Behind the Scenes

Did I Eat All The Bertie Bott’s Beans Flavors?

Earlier this week, in my Behind the Scenes post on Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, I let you vote on whether you wanted to know how my box of Every Flavor Beans tasted and whether I ate them all—even the vomit-, booger-, and rotten egg-flavored ones. Since I received a resounding “yes” . . .

After arranging our beans in the order we each planned to eat them (we ended up being opposite), my husband and I used a round of rock-paper-scissors to decide who’d eat the first bean. I lost.

Until I chewed, I honestly believed those little Jelly Bellies were going to taste good and be awful in name only. I was wrong. Oh so wrong.

“How was it?” my husband asked.

I swallowed and turned pleading eyes to him. “It tastes just like sweet grass.”

The black pepper tasted just like black pepper, the soap like when you get shampoo in your mouth in the shower. The earwax, despite its name, tasted like the wax lips I used to have as a kid at Halloween.

Overall, none of them were that terrible, but I knew from my husband’s reaction that the worst was yet to come.

The dirt bean came next and tasted like wet bark and mud (please don’t ask how I know what that tastes like). The sausage? Well, let’s just say meat and jelly beans should never go together.

And then all I had left was the earthworm, the vomit, the booger, and the rotten egg.

Earthworm apparently tastes like raw, moldy beets.

I’d be lying if I said that by the time I finished the earthworm bean I didn’t consider simply swallowing the vomit, booger, and rotten egg beans whole like pills. Then I could honestly say I’d eaten them, but I wouldn’t have had to taste them. Except that would have been cheating. So I chewed that vomit bean.

And I’m sad to report it reminded me exactly of the taste you get in your mouth when you almost throw up.

I looked at my husband, who only had black pepper, soap, and grass left (and who was smirking at me).

“Someone had to taste test these,” I said. “Can you imagine?”

“I hope they got hazard pay.” He popped soap into his mouth. “You’re up again.”

His plan of eating the terrible ones first suddenly looked brilliant.

I stared down my booger bean, and it stared back at me in all its mocking greenness, looking innocently like what I’d come to expect a juicy pear Jelly Belly to look like.

And I chewed and I swallowed. And then, in between chugging down a Diet Pepsi to try to purge my taste buds, I asked my OCD husband (who insists on even numbers of everything), “Are you really going to eat two of these?”

He shook his head. “My OCD can go to h*ll.”

And I forgave him the mild profanity because that’s exactly where the booger bean belonged.

Only one bean now stood between me and being able to claim the distinction of having eaten every awful Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans flavor that came in our boxes—rotten egg.

For the love of all things good, if you do buy a box of Bertie Bott’s Beans, do not eat this flavor. I tried. I really did. But this is like the Death Star of jelly beans. I couldn’t manage to get it down.

Not only could I not get it down, I spent a couple minutes gagging over our kitchen sink while my husband laughed.

To think I once thought cinnamon jelly beans were as bad as it got. I can safely say that we won’t be buying Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans again. At the same time, it was the most we’d laughed in weeks, and for that alone, it was worth it. Next time, though, I think I’ll stick to chocolate frogs.

If you still want to try these or if you’re throwing a Harry Potter-themed party, you can buy them from Jelly Belly or from Amazon.com. (My apologies to my Canadian readers. As far as I know, you can’t get them in Canada.)

If you want to go even farther behind the scenes, Jelly Belly also sells Bean Boozled, where flavors like chocolate pudding and canned dog food look identical. You won’t know what you’re eating until you chew.

Is there a flavor of jelly bean that you would absolutely refuse to try?

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Behind the Scenes: Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

[Harry] finally tore his eyes away from the druidess Cliodna, who was scratching her nose, to open a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

“You want to be careful with those,” Ron warned Harry. “When they say every flavor, they mean every flavor—you know, you get all the ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and marmalade, but then you get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a booger-flavored one once.”

—J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, pg. 103-104

My husband and I found them while on a quest for jelly belly jelly beans—Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

As huge fans of the Harry Potter books and movies, we couldn’t resist. Since any jelly beans we bought were going to be part of my mother-in-law’s early Christmas gift to us, we each got ourselves two of the palm-sized boxes.  

On the drive back to our hotel, I pulled a box from my bag and started reading the flavors. All the ordinary ones were listed—banana, blueberry, candy floss, cherry, green apple, marshmallow, lemon, tutti-frutti, and watermelon.

But the box also held some of the strange flavors like earwax, black pepper, and yes, even booger, that the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans in the books are so famous for. I read them out to my husband.

“You don’t think they actually taste . . . bad, do you?” I asked. “Who would ever buy them a second time if they really do taste like dirt or rotten eggs?”

My husband, Harry Potter expert that he is, argued that maybe they would taste just as terrible as in the books. After all, not knowing what flavor you’re going to get, whether it will be delicious or disgusting, is part of the appeal of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

Maybe if I was a 10-year-old boy, I’d agree with him. I can still remember being ten years old and being tricked into eating a sour gumball a boy in my class promised was coated in sugar. He laughed hysterically at my puckered face.

But I’m not a 10-year-old boy, and the mere thought of eating jelly beans that might really taste like earthworm or soap made my stomach turn.

I decided I’d start with the dirt-flavored Bertie Bott’s bean, and if it wasn’t too terrible, I’d move on to the sausage, working my way through the flavors.  

As we divvied up our boxes to make sure we each got to taste every flavor, the question became, if the dirt bean tasted like dirt, would I throw myself on the altar of providing the full story and try every one? Would I even try the vomit-flavored one?

But I thought I’d take a vote to find out if you’d like to know whether they taste good or bad 🙂 Send out a tweet, @ me in a Google+ post, or comment to let me know your vote.

