food and sundries

Bean Counting

Filed under: Uncategorized — December 4, 2006 @ 5:03 pm

When discussing nostril-sized candy, one can’t help but think about jellybeans, which brings me to politics.

Now that mid-term elections have ended, I no longer fear for my safety in broaching politically-charged topics.  So, let me throw this provocative bombshell your way:  By far, the best thing Ronald Reagan did for this nation was introducing it to Jelly Belly®.

In 1980, despite my tireless sweet tooth, the only jellybeans with which I had acquaintance were over-sugary tasteless gels.  I was not a big fan.  Little did I know, things were about to change.

Reagan ascended to the throne in 1981 and his pre-existing predilection for a diminutive gourmet treat made headlines when he ordered seven-thousand pounds of the beans for his inauguration.  Soon thereafter I was to taste my first—a small yellow beauty of a bean.  Flavor?  Pina colada.  Not only did my opinion of jellybeans change in the space of a chew, but I had found my first favorite mixed drink.

The old-fashioned gumball dispenser that currently stands sentinel outside my office reminds me daily how directly this particular legacy still affects my life.  It happily spews forth Jelly Bellies regardless of party affiliation.  Just to keep things interesting, I sometimes throw in an occasional Bertie Botts Every-Flavor Bean (anchovy, anyone?).

Of course, Jelly Belly cemented my undying brand loyalty when they introduced the Dr.-Pepper-flavored bean.  Whether you are Republican or Democrat, the bean is bi-partisan.

It’s impressive, really, how the food preferences of our leaders can influence national tastes.  I’m recalling now the big broccoli incident under the first Bush administration. George apparently banned broccoli from the White House and infuriated growers nationwide.  I don’t recall if the broccoli market dipped after the announcement, but I bet children everywhere rejoiced.  It’s too bad, because the much-maligned broccoli really can be quite tasty when properly prepared (as it so often is not).

Apparently George replaced Reagan’s Jelly Bellies® with pork rinds, which explains a lot.

1 Comment »

  1. Honey:

    Dr. Pepper is one of my favorite jelly belly flavors. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I’ll be sure to add yours to my link list.

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