The History of Jelly Beans
The origin of the jelly bean is a bit of a mystery and only a part of its history is known. It is generally believed that the jelly center is a descendent of a Mid-Eastern confection known as "Turkish Delight" that has been around for thousands of years and the shell coating evolved from a process called panning, first invented in 17th century France to make "Jordan Almonds" for the Royal Court. The French confectioners began by rocking almonds in a pan filled with sugar and syrup until the almonds were coated with a candy shell.
Somehow the two candy making processes made their way to America. The earliest known appearance of a jelly bean is a 1861 advertisement for William Schrafft of Boston that promoted the sending of jelly beans to soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Jelly beans quickly earned a place among the many glass jars of "penny candy" in general stores where they were sold by weight and taken home in paper bags. It wasn't until the 1930s, however, that jelly beans became a part of Easter traditions. Because of their egg-like shape, jelly beans became associated with the Easter Bunny, who is believed to deliver eggs as a symbol of new life during the spring season
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