Geek Trivia

Jelly Belly’s Vomit Flavored Jelly Beans Were A Failed Attempt At Making What Flavor?

Beef Stew
Naturally Occurring Rubber Is What Color?

Answer: Pizza

The majority of Jelly Belly jelly beans are pretty great (and accurate) flavors: green apple, blueberry, lemon, pear, coffee, and so on. These are all flavors that taste surprisingly like their namesakes and have served to make Jelly Belly an internationally known candy company.

Along with the pleasant tasting jelly beans, however, Jelly Belly also has a small stable of rather disgusting flavors like rotten egg, earwax, and vomit that are trotted out as novelties and packaged as promotional items like the line of Bertie Bott’s Harry Potter-themed jelly beans.

How exactly does one perfect such horrid flavors? The secret to Jelly Belly’s success isn’t as much flavor profiles as it is smell profiles. Smell plays such an integral part of tasting that if you can replicate what something that tastes awful smells like, then you can usually capture the companion flavor.

While some flavors are carefully planned by studying the actual scent signatures of the item (such as the gases released by smelly socks), other flavors arrive entirely by accident. The vomit flavored jelly beans found in the aforementioned Bertie Bott’s box of jelly beans, for example, started life as an attempt to make pizza flavored jelly beans. The taste testers rejected the pizza jelly beans on account of an overwhelming cheese element that, you guessed it, tasted like vomit. Years later when Jelly Belly needed a vomit jelly bean for their disgusting flavors assortments, they dusted off the old formula, tweaked it a bit, and delighted (and disgusted) purchasers the world over.