Sunday, April 1, 2012

The A to Z of Fiction to Reality: Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans

Some ideas are so good they deserve to have a life outside of the pages in which they came to life. J. K. Rowling's Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean is one of those ideas.
I mean, I loved the chocolate frogs, but, really, it's still just chocolate. [yeah, yeah, I know... just chocolate... you know what I mean. The frog doesn't get up and walk around, so it's just chocolate.] And the trading cards with the moving pictures? Well, we sort of already have those. But Bertie Bott's... what a neat idea! It's the kind of idea I wish I had come up with. [Of course, Rowling had a lot of those ideas, clever ideas, that all of us wish we'd had.]

So, yeah, the actual candy treat that Jelly Belly came up with is not quite as good as the "real" thing, but it's as close as we're likely to get without real magic being involved. And you can't say they haven't come up with some interesting flavors.
Well, those are just some of the early flavors. Horseradish isn't on this list (and I like horseradish), but a horeseradish bean is one of the few things I've put in my mouth that caused me to run to the bathroom to spit and then want to scrub my tongue. Truly, truly nasty.

Of course, that was years and years ago, and I haven't had any of these since then (being a sugar-free (mostly) house tends to diminsh the opportunities for tasting vile candies). I looked over a list of current flavors, and a few really stood out:
bacon bagel, baking soda, caterpillar (How did they determine the flavor of caterpillar? Do caterpillars all taste the same or is it dependent upon what kind of butterfly they'll be? If so, what kind of caterpillar is the Bertie Bott bean?), copper, glue (every child's favorite), lucozade (because I have no idea what this is), mayonnaise, mucous, rotten egg (because smelling them isn't bad enough), sulfur (because it smells like rotten eggs, so what does it taste like?), and toe nails.
If you want to see a full list, you can go here. Well, I don't actually know if it's a full list, but it's the best list I could find.

I'll just leave you with this:
"Ah! Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans! I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomit-flavored one, and since then I'm afraid I've rather lost my liking for them -- but I think I'll be safe with a nice toffee, don't you?"

He smiled and popped the golden-brown bean into his mouth. Then he choked and said, "Alas! Ear wax!"


  1. Hi Andrew, nice to meet you! Your bio could be my story as well. Only it has taken me even longer to get to the actual writing of books. Now I pressure myself to write more and more, cuz I'm not getting any younger!

    Welcome to the Challenge!


  2. Good timing, what with Easter right around the corner!
    Not sure I want to know what caterpillar tastes like.

  3. Ah, ANY Harry Potter post, to me, takes the cake. I love these little confections; they make GREAT stocking stuffers. The only thing is that they only sell them at our local World Market, and then only at, like, Christmastime. Suck! Where do you find them in your neck of the woods?

  4. Do they make snozzberries? Oh wait that was Willy Wonka's likable wallpaper.

  5. I've never been brave enough to give Bertie Bott's a try. Of course, I tend to be picky about the plain ole regular jelly beans.

  6. :) Yes, JK Rowling's muse is most coveted. Love the bit about the flavored beans! - really was brilliant.

  7. Beans will give you gas. I ate one of these once when a friend offered. I don't know what flavor it was...but it was yucky. I shall not be eating them ever again.

  8. ewww...I didn't know you could buy them! I have no idea what ear-wax tastes like, so I won't go for that. Yuk, booger. How about a nice...milk-gone-off one?

  9. Lucozade is an 'energy' drink that tastes nasty. I guess it's an English thing. I'd like to try a grass flavoured bean.

  10. Oh my dear they sound disguisting haha but I would just try them just to say that I had! And lucozade is an orange fizzy energy drink, I quite like it! I love Dumbledore's quote!

  11. Love it! A glass dish full of the worse Bertie Bott's flavors was my trick on anyone who came to visit our house for several months after they first came out. There was some spectacular spit taking for a few weeks before guests caught on.

    Recently, I've taken a liking to Jelly Bellies jelly bean recipe mixes. I love strawberry short cake, two strawberry jams and two french vanillas. For Easter, I'm doing rice crispie eggs, each with a special Jelly Belly recipe mix inside.