Yes = Please tell us if the dirt bean really tasted like dirt, and if you ate the vomit, booger, and rotten egg beans anyway.

No = I’d rather not know.

If Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans really did taste like every flavor, would you still try them? And would you like to know if they taste good or bad?

The answer to the question Did I Eat All the Bertie Bott’s Flavors? is now posted!

 

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The Hunger Games Movie

This week, Lionsgate released the first full Hunger Games movie trailer. As a huge fan, I’m already counting down to the March 23, 2012, release date, and saving up my credit card rewards points so that my husband and I can see it in theaters. In case you missed it (or are like me and want to watch it multiple times), here’s the trailer . . .

You can also become an official Hunger Games groupie by checking out the following sites:

The Hunger Games Facebook Page – Meet the tributes and keep up on the latest updates.

The Hunger Games Movie Site – Want a counter widget (don’t think I didn’t consider it), sneak peaks, and photos, then this is the place to be.

The Hunger Games Official Website – Find out more about Suzanne Collins, play games, or vote for whether you’ll be supporting Katniss or Peeta.

 

Behind the Scenes: Kait Nolan and Werewolves

Today I have the privilege of interviewing Kait Nolan, author of action-packed paranormal romance, to go behind the scenes of her latest novel, Red, an urban fantasy twist on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale.

Kait Nolan werewolvesEvery fairy tale has a dark side…

Elodie Rose has a secret. Any day, she’ll become a wolf and succumb to the violence that’s cursed her family for centuries. For seventeen years she’s hidden who and what she is. But now someone knows the truth and is determined to exterminate her family line. Living on borrowed time in the midst of this dangerous game of hide and seek, the last thing Elodie needs to do is fall in love. But Sawyer is determined to protect her, and the brooding, angry boy is more than what he seems. Can they outsmart a madman? And if they survive, will they find a way to beat the curse for good?

Welcome, Kait 🙂

The market is full of werewolf stories. Where did the idea for such a new twist come from?

I’m a big fan of fairy tale reboots, and I really wanted to do something with the Red Riding Hood legend—but something that would really turn it on its head. People have done adaptations where the wolf was a werewolf, but I wanted to go a step beyond that, to see what the consequences would be if Red fell in LOVE with the wolf. And that’s how I came up with Elodie.

How do your werewolves differ from the traditional werewolf folklore and from the werewolves in other books on the market?

No silver bullets necessary. No involuntary shifts related to the phases of the moon. It’s not transmissible; it’s a genetic condition, passed on just like blue eyes or brown hair. Oh, and they turn into full wolves, not that funky bipedal hybrid of some werewolf lore.

Readers who love a particular type of story—for example, one including werewolves—sometimes resist innovation. How did you find the balance between making your werewolves unique and meeting readers expectations when they pick up a “werewolf book”?

Well I am one of those readers who loves a good werewolf book, so I was just sure to include everything I knew I wanted. Pack dynamics, fight with the animal instincts, unshakable loyalty, and mates for life.

In Red, werewolves thrive best in stable pairs (either a home with both parents for young werewolves or a mated pair for mature werewolves). Where did you get the idea to have the key to a “safe” werewolf versus a “dangerous” werewolf be a stable pair? 

*grin* I write romance. Plus it really seemed like it would be a way to muck around and complicate things for Elodie’s family line.

An aspect of your werewolf culture that I found especially interesting was that werewolves mate for life. That’s almost counter-cultural to the rest of the world. Was this something you came up with because wild wolves actually mate for life or were you trying to send a message to teens about the value in long-term, stable relationships?

Actually that is a popular misconception. Wolves don’t always mate for life. But I am a lifelong romance lover, which means I am a fan of the One True Pairing/Soulmate concept—whether you’re talking YA or adult fiction. For Red I really wanted to try to present a love at that age that was real. Too often adults are quick to say that teens don’t really know what it is to love, really love. And I think that’s because those adults weren’t there, didn’t feel it for themselves, and they can’t believe it. But it does happen, and I think teens deserve a chance to see that.

How much did the habits of real wolves and the “Little Red Riding Hood” fairy tale affect Red?

I did a lot of research on wolf behavior in an attempt to realistically portray how Elodie would be changing and behaving as the wolf became ascendant. The actual fairy tale was more backstory in terms of how Elodie’s family line got started.

What do you find really attractive about werewolves?

Their strength, their intelligence, and their unwavering loyalty to pack and mates.

If you found out you were a werewolf, what would your biggest fear be?

Absolutely it would be the same as Elodie’s—I would fear losing control to the beast and hurting someone.

Will you be writing more werewolf books in the future (not necessarily with Elodie and Sawyer) or do you think you’ll move on to something else?

Oh I’ll absolutely have more werewolves and wolf shifters. I love them! I have at least two other books planned in my adult paranormal romance series that features them as heroes. They’re kind of a favorite creature of mine. 😀

Thanks, Kait, for taking us behind the scenes on Red.

Kait Nolan author of paranormal romanceKait Nolan is stuck in an office all day, sometimes juggling all three of her jobs at once with the skill of a trained bear—sometimes with a similar temperament. After hours, she uses her powers for good, creating escapist fiction. The work of this Mississippi native is packed with action, romance, and the kinds of imaginative paranormal creatures you’d want to sweep you off your feet…or eat your boss.  When she’s not working or writing, she’s in her kitchen, heading up a revolution to Retake Homemade from her cooking blog, Pots and Plots.

You can catch up with her at her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Her debut YA paranormal, Red, is currently available from Smashwords, Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Barnes and Noble, the iBookstore, and All Romance EBooks.