, April 23, 2007


SLAY A DRAGON DAY In Greek mythology, Perseus slew a monster that threatened Andromeda. Not to be outdone, the Crusaders from the 1300s told the story of Saint George. George used his magic sword to kill a dragon ... just in the nick of time to save the king’s daughter from being sacrificed to the fire-breathing beast. As the story goes, this dragon had an insatiable appetite and it was only through his deep faith that George was able to accomplish this deed.

Little factual information is known about Saint George other than his becoming a soldier and rising to a high rank under Diocletian. Because of his strong and open belief in Christianity, he was arrested, tortured and put to death at Nicomedia on this day in 303 A.D.

He was so revered by the Crusaders, that George was named Patron Saint of England in 1350 A.D. For many years, English soldiers wore the red cross of St. George on a white background as a badge; and it remains a part of the British Union flag.

The martyred hero is still honored throughout England on this day, Saint George Feast Day.

Today is National Cherry Cheesecake Day!

One of the world's most popular and delicious deserts!

Our Best Cheesecake

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
Serves: 10
Recipe Rating:

Tips from Kraft
Ratings and Comments
...and may we suggest

Our Best Cheesecake

1-3/4 cups HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

2 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling (optional)

MIX crumbs, margarine and 1/4 cup sugar in bowl. Press on bottom and 2-1/2-inches up side of 8 or 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla in bowl with electric mixer on high speed until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in sour cream. Spread in prepared pan.

BAKE at 350°F for 60 to 70 minutes or until center is set. Turn off oven. Leaving door slightly ajar, leave cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven; cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Remove side of pan; top with cherry pie filling.

Cherry Almond Cheesecake

SUBMITTED BY: Lise Thomson

PROVIDED BY: Taste of Home

Cherry marbling and topping bring a holiday look to this lovely dessert. Its graham cracker crust includes ground almonds, which give it a crunchy texture. The nutty flavor complements the cream cheese filling nicely.

Cherry Cheesecake


This recipe has two names; Cherry Cheese Cake and/or Cherry Cream Cheese Pie. It is delicious!

Cherry Cheesecake Dessert

SUBMITTED BY: Christine Eilerts

PROVIDED BY: Taste of Home

My mother often made this lovely fruit-topped cheese-cake. Now our grown sons consider it my 'signature dessert'. Sometimes, I bake and freeze the cheesecake ahead. On the day I serve it, I thaw it, then add the fruit. -Christine Eilerts Tulsa, Oklahoma

Cherry Dessert


A graham cracker crust is filled with a creamy sweet concoction and topped with cherry pie filling, to make this easy-to-make, no-bake pie. Best served chilled.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake


This is an extremely rich chocolate cheesecake with a distinct caramel flavor (not a layer of caramel). Eat more than a sliver only at your own risk.

Not Yet Reviewed!


Christmas Cheesecake

SUBMITTED BY: Verna Arthur

PROVIDED BY: Taste of Home

With a cheery cherry topping and mint green garnish, this is the perfect dessert to top off a holiday dinner.

Not Yet Reviewed!


Cinnamon Cherry Cheesecake Squares


PROVIDED BY: Taste of Home

This recipe was given to me by a friend at my wedding shower 24 years ago. It has become a real family favorite over the years.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Today is National Jelly Bean Day!

How is a jelly bean made?


The jelly bean is a semi-soft candy, shaped like a bean and generally fruit flavored. Long considered a traditional Easter candy, jelly beans are also produced in seasonal colors for other holidays such as Halloween and Independence Day. Basic jelly beans (sometimes also called "pectin beans" because their gel-like centers are flavored with fruit pectin) come in nine colors—red, black, white, green, yellow, brown, orange, pink, and purple. Typically, the bean has the same flavor and color in both the candy center and the sugar shell.

As former President Ronald Reagan's favorite candy, the jelly bean experienced something of a resurgence in the 1980s, and many "designer" or "gourmet" flavors were introduced. These newer incarnations include more exotic fruit flavors like blue-berry, pear, cantaloupe, peach, and watermelon; beverage-based flavors such as root beer, champagne, mai tai, and daiquiri; and dessert or other sweet flavors such as bubble gum, marshmallow, mint, cheesecake, and cinnamon. The names of the flavors vary with the manufacturer, and the processing may be varied as well so that the particular jelly bean flavor resembles its "real world" counterpart. For example, the watermelon-flavored bean has a red candy center and a green hard shell like a real watermelon, and a mixed fruit or "tutti-frutti" bean may have a pink center and a speckled exterior to suggest its mix of flavors.

