Hot-Pepper Jelly Beans Are Perfect for Fans of Sweet Heat

The BeanBoozled Fiery Five made by Jelly Belly come in sriracha, jalapeno, cayenne, habanero and Carolina Reaper flavors and are purported to be 'really spicy.'

Jelly Belly Candy Company, BeanBoozled Fiery Five

Jelly Belly Beanboozled Fiery Five

Jelly Belly Candy Company, BeanBoozled Fiery Five

Photo by: Hand-out


Some like it hot … and some like it even hotter. Jelly Belly, it so happens, now has jelly beans for both kinds of people.

The gourmet jelly bean company has just launched a line of five spicy jelly bean flavors for heat-seeking candy eaters that get “progressively hotter” as you go along. The new Fiery Five line has been released under Jelly Belly’s out-there, taste-challenging BeanBoozled brand, which heretofore has invited experimental types to eat jelly beans that look the same, but taste either yucky or yummy, depending on your luck. (That mottled little bean could be either “Toasted Marshmallow” or “Stink Bug,” either “Buttered Popcorn” or “Rotten Egg,” “Tutti-Frutti” or “Stinky Socks” – ew.)

With the BeanBoozled Fiery Five, though, the “game of risk” challenge is more spice-tolerance than gross-tolerance. (The packaging includes a warning stipulating that the jelly beans are recommended only for healthy people over age 13.) Each of the five “true-to-life” flavors -- sriracha, jalapeno, cayenne, habanero and Carolina Reaper – get hotter as you progress through them, so while sriracha provides only “a light burn” Carolina Reaper promises to pack “a major punch.”

Early taste testers have described the flavors as moderately hot and scarily accurate (if not always enjoyably so) – and apparently that was the idea behind the candy.

“We knew it wouldn't be enough to just knock your socks off with the heat; the candy also has to taste like the actual pepper or sauce,” Irena Miles, Jelly Belly’s director of research and development and quality assurance, said in a news release. “Our goal was to capture the right flavor notes while simultaneously building an appropriate level of heat. "

And capturing the level of heat was more nuanced than you might expect.

"We had to consider not only how to balance the vegetative notes in the flavor with the heat, but also how that heat presents itself and builds over time,” Luz Osbun, Jelly Belly’s research and development, noted. “Jalapeno has a sharp build and a quick fade, while Carolina Reaper builds quickly and stays hot for a while after. Our jelly bean versions for Fiery Five had to act like the real thing."

The Fiery Five jelly beans, available online and in stores, come in a variety of packages, many of which include spinner wheels to turn eating them into a game. In February, the line will introduce a colorful BeanBoozled Fiery Five tin with a large spin wheel built into the top.

The spicy beans, which are made with real chili-pepper puree, have already gotten a warm reception on Instagram.

“I ate all 5. Last one took about 10 minutes to stop burning,” wrote one early adopter, punctuating the comment with three (count ‘em!) thumbs-up emoji.

“I tried them they are really spicy,” chimed in another, who didn’t seem to be complaining.

There also appears to be a growing call for an expansion of the line: “what about ghost pepperrrr,” was but one of several urgent pleas for that flavor.

Maybe someday Jelly Belly will make a ghost pepper jelly bean, heat seekers, but in the meantime, you may want to get these while they’re … hot.

Photo courtesy of Jelly Belly

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