I tasted grass clippings, dirt and soap. For fun, I added earwax, canned dog food and skunk spray. I avoided the really gross flavors like vomit and barf. What’s the difference between the two? One is more acidic, I was told, but I wasn’t about to find out for myself. These are all flavors from the Jelly Belly BeanBoozled® collection or the Harry PotterTM Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor BeansTM collection, but you can also taste regular Jelly Belly flavors like Very Cherry, the most popular, coconut, buttered popcorn, or any of the 50 original flavors, plus more, like chocolate dipped cherry or orange. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. When you visit the Jelly Belly visitor center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, you should first take the warehouse tour.
Jelly Belly Warehouse Tour
Hop aboard the Jelly Belly Express Train for a trip around the perimeter of the warehouse, where you’ll stop at video stations along the way for a virtual tour of the Jelly Belly factory in California.
Besides videos of the Jelly Belly manufacturing process, you’ll see mosaics hanging around the warehouse made of Jelly Belly jelly beans created by artist Peter Rocha. Each mosaic takes about 10,000 jelly beans and six months to create. Many of the mosaics are portraits, like that of Elvis and Princess Di. The first mosaic created was a portrait of President Ronald Reagan, who helped propel Jelly Belly jelly beans, his favorite candy, into popularity during his 1980 presidential election campaign. Other subjects include landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Chicago’s Art Institute.
Jelly Belly Candy Store
At the end of the tour you’ll get a complimentary sample bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans, but you won’t be able to stop there. You’ll want to browse the candy store, starting with the Sample Bar, where you can taste every flavor of jelly bean plus lots of other candies, including gummy candies and chocolates. My favorite is the dark chocolate nonpareils.
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You can purchase all of the candies there, of course, including Belly Flops®, beans that aren’t perfect enough in size or shape to be called a Jelly Belly, and lots of Jelly Belly apparel and novelty items.
Only in the Jelly Belly Candy Stores in Wisconsin and in California will you be able to purchase fresh fudge, made on the premises, in flavors like Coconut Crème, Raspberry Chocolate, and English Toffee. Fudge flavors rotate regularly.
Hungry for something more substantial than candy? The Jelly Belly Snack Bar offers snacks and light lunch items like soup, sandwiches and pizza.
If you visit the Jelly Belly warehouse
The Jelly Belly visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (with some holiday exceptions) and is located at 10100 Jelly Belly Lane in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, off of Interstate 94, Exit 347. Check the web site for exact directions.
My visit to the Jelly Belly warehouse was hosted by the Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Jelly Belly. However, all opinions in this article are my own.
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