The exact origins of the jelly bean are not known, but it seems to have appeared around 1900 with other shaped candies. The jelly bean has a longer shelf life than many other confections, and its size and durability make it portable. Like other small treats, it was sold as "penny candy" through the first half of the century, including during the Depression. By segregating beans by color, retailers were able to sell jelly beans for particular holidays. In 1976, the gourmet jelly bean was invented by the Herman Goelitz Candy Co., Inc., and the candy assumed a new life as a delicacy. Jelly beans were a fixture of the Reagan White House, and they have flown on the space shuttle as well. New flavors are developed in keeping with taste trends, so the future of the humble bean in both traditional and new guises seems assured.

Raw Materials

The basic ingredients of jelly beans include sugar, corn syrup, and food starch. Relatively minor amounts of lecithin (an emulsifier), anti-foaming agents, beeswax or carnauba wax, salt, and confectioner's glaze are also added. The ingredients that give each bean its character are also relatively small in proportion and may vary depending on the flavor. These include natural and artificial flavors and colors, and, depending on the bean flavor, may include chocolate, coconut, fruit as puree or juice, peanuts, vanilla, oils, cream, or freeze-dried egg, milk, or fruit powders.


The "design" of the jelly bean was time-honored until the mid-1970s when the gourmet or designer jelly bean was developed. Although the shape remained fairly standard, gourmet-type beans are typically smaller and softer than traditional jelly beans. The colors and flavors also are more varied, and flavors that decrease in popularity are phased out, while new ones are added in keeping with other candies popular with children and other food fads and trends. Intentional in its design or not, the smaller jelly bean is touted as a low-calorie treat because jelly beans contain little or no fat, and there are about 150 calories in 2 tablespoons of small jelly beans.

Also, some manufacturers make a slightly larger jelly bean for holidays like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. Forming jelly beans and many other candies does require design and development of the molds used in casting the shapes.

The Manufacturing

Cooking and chemistry

  • Each manufacturer's jelly bean and each new flavor/color combination begin in a chemistry laboratory, where the right balance of ingredients is mixed and developed in test batches. New designer flavors are suggested based on marketing studies, and the flavors are tested for taste and visual appeal in the laboratory. Subsequently, a new flavor will be manufactured over a trial time period and test marketed. If the flavor proves popular, it will become a new product. The chemists also develop new flavors with an eye toward the consumer's interest in natural products, and they evaluate its "nutrition facts," including ingredients and caloric content.
  • After the chemists have fine-tuned their recipe, the candy kitchen creates the syrup that forms the jelly bean center by dissolving the sugar and other ingredients in large boilers where the syrup is cooked to the proper temperature and consistency. Flavor and color for the bean center are added to the syrup, which is then piped to the starch casting area. The kitchens also mix and cook the flavor and color syrups for the panning process described below. These syrups are carefully transported to the panning room and are added in measured doses during panning.

Starch casting

  • Formation or shaping of a single jelly bean begins with a process called starch casting. Dry corn starch is a fine, white powder that retains impressions or shapes well. A machine called a mogul deposits a layer of corn starch in a plastic tray and moves the tray to a machine die, which presses dents into the corn starch. Each tray may contain several hundred to over 1,200 of these impressions or dents, each of which is the size and shape of the center of a jelly bean. The mogul moves the trays to a depositor or "filling station" where heated candy syrup is squirted into the tiny molds. From the mogul, conveyors carefully move the trays to cooling rooms in which temperature and humidity are controlled and where the liquid candy cools and sets up to form the gummy center of the jelly bean.

The panning process

  • The panning process gives the jelly beans their outer color and flavor, protective sugar shells, and shiny glaze. The trays of candy centers are dumped out. The corn starch absorbs moisture from them during the cooling process; but it is removed, dried, reprocessed, and recycled to create molds for more candies. The centers, which are all the same flavor and color, are placed in stainless steel vessels called "pans" that are globe-shaped and hollow with an opening at one "pole" of the globe. Just like globes, the pans are tilted on their axes so the candies can be placed in them easily and so workers can add other ingredients through the openings. At the bottom "pole" or axis end, the vessel is linked to a rotating power source. The pans rotate the jelly bean centers several hundred times per minute.
  • Sugar is added through the opening, which gradually builds up on the soft center to form a harder, sugar shell. Workers add colors and flavors during the panning process by pouring beakers of syrup supplied by the candy kitchen through the opening in the vessel. They can also observe the jelly bean shells as they form and become colored throughout the process. The beans are essentially finished at this point but are rather dull-looking. To give them their glossy coats, a glaze of confectioner's sugar is added while the beans are still revolving in the pans.


