The only important policy viewpoint I happily share with former President Ronald Reagan is that jelly beans are good—and good jelly beans are even better. That’s why I was delighted to read the behind-the-scenes account of a tour of the Jelly Belly factory on the food website Yummy Chow. Scoff if you like—and yes, I know they are neither healthy nor chic—but jelly beans make me happy.
I was not prepared, however, for the jelly bean portrait of Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m not sure if there is something about former actors turned Republican governors of California that just cries out to be brought to life in small, chewy, sugary beans, but it’s something to see. And then try to forget.
The other odd tidbit from the tour: The really mangled jelly beans go to farmers, who feed them to their hogs (the minorly misshapen are called “belly flops” and sold at the outlet). Now, fair enough, I eat these things myself on occasion, but it’s disturbing to know that America’s pork is being raised on jelly beans.
Remember, however, that they are gourmet jelly beans. That makes all the difference.