The exact origins of the jelly bean are lost in time, and only a part of its history is known. Most experts believe the jelly center is a descendent of a Mid-Eastern confection known as Turkish Delight that dates back to Biblical times. The shell coating is an offspring of a process called panning, first invented in 17th century France to make Jordan Almonds. Somehow the two processes made their way to America. Over 15 billion jellybeans were enjoyed at Eastertime in 1998. If they were lined up end-to-end, they would circle the earth nearly 3 times.