Curious as to how the real-life counterparts to the Harry Potter confections, made by Jelly Belly, actually taste? So was I! I bought a box and systematically tried each flavor I could find. In order of the listing on the back of the box, the results are as follows:
- Banana - GOOD. yes, it tastes like banana, or at least like that fake banana most candy tastes like. Not exciting, and if you're allergic to artificial banana, not for you. Yellow base color with brown speckling.
- Black Pepper - UNUSUAL. This does have a bit of pepper bite to it, but tastes surprisingly good. Not disgusting, not too "spicy," either. (Be careful! Subsequent samples show wide variation in the amount of real pepper used, and it can give you a nice burn) Grey with black "peppering."
- Blueberry - haven't had, yet, looks to be solid blue.
- Booger - BAD! This is one of the two most disgusting ones they make. It surprises you, actually. When you first carefully bite into it, you're already nervous, but the fact that you can't immediately taste anything will throw you off. So you start chewing, it starts creaming up, when suddenly it's as if you have a mouthful of mucus coughed up from somewhere in the back of your throat, and suddenly you imagine that the nice crunchy texture means it's all hairy and bloody. UGH! The back of my throat still tastes like it, and I ate that one 20 minutes ago! Light greyish-green with brown-black speckling.
- Bubble Gum - GOOD. Well, okay. It's exactly as you expect bubble gum to taste, and I don't mean Bazooka or Fun Stripes, either. Just plain, old, synthetic bubble gum. It will taste a bit soapy if you try it after Tutti-Frutti, however. Light pink, of course.
- Cherry - GOOD. Mild, didn't last very long. Dark cherry red.
- Cinnamon - GOOD. A little stronger than the cherry, this one also has some "bite" to it. Not hot by any means, however. Lighter red with white speckles.
- Dirt - BAD. Disappointing, actually, this one tastes quite similar to grape, with something that tastes vaguely rooty. However, it's easy to ignore anything but the grape flavor if you don't know what it is. Dark brownish-black with lighter brown bits.
- Ear Wax - BAD. And disappointing - it's nothing more than a milder booger-flavored bean that hits you immediately. Whoever did these doesn't know how ear wax tastes at all. Grey, perhaps slightly yellow.
- Grape Jelly - haven't had, yet, unless it was one of the ones I thought was dirt-flavored. Appears to be deep purply-blue.
- Grass - BAD. Except not bad. No, actually this one is pretty mild, and even good, if you can detect the hint of aloe that I seemed to get. I do like these. A sort of lime green.
- Green Apple - GOOD. These have a slight bite to them, but are just barely sour. I was expecting something more like a Jolly Rancher, but what I got was slightly lime-y like green Jell-O. Darker, duller green.
- Lemon Drop - GOOD. This one isn't going to win any awards, it's simply lemon. I think this is actually a standard Jelly Belly flavor, in fact. Sunny yellow.
- Toasted Marshmallow - GOOD. These are nice, especially because a "toasted" taste comes through right the way you'd expect. I'm not surprised, since all "marshmallows" we actually eat these days are synthetic, but it's still pleasing. Whitish, with reddish-brown "burns"
- Buttered Popcorn - GOOD. I'm listing it as good, but this flavor (also something of a Jelly Belly standard) has always overpowered me with its fake salty-buttery flavor, as if I'd dug my hands into the bottom of an oily bag of cheap microwave popcorn. I'm sure most people enjoy it, though. White, with oily-yellow spots.
- Sardine - haven't had, yet. Appears to be solid grey.
- Spinach - BAD - Well, it's definitely spinach, and kids will hate it, as well as most adults. However, if you get a health food junkie, vegetarian or otherwise, they'll probably enjoy it, or at least not gag, because it's no worse in "organic taste" than some of the green drinks they concoct. Dark green with white speckling.
- Tutti-Frutti - GOOD. Well, it's pretty much tutti-frutti bubble gum flavor, actually, In fact, that's all I can taste in it right now. It does make the plain bubble gum seem a bit bright or soapy, however. Light pink, with some red and blue "paint drips"
- Vomit - BAD. Yes, very bad. The second worst flavor I have had, actually. How does it taste? Like old easter egg candy, you know, the colored-hard-shell and sugar "creme" filling that is just as hard, inside. Plus something fermented, as if you are chewing on that while drinking something that has been left out for two days. Plus some vinegar. So pretty much your average week-after-Easter after-school third-grade "suicide" drink, really. Except no ice, and thankfully no bugs. Light brown, with grey, red, and darker brown "chunks."
- Watermelon - GOOD. Standard Jelly Belly flavor, however. The only excitement in this one comes because it's really hard to tell the colors on it, and in the absence of good light it could be mistaken for a dirt-flavored bean. Very very dark green with barely-seen brown (perhaps red?)
The "good" and "bad" labels are, of course, what I expect most people will be thinking. I actually ended up finding grass
to be quite appealing
, though perhaps not my favorite.