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Jelly Belly's New Spicy Beans Are Seriously Hot—I Couldn't Complete the Challenge

Only those who can tolerate extreme heat are advised to try these spicy jelly beans.

Would you consider yourself to be a spicy food enthusiast? If you're that person who goes out of the way to track down the fieriest of all hot sauces, then Jelly Belly's latest brainchild may pique your interest. That is, if you're as brave as you think you are.

Jelly Belly's latest BeanBoozled sampler package won't cruelly deceive you into noshing on jelly beans that appear to be Tutti-Frutti or peach, but really are flavors that emulate stinky socks or, yes, barf masked in the same shell. This edition of BeanBoozled offers a completely different kind of thrill, one that will truly ignite your taste buds and push you beyond what you foresee as tasty and tolerable more so than any other candy has done before.

Personally, I would go as far as to say these jelly beans are worthy of sampling on the successful YouTube series, Hot Ones. They're actually that hot. So, without further ado, here's a quick rundown on all the flavors that are included in the BeanBoozled Fiery Five Challenge.

  • Sriracha
  • Jalapeño
  • Cayenne
  • Habanero
  • Carolina Reaper

The challenge begins with the most tame of them all, sriracha. I am a big proponent of drizzling sriracha on top of a stir-fry dish or even on top of roasted sweet potatoes. However, I was shocked by how hot this jelly bean actually was after I had thoroughly chewed it, relishing in the initial, subtle heat it expelled. There was a noticeable delay in when the intensity of the spice actually hit. I waited about 30 seconds before cleansing my palate with some milk chocolate to help extinguish the small fire that began to scorch the entirety of my mouth.

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Once the heat fizzled out, to my own fault, I thought I would really go all in and advance to the cayenne flavor, skipping the second level of jalapeño like an overly confident amateur taste tester. I took one bite of this jelly bean and immediately coughed.

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The explosion of spice and heat from the itty bitty speckled, maroon-colored candy exceeded every expectation I had. I imagine the sensation I experienced was comparable to spooning a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper and jalapeño seeds—and I had only taken a single bite. My eyes began to water. 

If it's any consolation, I invited two colleagues who enjoy eating spicy foods to try these beans out too, and one almost choked while sampling the habanero flavor, which is level four. No one was brave enough to try the spiciest of them all, the Carolina Reaper, which allegedly offers an amplified burn of what you taste in the sriracha flavored bean. The heat dissipates relatively quickly after chewing the first four flavors, maybe lingering around for a minute or two, but the last one is supposed to build in intensity fast and stick around for a while.

Jelly Belly developed these outrageously hot flavors through focus group testing, and due to a wide variation of some testers being able to handle the heat and others having to down a glass of milk in an attempt to quell it, the company slapped a warning label on the side of the package that advises to, "keep out of reach of children under the age of 13." It also says the hot nature of this candy can trigger asthma symptoms and, as someone with the condition, I couldn't help but think that's why I instantly coughed after trying the cayenne flavor.

You've been warned. Try this fiery challenge at your own cost for $7.49 and be sure to have something to help cool you down on hand. Refer to The #1 Trick to Neutralize Too-Spicy Food, According to a Chef for additional tips.

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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