  • The process of making the jelly bean takes 6 to 10 days, depending on the kind of bean and the manufacturer. Packaging is the final step before sending the jelly beans to distributors. Jelly beans are placed in trays after panning and are still segregated by color or flavor. The trays of candies are taken to a large bin where they are dumped in and mixed to the desired combination of colors and flavors. The mixing bin is a large, rotating cylinder. On one side, a grid is set in the wall of the bin. Beans that are too small fall through the openings in the grid and into a receiving bin, while beans that are too large stick in the mesh and are removed later. The beans that continue rotating are therefore only the desired size and shape. They fall from the mixing bin onto a conveyor, where workers inspect them and remove any candies that look imperfect. The beans that pass inspection move on the conveyor to a packaging machine, where the candy is weighed and bagged in any of several sizes of bags either for bulk sale or purchase by individual consumers. The packaging machine can package and seal about 80,000 bags of jelly beans a day.
  • Exceptions to the sorting and mixing process occur when jelly beans (usually the gourmet type) are packaged by single flavor, or when the flavors are separated in small compartments in gift or "sampler" boxes that let the taster experience the unique flavors of designer beans. The candies are still sized and inspected, but individual flavors are then placed in funnel-like bins. The small openings fit the compartments in plastic trays in the gift boxes, and a controlled quantity of each flavor is dropped into its specific tray compartment.

    Although the candies are thoroughly mixed to try to get an equal distribution of colors, the randomness of conveying and sorting may cause some variations in the mix. The consumer who purchases the larger bag has a better chance, statistically, of getting a near-equal distribution of colors and flavors. Slight variations in size and shape account for one bag of jelly beans containing more beans than the next, even though the contents are weighed. Some manufacturers put more than the stated weight in each package, so the customer may actually get more beans than paid for in each bag.

Quality Control

Jelly beans, like any food product, must meet many regulatory requirements for safety and quality. All ingredients are supplied by vendors and inspected for correct quantities, quality, integrity of packaging, and other criteria. Equipment and materials that contact the food ingredients and product are inspected and cleaned daily or between batches as necessary. Packing materials that contact the jelly beans are formed and handled by machines that are also cleaned daily.

There are a number of product quality assurances among the manufacturing steps, starting with laboratory testing, tasting, observation of color quality, and both machine sorting and inspection to identify and oust imperfect candies.

Factory workers wear special clothing required for food handlers. Because they are working with equipment that generates high heat, has revolving parts, requires electrical supply, and imposes other safety hazards, workers are also protected by a myriad of safety requirements. Some jelly bean factories allow visitors to tour. They are kept at controlled distances from food processing both to protect the visitors and to isolate the candy from possible contamination.


The jelly bean making process generates very little waste. Sometimes the candy centers are malformed, or the molds collapse, forcing several candies to congeal. These are melted and reused or recycled to salvage the sweeteners. Some manufacturers package and sell imperfectly shaped but edible beans selected during final sorting and inspection.

The Future

New developments are most likely to include changing flavors among gourmet beans as the taste of the consumer follows the latest fashion. Other "revolutions" in jelly beans are less likely, and the future of the jelly bean as an icon among candies seems secure.

The Jelly Belly Factory Tour

Unlike other factories that only give tours on weekdays when the factory is working, Jelly Belly offers tours seven days a week, every day except major holidays.
No reservations are needed, but almost a half million people visit each year, and if you arrive early the place will be less crowded. The tour lasts forty minutes, but expect to stay sixty to ninety minutes, depending on tour frequency.

On weekdays when the factory is working, visitors view the live action from enclosed walkways above the factory floor. On weekends, holidays, and during the annual plant shutdown at the end of June, guides rely on videos showing the factory in action.

As the guides lead you above a rainbow-colored sea of trays and bins, they gush information and trivia, relating that it takes seven to ten days to make each of the 1.25 million beans finished each day. With steam baths, sugar showers and lots of rest, the process sounds more like a spa than a factory, but at the end, all the Jelly Bellies wind up in the "engrossing pan," a copper clothes dryer-like contraption, where they get four flavored syrup and sugar coats. After they're polished, a printer emblazons the Jelly Belly logo on every one.

The tour's sweetest part is at the end, when guides hand out samples, and everyone heads for the shop to buy "Belly Flops," imperfect candies sold at a discount.

Jelly Belly Facts

Jelly beans appeared in the United States during the Civil War, but the Herman Goelitz Company, a fifth-generation confectioner now called the Jelly Belly Candy Company, started making the official "Jelly Belly" candies in 1976. A California entrepreneur asked for a jelly bean with "natural" ingredients, and the Jelly Belly was born, candies distinct from all other jelly beans because of their natural-flavored centers.
  • People consume 14 billion Jelly Belly candies every year.
  • There are fifty "official" flavors at any time. New flavors debut as "Rookies."
  • The most popular flavors in the United States are buttered popcorn, very cherry, licorice, juicy pear and watermelon.
  • Ronald Reagan ordered 3.5 tons of Jelly Belly candies for his presidential inauguration, and the company invented the now-popular blueberry flavor so he could serve candies in red, white and blue.
  • The Jelly Belly factory also makes over a hundred other confections including candy corn, and they made the first gummi candies in the United States.
Can't make it to the Jelly Belly factory? Take the virtual Jelly Belly Factory tour