Archive for August 2014

My Grandmother’s Purse Project: David Klein, Inventor of the Jelly Belly

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In the summer of 1952, when I was 6 years old, I started David Klein. John Rogers. Associated Press.working at the liquor store my grandparents owned with my Aunt Ida. It was called “Lazy Bee Liquor” on the corners of Kester and Burbank Blvd in Van Nuys, California. The clientele was actively involved in the movie business: acting, producing and writing. A lot of movie stars were living around it…Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Tony Dow from “Leave it to Beaver.” Annette Funicello’s father owned the Union 76 Gas Station right next door. My grandparents were immigrants from Russia. They were…

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The Remarkable Journey of the Jelly Bean

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The history of the jelly bean is remarkable, crossing cultures and centuries, finding favor with sultans and proprietors at ancient apothecaries, living many lives as a war-time sweet, a literary symbol, an Easter candy, and, finally a year-round treat. In the Beginning… The beginning, in this case, is 226-652 AD. The place is the Persian Empire where the ruling power, the Sasanids, enjoyed a sweet called “abhisa”¹ made of honey, fruit syrups, and starch. Jump ahead to the 9th century and this treat was being made in Arab apothecaries as a remedy for sore throats. Its new name, “rahat ul-hulküm,”…

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