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Jelly Belly Factory Tour
1 Jelly Belly Lane.
Fairfield, CA
web site
Bean there, done that.
What kind of black eyed pea-brain would pass up a free tour of the Jelly Belly Factory? Not me. When the bean summoned, I accounted for myself.
This is so weird, I didn't call ahead and tell them I was coming, but somehow they knew.
A giant jelly bean mosaic of Arnold Schwarzenegger greets you as you wait for the walking tour to begin. You can also enjoy a collection of Ronald Regan photos... or not.

Making these little sugar balls is pretty involved, they are molded in cornstarch, cooled, showered in sugar, coated and silk screened with a logo. This process takes days because they have to "cure" the candies.

The beans are pretty dull looking until they get their shiny, polished finish. I guess that having a giant, superhero version of themselves always floating overhead probably cheers them up, too.

There are lots of robots at work. They don't do a perfect job and a lot of candy spills on the floor. This candy goes to farmers to feed their hogs.

They have a cafeteria with bean shaped foods.

The shop sells all of their products including chocolate confections. I got a dark chocolate s’more and a peanutbutter dark chocolate mudslide.

The s’more was a dark chocolate enrobed graham cracker and marshmallow sandwich. It was fine, but nothing beats the old school way. A freshly toasted marshmallow on a graham cracker with a melty bit of chocolate. How can you possibly compete with that?

The mudslide was a peanut buttery, marshmallowy, chocolatey fat pill. Not my thing.

You can get “Belly Flops” at the shop, they’re irregular or malformed jelly beans that are still too good for the hogs. I was expecting these to carry fire-sale prices, but was disappointed. I suppose that the novelty factor pushes up the price to near standard Jelly Belly levels.

The bottom line is that the Jelly Belly factory makes really good jelly beans. Their other goods range from okay to bizarre:

JBz (their take on M&M's) are the strangest tasting thing ever. They're bits of milk chocolate coated in a hard candy shell which is imbued with one of the Jelly Belly flavors, creating a kind of flavored chocolate morsel. I've never understood the whole "flavored" chocolate thing. Chocolate already has a flavor: it's called "chocolate." Not my thing either.

They have “recipes” which tell you which flavored beans to masticate together to achieve the flavor of a banana split (chocolate pudding + cotton candy + top banana + very cherry.) They also make limited edition flavors that you can get at the factory, but will have trouble buying elsewhere (like garlic and jalapeño.)

This is a good place to take Republican children. There are lots of pictures of ex-President Regan and they give each visitor a bag of assorted beans at the end of the tour.

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