Spicy snack – Tabasco flavour jelly beans

Today I tried some Tabasco flavour jelly beans, as made by what is probably my favourite brand, Jelly Belly. In fact, I was given these as a present for Christmas and, digging through a bag, happened to find them a couple of days ago. Being rather unusual I thought I’d record my thoughts on them.

Now, just to alert you, I like spicy food. In fact, a few years ago a built up my tolerance to spicy food using Tabasco, and I do like to make meals interesting using the sauce if I feel they need to be made interesting. But what intrigues me about these is that jelly beans are a sweet and that this is going to be a spicy sweet. I can’t think of many other examples of a spicy sweet – maybe cinnamon chewing gum? – so this is a first for me.

On first taste, they’ve got a bit of a kick to them – it hits you right at the back of the throat and stays there for a good few seconds. But what’s really strange is that there is an early and then lingering sweetness to them – you can definitely taste that they’re jelly beans. In fact, sugar is the first ingredient on the list, and Tabasco is in the “contains 2% or less” bracket. I know that Jelly Belly like to promote the idea that you can mix and match them to make ‘recipes’ – although I can’t see them coming out with chicken flavoured beans any time soon so there’s not much that this is going to go with.

But what scares me most is the fact that on the back the ‘serving size’ is 35 pieces. Thirty five Tabasco-flavoured jelly beans – I don’t think I could cope. Three was pretty intense.

Overall? Well, it’s a gimmick, obviously, but quite a fun gimmick. I need to bring these out at a party – better yet, one where I just put them in a bowl and don’t tell people what they are.


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