By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Just whether or not Jelly Belly has cornered the market on Harry Potter themed candy treats is hardly a matter of debate. They don’t because not everything one can find from Honeyduke’s is offered. While they offer specific staples from the franchise, not everything is offered by this candy manufacturer. Visiting a certain retail outlet at Universal Studios Wizarding World’s will offer a lot more variety.
“It’s this sweetshop,” said Ron, a dreamy look coming over his face, “where they’ve got everything… Pepper Imps – they make you smoke at the mouth – and great fat Chocoballs full of strawberry mousse and clotted cream, and really excellent sugar quills, which you can suck in class and just look like you’re thinking what to write next.”
— Chapter Five of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
At least in Victoria, BC, finding some of these candies is not too far. A few operations like Oh Sugar! and English Sweet Shop will keep a stock of chocolate wands, frogs and every-flavour beans here so fans don’t always have to mail order.
Everyone is aware of the current medical crisis, so having deliveries by owl is desired more than casting the spell, Apparition, to a location. Oh Sugar! delivers and while they currently are out of stock for Harry Potter goods, what else can folks get? As for Jelly Belly offers, I offer a breakdown and taste test of what I got delivered to me in a specially themed package that quickly sold out upon announcement. They will try to get more product in and please visit their Facebook page for updates. In what you find at the theme parks is not always going be Jelly Belly’s product, and I will offer comparisons where possible.
I’ve also grouped specific products together because they use the same recipe.
- If you’re Ron Weasley, breaking one will cause your spell to misfire. In my case, wearing down his wand can cause problems too. This differently shaped bar of chocolate is certainly one to admire and whizz around before chowing down on it. Since a spell sheet is included in every package, there’s a bit of an incentive to try them all.
You can select from a wand from Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Albus Dumbledore. An opportunity is missed since Jelly Belly can make each wand unique with varying amounts of cocoa. Since Voldemort’s wand is also the latest, it could be 100% cocoa! These milk-chocolate sticks are definitely not hollow. I was glad I nibbled on the thin side first than the handle.
Every Flavour Beans
- It requires a brave set of taste buds to challenge the staple of what this company honestly represents. You can buy them in different sizes, from the 1.2 oz sample packs to 6 oz but I’d be careful if its overfilled with foul tasting pieces. The taste of dirt and vomit is tough to digest, and I remember when this product first came out and samples were given at Emerald City Comic Con. Candy lovers can cheat. The box shows what each coloured bean is supposed to taste like. For the enterprising Slytherin though, they can offer the boogers to ‘friends’ and run away before you can whip out your wand and yell out Expelliarmus in retaliation.
Chocolate Frogs / Creatures / Crests
- If you had Rice Krispies chocolate bar, this particular assortment of treats are more or less the same. They go light on the krispy and heavy with the sweet. Everything made by this company is milk based and it makes me critical in why I should continue buying. Of the three packaging, I like the frogs since it includes a collectable card.If you’re buying the version from one of Universal’s theme parks or their online store, you are getting a fancier package and a yummier product. It’s tough to put these down over Jelly Belly’s take.
Jelly Slugs / Gummi Creatures / Magical Sweets
- These candies are the same across the board and comprise the flavours of Banana, Blueberry, Sour Cherry, Tangerine and Watermelon. I wouldn’t call these special by any means and it really needs an extra incentive to keep these in the market.
Knight Bus / Crest Tins
- Sadly, the bus is not filled to the brim with “magical treats.” Most fans are buying the Knight Bus tin so it can be used as a paper bill container rather than a coin. Sliding any coin into this tin will be noisy unless the inside is lined with foam. I find it better to stuff in paper bills and hope it can pay for a trip to London by the end of the year!
Inside the Knight Bus are two bags of a dozen gummies, and they will go fast. The crest-shaped tin is filled with plenty of jelly beans, and each colour represents a specific house–Green Apple for Slytherin, Blueberry for Ravenclaw, Sunkist Lemon for Hufflepuff and Very Cherry for Gryffindor. Out of all these products, my pick is with the Crest Tin. There’s more candy product per volume in those and it looks like a better deal since you’re not paying for vacancy.