April 22 is National Jelly Bean Day
Interesting Food Facts about Jelly Bean
- They were President Reagan’s favorite candy and he used them to help him quit smoking when he was the governor of California.
- Each year in the U.S, there are 16 billion jelly beans manufactured just for Easter. This is enough to circle the Earth more than 3 times if they were laid end to end.
- The jelly bean is associated with Easter because of its egg-like shape.
- In the early 20th century, a “jelly-bean” was slang for a man of style and no substance.
- They were the first candy to be sold by weight rather than by piece.
The first jelly bean was created by an unknown American candy maker in the 1800s. An 1861 advertisement recommended sending jelly beans to soldiers fighting in the Civil War.
The original eight flavors of Jelly Belly beans introduced in 1976 were Very Cherry, Root Beer, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Lemon, Licorice and Grape.
Jelly Belly beans were the first jelly beans in outer space when President Reagan sent them on the 1983 flight of the space shuttle Challenger.
Today’s Food History
- 1662 John Tradescant died. He succeeded his father as naturalist and gardener to Charles I. 1818 Cadwallader C. Washburn is born in Livermore, Maine. In 1866 he built a flour mill at St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota and his Washburn-Crosby Co. (forerunner of General Mills) would market Gold Medal flour.
- 1832 Julius Sterling Morton was born. He was the founder of Arbor Day, first observed in Nebraska on April 10, 1872. Over one million trees were planted.
- 1889 The U.S. opened Oklahoma to homesteaders and the Oklahoma land rush officially began at 12 noon.
- 1913 Thomas Wright of New Jersey patented a method to load ice on to refrigerator railroad cars.
- 1948 Prosper Montagne died. Montagne was one of the great French chefs of all time. He is mainly remembered as the creator of Larousse Gastronomique (1938), a comprehensive encyclopedia of French gastronomy.
- 1964 The New York World’s Fair opens in Flushing Meadows on the same site as the 1939 World’s Fair. I had my first Heineken beer at their exhibition there. As a matter of fact, I spent every weekend there from April to October for the 2 years the Fair was open. I sampled music, food, beer and wine from around the world, and it helped to inspire my interest in cooking and food history.
- 1970 The first Earth Day was celebrated. Is our environment better or worse today?
- 1996 Erma Bombeck died. Writer, humorist, you will find some of her quotes about family and food on the Food Reference website.