Now that we are a couple days past Easter, it's time for me to try and get my little boy to share some of the candy. He's been consuming non stop since Sunday and the basket is still full.

Let's not let those peeps turn rock solid and those marshmallow eggs dry out. How about sharing some with dear old dad?

So I asked him last night to bring me something good as I sat on the couch running the remote like a good man of the house.

He came back with a jelly bean and put it in my hand. He made it clear that the big chocolate things were strictly for him. So I ate my little sugary artificial flavored treat and just settled for it.

As I chewed it, a thought went thru my mind. I started thinking of how my dad would have probably been thrilled to have a jelly bean when he was a little boy growing up in The Great Depression. He didn't have any candy. So felt lucky to have one.

I mean after all, they do taste pretty good. And they have played an important role in the candy department all of our lives at some point.

Here are some facts I will share about the irresistible treat we affectionately call the jelly bean:

  • The jelly bean dates back to at least the 1860's when jars of the tasty treats were promoted as morale boosters for army troops fighting in the Civil War.
  • While egg-shaped jelly beans seem like a natural for Easter basket fillers, it wasn't until the 1930's when jelly beans became a permanent part of the Easter tradition.
  • Jelly beans were always traditionally made from sugar and artificial flavors, but in the 1980's a revolution in jelly bean varieties exploded with the introduction of "Jelly Belly" jelly beans.
  • Even President Ronald Reagan was known for his love of Jelly Belly jelly beans, as he always kept a jar of the sweet treats on his desk in the Oval Office (his favorite flavor was licorice.)
  • Reagan later became responsible for launching the very first jelly beans into space when he sent a jar to the 1983 Challenger crew as a surprise for the astronauts.

Jelly beans, like all delicacies, are not cheap, and never have been. The first time they were advertised was July 5, 1905 in The Chicago Daily News for 9 cents per pound. My son gave me one bean, but I know he did it with love.