Welcome back to A Boy and His Beans for our fifth season of jelly bean reviews! (Can you believe it?)
To kick things off for 2020, we return to one of the most prolific – and most popular – jelly bean brands of the day: Starburst. How will their jumbo bean offering stack up against their classic beans? Let’s dive in!
Size and shape
It feels a little bit unfair to judge this category as I would any other set of jelly beans. Given that they advertise themselves as “jumbo”, it would seem wrong to take them to task for being larger than my preferred size. The size does indeed live up to the jumbo billing, weighing in at three to four times as large as a standard Starburst jelly bean.
In another contrast to the standard Starburst jelly bean, these beans have a very strong bean shape, with a subtle but clear curve along the length of the bean and a definite dimple on most of them.
I’ll have to penalize a little bit for receiving a double bean (a terrifying prospect when the beans are jumbo-sized to begin with) and a bean where a significant chunk of the shell was missing.
4 out of 5 beans
The jumbo edition maintains Starburst’s strong reputation in the chewability department. The only issue is that applying the same chewability attributes to such a large bean results in something that takes a little bit too long to masticate to the point of swallowability.
4 out of 5 beans
Starburst Jumbo Jelly Beans seem to have the same sort of shell and insides as the regular-sized Starburst beans, just on a larger scale. The shell still cracks beautifully and the insides are still smooth enough.
I think a bit of a misstep was made in determining how thick the shells on these jumbo beans should be, though. When scaling up the bean, they seemed to scale up the shell:insides ratio proportionally, and this resulted in a shell that is just a bit much.
In the world of typography, there is the concept of “display” variant of a typeface, which is intended for use at larger sizes and has more refined detailing than you would see if you simply scaled up a typeface designed for regular body text. These jumbo beans should have taken a page from that book and let the shell be a little bit more subtle than it turned out to be.
3 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
- Green Apple
I won’t spend a lot of time in this section, because the flavoring is exactly the same as the classic Starburst Jelly Beans Original set. Take a look back at my thoughts on these flavors.
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
As with the Brach’s Giant Egg’Ruptions, I will not attempt the one-of-each test with six of these jumbo beans. They are exempt them from scoring in this category.
Starburst never disappoints, and the jumbo edition is no exception. While I found a couple minor tradeoffs for the larger beans, they are still undeniably great beans, and even better than their standard-sized progenitors in their shape.
Definitely pick some up if you like the original Starburst flavors and don’t mind eating only one big bean at a time.
|Size and shape||4/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||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. ↩