Happy Easter! Today we close out the official jelly bean season of 2018, but as I say annually, I hope to continue writing periodic reviews throughout the coming year.
This season’s closer is another requested organic variety: Black Forest Organic Jelly Beans. I’ve been a fan of Black Forest’s organic gummy candy, so I’ve been looking forward to reviewing their jelly bean offering.
Before we begin, I have to call something out. I’ve rarely commented on the distribution of flavors in a package, even when there’s a significant imbalance, but this is by far the worst I’ve seen. I decided I had to take my first ever original photo for the site to prove I’m not being hyperbolic.
As you can see, this 9 oz. bag came with literally two raspberry beans, and a disproportionately large number of pineapple and lemon beans. That means I can taste just one raspberry bean on its own for the taste category, and will only get one shot at the one-of-each test.
This is annoying, but I’ll do my best to not let it affect the score. Let’s get into it.
Size and shape
Black Forest Organic Jelly Beans are definitely on the large side, with a volume approaching that of the Russell Stovers.
The shape is quite unique. Thanks in part to their color and speckled appearance, they resemble smooth gemstones as much as beans. On the short dimension, they are more flat than round, and most have some fairly sharp corners bounding a long, narrow flat side.
This is definitely not a traditional bean shape, but the look is striking and aesthetically pleasing, so I’ll be generous.
2 out of 5 beans
These jelly beans chew pretty well. The shell is not too hard and the insides seem to offer the appropriate amount of resistance, but for some reason (the larger size is probably a factor), it does seem to take longer to fully chew a Black Forest bean than most others. That’s only a minor complaint, though.
4 out of 5 beans
Black Forest definitely outshines the prior two organic jelly bean varieties that I have previously reviewed in this category. The shell breaks apart nicely and doesn’t get grainy. The insides could be a little bit smoother, but still, this is a very solid category for Black Forest.
4 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
These Black Forest jelly beans taste quite good! The flavors taste very natural, not artificial, and not overly sugary. (Or, at least, the organic cane sugar is much less offensive than corn syrup.) They are on the subtle end of the spectrum, though, so if you like your lemon flavors tart, these won’t hit that mark for you. I do wish the cherry was a bit stronger, too.
In my single impression of the raspberry bean, I think it might be the best flavor in the bag, and I’m even more miffed now to only have gotten two of them.
7 out of 10 beans
The one-of-each test
Perhaps the ultimate test of a bag of jelly beans is how enjoyable it is to take one of each flavor and eat them all at the same time.1
Six beans of this size is quite a mouthful. I had a bit of a time getting through them enough to where I could start tasting the flavors. Once I did, though, I was pleased with how well the individual flavors held up. In most collections with subtler flavors, those flavors tend to blend together much more quickly than these Black Forest beans did.
7 out of 10 beans
This is a lovely collection of organic jelly beans by Black Forest! I am happy to recommend them to folks looking for an organic bean. I just wouldn’t try the one-of-each test with them unless you’ve got a big mouth and a strong jaw, and I really hope other bags have a better flavor distribution.
|Size and shape||2/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||7/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||7/10 beans|
This test is specific to fruit flavors only. While non-fruit flavors like licorice or buttered popcorn may be welcome, they are exempt from this test. Because that’s just nasty. ↩