Posts filed under ‘news’

Bear with me please

As I straighten out issues with my server/domain name. It should hopefully fix itself any minute now. I promise I’m not going anywhere yet!

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September 29, 2008 at 8:26 am Leave a comment

Jelly Belly Factory Tour

I have been wanting to take a tour of the Jelly Belly (BUY!) factory for years. I remember back when I was in middle school you could go to their website and, if your timing was right, get a free sample bag of jelly beans mailed to you. Now that they’re a beloved and well-established candy company, they no longer need to mail out free samples to drum up business.

The people at the Jelly Belly Factory were so nice! We arrived at 3:15 to find a huge line winding out of the factory through those gates. I was worried that we wouldn’t make it in for a tour that day (the website said that tours are offered until 4:00, and we were dozens of people past the hour-long wait marker), but they reassured us that, if we were already in line, we would get a tour. We made it in at about 4:20, and there was at least one more tour that went in after our group.

To make the wait easier, Jelly Belly employees constantly walked up and down the line handing out Jelly Belly samples. They had a special scooper that doled out exactly one jelly bean at a time. We got to taste a Very Cherry, a Kiwi, and a Pomegranate. I also visited the Jelly Belly sample bar (hooray for my parents, who held my place in line for me), where you can try everything they sell. Basically, you’re only limited by your shame. I tried a dark chocolate Jelly Belly (a sort of new flavor), a chocolate covered Sunkist fruit gem (not worth buying; the plain fruit gems are way better), an orange Jelly Slug (also not that great), and a lemon-lime Sport bean (super juicy!). And because I’m not a horrible daughter, I bought a little bag of buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Bellies for my patiently waiting parents, as that’s their favorite flavor.

Alas, photography was not allowed on the tour, so you’ll have to be content with their painted representation of the Jelly Belly making process. The tour basically walks you through the factory (you’re overhead on a walkway that has window cutouts at adult and kid-friendly heights) as you watch the Jelly Belly employees work. Each stop has featured video that’s introduced by your tour guide. When we visited, the panning room smelled strongly of buttered popcorn Jelly Bellys with a faintly fruity undertone (Tutti Frutti, perhaps?). I asked our guide, Desmond, if it always smelled like that, and he said the smells vary from day to day as they change the flavors of beans that they’re manufacturing.

At the end of the tour, we all got free mini bags of Jelly Bellys. My family also walked out with 3 bags of Jelly Belly Belly Flops (they were buy 2 get 1 free) in addition to the Bertie Bott’s and on sale Christmas candies I picked out for myself. If you’re ever in the San Francisco area, you should definitely make the Jelly Belly pilgrimage. It’s fun, and you get free Jelly Bellys out of it!

January 29, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Chocolate Party Wrap-up

Now that all the reviews have finally been published, I can share the ratings summary with you. The bars are ranked by my friends’ ratings, not mine.

1. Dagoba Hazelnut, 3.96, OM
2. Hebert’s Rocky Road, 3.86, OM
3. Hebert’s Dark Turtle, 3.79, OM
4. 3400 Phinney Vanilla Milk Chocolate, 3.71, OMG
5. Dagoba Dark 59%, 3.53, OM
5. Dagoba Roseberry, 3.53, OM
7. Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Cranberries & Almonds, 3.5, ZOMG!
8. Dagoba Milk 37%, 3.33, OM
9. Choxie Key Lime Pie Truffle, 3.17, O
10. Dagoba Lime, 3.13, OM
11. 3400 Phinney Chai Tea Milk Chocolate, 2.67, ZOMG!
12. Dagoba Chai, 2.57, O
13. 3400 Phinney Bread & Butter, 2.04, OM

    January 26, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

    Project Runway Candy Contest Entries

    Quite characteristically, I forgot about attempting to enter Project Runway’s draw a design with candy contest. Oops. Only 3 people ended up entering (make sure you’re on Episode 6 in the drop down menu), but their designs are far better than anything my artistically challenged self could have submitted. Besides, what would I do with a 5 pound Hershey bar anyway? I don’t even like their milk chocolate bars.

    January 17, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

    Help support ZOMG, Candy!

    Hi dear readers,

    I know many of y’all are about my age. As a new semester gets underway, bringing with it new courses and new textbooks, I’d like to remind you that shopping at Amazon.com through the link on my donation page would help me out greatly. I’m pretty much entirely self financed and could use all the extra financial support I can get to help offset my hosting and candy buying costs. Amazon.com purchases made through that link cost you nothing, but a small percentage of your purchase makes its way back to me through their Amazon Affiliates program.

    So just click HERE before you do your online shopping, and help make me a less poor candy blogger!

    Many thanks! And my apologies in advance, for after its initial posting, this post will be second on my front page through the month of January (as long I can remember to keep editing its timestamp).

    ~Rosa

    January 15, 2008 at 5:20 pm 1 comment

    Candy Calendars and a Sad Headline

    Who knew there were so many chocolate related calendars on the market? Amazon has a bunch as well, though they’re a little harder to sort through.

    I bought the chocolate desk calendar. Hopefully I can cull little chocolate tidbits that will come in handy on slow candy news days (like this one!).

    In other news, this story caught my eye in my daily Slate.com newsletter. Here’s the link to the NPR piece. I’ve decided to feign ignorance and trust in my face wash.

    January 10, 2008 at 8:00 am 1 comment

    Project Runway and Hersheys!

    Holy cow! I managed to miss this one while I was on break – Episode 6 of this current season (Season 4) of Project Runway had an awesome challenge: 5 minutes to grab as much stuff as possible from the Times Square Hershey’s store to make a garment. Just check out the beginning of this clip (if it hasn’t been taken down yet) as the designers run and grab as much candy as possible. They’re living my dream.

    Photos can be found on Bravo’s website (make sure you’re on episode 6 in the drop down menu). As of January 3rd, the full episode is currently online here, and I’m about to start watching as soon as I hit publish.

    If you can sketch a design using just candy, you could win a 5 lb Hershey’s bar and Project Runway DVDs (challenge 6). Too bad I’m artistically challenged. Then again, it doesn’t look like that many people enter the weekly challenges, so maybe I will take a stab at it. I’ll be sure to post when the entries are in so you can see what’s been submitted, and I’ll let y’all know if I draw a picture made from candy.

    January 8, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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