  12. I had them once. Jelly beans are already nerve-wracking enough for me to eat (Must. Not. Get. Popcorn flavor.) so I examined each one carefully before trying it. The bravest I got was pepper. I think the rest just didn't get eaten, so I threw them away. :)

    Love the topic you chose!

    - Lauren, from Word Art

  13. I have a friend who once brought over wine flavored jelly beans. And they were amazing. No alcohol, but still amazing.

  14. Ugh. I always shiver when I recall the ear wax scene in HP. And who decided what toe nails taste like? WHO is EATING toe nails??

  15. Clever post. I have no idea how they determine some of these flavors but I'm also not sure I want to try those... I might just keep it safe with the trite but tasteful chocolate treats. =) God forbid I get ear wax, too...

    Best of luck!
    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

  16. Stupid Internet. It wouldn't let me come here yesterday. Every flavor sounds awful to me - I think there are way more disgusting ones than there would be yummy ones. If I were a kid though, I'd be game.

  17. Love it! I have had the pleasure of going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter where you can enjoy many of the delights described in the books. And I agree the chocolate frogs are boring in that they are just chocolate. Why did I not do this A to Z challenge thing???

  18. Oh, those were so fun but I was never brave enough to try the earwax flavor. I would so love to go to the wizarding world... as an adult with no kids. I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

  19. KarenG: Yeah, I know the feeling. Although, lately, most of the pressue is from all the people asking me when the sequel to my book will be ready.

    Alex: So that might mean that you'd be open to knowing? You could be persuaded...

    Alyssia: Well, actually, Borders used to always have them. When there was a Borders. There are a few other places here abouts that keep them around, though. Plus, you can order them direct from Jelly Belly.

    Grumpy: There's no such thing as snozzberries!

    M.J.: There are some "normal" flavors mixed in with the weird ones. I'm not a fan of regular jelly beans, either, but I do like Jelly Belly. Not that I've had one in years. :/

    Creepy: I wonder if her muse can be bribed with beans?

    Michael: Sounds like you got Dumbledore's vomit bean.

    Susan: You know, I don't remember the ear wax being all that bad. At least not compared to some of the others.

    Sarah P: Actually, I like the grass ones. Taste just like the smell of freshly cut grass.

    beccabooklover: I did have one friend back when they came out that tasted all of them. I couldn't quite get myself to put a vomit one in my mouth.

    Stephanie: That's pretty awesome, actually! I think, maybe, this coming Halloween... heh heh

    Lauren: Oh, I hate the popcorn ones. I've never been able to figure out why. Maybe the texture just doesn't fit the flavor. I do like the pepper ones.

    ABftS: I've heard of those, but I've never tried one.

    Melodie: I had a friend in college that used to chew his toe nails. Seriously. You know, like people do with their finger nails. I nearly gagged the first time I saw him do it. SO NASTY!

    Gina: Yeah, I was wondering that myself. Like, whose drinking gasoline to figure out how it should taste?

    Rusty: I think having more of the yucky ones is kind of the point. I mean, kids -want- to try the ear wax and vomit ones.

    Jennifer: And they're not even good chocolate! Last time I had one (which was years ago), it was all waxy and stuff.
    And I was wondering why you aren't doing it, too... so why aren't you?

    Stephsco: I've never been either. Or to Disney. Or... well... It would be a fun trip, I'm sure.

  20. Delightful! I love the concept for your A-Z, and as that particular Dumbledore quite is one that cemented forever my love of Harry Potter, you of course get extra points.

    And yet -- somehow it's just not the same, knowing that Jelly Belly makes them. It's like the whole Nestle Wonka thing (speaking of snozzberries) -- the approximation might taste sorta the same, but they just can't seem to manufacture the magic. Really, what are my tax dollars going towards if not this kind of research??

    In the same way, even if that snail up above is TECHNICALLY a cyborg, getting chased down by one a them is just not the same as having the molten metal dude from Terminator 2.

  21. Jericha: Ooh! Extra points! I love extra points! Now I have to figure out what to do with them!

    Technically, the molten metal dude from T2 wasn't a cyborg as it had no organic bits. The Arnold Terminator does qualify, though.

    What scares me about the snail ones is not being chased by them but waking up and being surrounded by them.