For the penultimate review of the season, we turn to our old friends at Brach’s. After their highly controversial Late Night Taco Truck offering last year, their special release for this year goes back to a more conventional genre of flavors: desserts. Not just any desserts, though – Desserts of the World! With a selection of five interesting-looking flavors, I am pretty optimistic about them. Let’s see how they do!
Size and shape
There is a bit too much variation in both parts of this category. The average size is fine, but the largest ones are probably double the volume of the smallest ones. These being called jelly beans, rather than bird eggs, it’s unfortunate that general shape is egg-like, with no attempted dimple, and some are rather lumpy.
2 out of 5 beans
These beans walk right up to the line of ideal toughness and dance delicately around it. A few outliers cross the line, but none are ever too soft. That’s about as good as you can ask for!
5 out of 5 beans
Brach’s doesn’t have particularly high standards for shell smoothness, and the shell doesn’t chunk up very nicely, either, but the insides are quite nice. There’s no unpleasant grittiness to be found here at all.
3 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
- Chocolate Macaron
- Strawberry Mochi
- Lemon Sorbet
- Apple Pie
The first thing that jumps out here is that Brach’s was able to re-use the churro flavor the Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans. It works as well this year as it did last, which is just fine.
The biggest disappointment, by a wide margin, is the Apple Pie jelly bean. It is almost entirely devoid of apple flavor, seemingly attempting to get by on nothing more than its baking spice elements. It’s a big disappointment for a big apple pie fan.
The other three beans are the most successful. In each case, Brach’s has not been content to just pull a stock flavor for the primary element involved, but has clearly tweaked things to incorporate the specific medium through which it is delivered.
It’s hard to put into words exactly how, but Lemon Sorbet manages to clearly capture not just a raw lemon flavor, but also the sorbet aspect. Strawberry Mochi has a bit of lactose to it that evokes the ice cream. Finally, Chocolate Macaron somehow manages to evoke the baked cookie goodness of the classic French confection.
It’s a pretty delightful assortment of tasty flavors that can transport you to the different countries represented, if you’re in the right frame of mind.
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
Despite the desserts that inspired these five beans having a pretty wide range of flavor, these all work remarkably well together in a single mouthful. Apple Pie is the one that is most easily lost, with the Churro bean doing the same kind of work as the crusty part of the pie, but the others are easy to pick out. Another minor issue is that, while they might have near-perfect individual chewability, five of those all taken together can be a little much.
7 out of 10 beans
Brach’s continues it’s run of posting respectable scores, as long as we’re talking about their beans, not bird eggs, and not talking about their regrettable experiments with savory flavors.
|Size and shape||2/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||7/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||7/10 beans|
I reserve the right to excuse certain flavors from this test that would ruin it for all the other flavors. ↩