If Charlie and the Chocolate Factory taught me anything, it is to always be suspicious of candies that claim to be entire meals (and to stay away from factories of any kind, creepy guys with purple hats, and Timothée Chalamet). Luckily for me, while these new Easter Brunch Jelly Beans from Brach’s may say the word “brunch” on the packaging, it’s really more of a collection of sweets one might see at a brunch, Easter affiliated or otherwise, rather than a meal made out of candy. So I think we are safe. For now.
- Brach’s Easter Brunch Jelly Beans
Ironically, upon first opening the package, I was hit with an extremely specific and nostalgic smell: the smell of the Jelly Belly Factory. And for those of you who didn’t grow up in Northern California, I would say the closest approximation I can think of is one of those holiday candles entitled “Toasty Vanilla Cookie Dream,” “Gingerbread Man,” or “SUGAR, MY DUDES.”
Yeah, the smell is a lot.
As for the perpetrators of the aroma, Brach’s new Easter Brunch Jelly Beans come in six flavors: Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Glazed Donut, Mimosa, Caramel Cold Brew, Berry Smoothie, and Blueberry Maple Pancake. But enough about how they smell; we are here to taste test, not smaste smest. So without further ado, let’s have a bean brunch!
Pros: Let me just start by saying that these exceeded my expectations. But it’s important to stress I did not have high hopes for these to begin with. I have many thoughts about these mid-morning-meal-inspired candies, but in the spirit of Christmas (or just being nice) I’ll start with what I liked: The Cinnamon Roll bean is positively delightful. It 100% tastes exactly like a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Likewise, the Mimosa flavored bean isn’t bad—it starts with a strong kick of orange I actually liked. Unfortunately, the pros stop there.
Cons: The rest of the flavors fall into what I like to call “the fall candle conundrum,” wherein too much of a good flavor or smell becomes overwhelming and cloying, and this is especially true of artificial caramel flavors, maple flavors, and donut flavors, which unfortunately characterizes three of the four remaining beans. The Chocolate Glazed Donut bean tastes like the aftertaste of a chocolate cake donut from Dunkin’ and not in a good way. The Caramel Cold Brew flavor (which, by the way, was definitely causing at least 50% of the overall pack aroma) has a thick, sweet, artificial caramel flavor that all but overpowers the coffee, and the coffee flavor itself is more of a “coffee candy” flavor than actual coffee flavor, if that makes sense. The Blueberry Maple Pancake bean, as it turns out, made up the other 50% of the smell, while the taste starts with a pleasant, fruity, store-bought-blueberry-muffin flavor, then immediately evolves into the stickiest, sweetest pancake syrup flavor you can imagine. Lastly, the Berry Smoothie jelly bean had a subtle strawberry flavor (I think?). This one was so faint I wasn’t sure what it actually tasted like. Perhaps a strawberry La Croix breathed on a jelly bean and this is what we got.