It’s not possible to trace the specific roots of the Jelly Bean. Only part of its history remains and the rest are lost in time. However, most experts believe that the Turkish Delight, which is a known Mid-Eastern sweet, is the forerunner of the modern day Jelly Bean and has been in existence since the times.
The process called panning was created in 17th century France and was used to make Jordan Almonds. Panning was done primarily by hand is now automatic, but the process has remained essentially unchanged during the past 3 centuries. The panning process gave birth to shell coating and today, big rotating pans are used to perform the heavy work. It’s the Master Confectioners that work on the craft of mixing and adding the ingredients to create the perfect shell.
In some way, these processes reached the factories in America. The Jelly Beans began production there and soon earned a spot among the many glass’penny candy’ jars that were on display from the candy shops. Generally stores, the Jelly Beans were sold by weight and given to the buyers put in paper bags.
Manufacturing a Jelly Bean begins with the making of its center. To do this, ingredients like sugar and corn syrup among others are placed in large boilers which are heated to cook the mixture. The heated mixture is then passed through pipes and travels into the starch casting region. At this time, there are various trays containing impressions of the size and shape of the middle of the jellybean which are layered with cornstarch by machines. The mixture is then squirted out onto the trays and dried overnight. The next day, the cornstarch coating is removed and the beans are run through a moisture steam bath and are sprayed with sugar. The beans are then put aside for 24 to 48 hours.
What sets the jellybean besides other candies is its special shell coating. This is achieved by the panning process. The beans are poured into a rotating drum which is called the’engrossing pan’. While the center of the drum rotates, sugar is slowly added to build up the shell. Then, different colors and flavors are added to the mixture to provide the jellybean its signature taste and look. The shiny look is because of the inclusion of Confectioner’s Glaze which is a procedure that can take 2 to 4 days. After the beans are’polished’, they’re packed and ready for shipping to candy shops around the world.
There have been two types of jellybeans since 1976. These are the traditional and the gourmet jellybeans. Even though both types require 6 to 10 days to create, the difference is in their recipes that gives each their distinctive qualities. The conventional jelly bean normally holds its flavor just in the shells. They also are smaller and thicker than the traditional jellybeans.