Well this is different.
Jelly Belly is always adding new flavors of beans, but they also do more than that- they make a lot of other candies aside from beans, and they also have had a propensity lately to dip their beans in chocolate. Last year, Matty reviewed their new flavor- Tobasco hot sauce flavored beans. And he dug them. Now, we have those same beans, but shrouded in a layer of dark chocolate.
Here’s the odd thing about this candy: Matty and I tasted them together on Sunday, as we hadn’t imbibed any alcohol yet, and it seemed fitting. My reaction was middle of the road: they weren’t great, they weren’t bad, but I was definitely getting that known Tobasco sauce flavor, which to me, put me off a bit. I should say now that I’m a HUGE fan of Tobasco- but I use it for specific things, not as a go-to hot sauce. My go-to is usually Sri Racha, or a spicier chili sauce, something with more complex flavor. Tobasco, while delicious and a crucial element in my Bloody Mary’s, is very one note. For this application in a candy that’s covered in dark chocolate, it felt wrong.
Cut to yesterday. I tried another, and the results couldn’t have been more different. First, I got a heavy dose of spicy. The spice came in the middle of the chew, and lingered a bit after I was done.
And I liked that.
Also, this time I got a hint of Tobasco, but it definitely wasn’t overwhelming. The combination of not-too-sweet chocolate, the sweet bean, and the acidic Tobasco flavor really worked for me. The insane thing is- one bean was the perfect amount. Like Matty said in his original review, these aren’t a “shove 20 in your mouth” bean, like all the fruity flavors definitely are for me. This is-dare I say-a bit elevated? And I like them.
One flavor of Jelly Belly that I believe is now extinct is Jalapeño. And man, I loved that flavor. It was so accurate to the chile, and so tasty. Even though I really like these Tobasco dark chocolate coated beans, I can’t help but think that those Jalapeño beans might have been the better choice, for a more perfectly complimentary flavor profile.
Oh well. These definitely work for the sweet/spicy dichotomy. I’d say pick up small pack, or this box if you have a group of people who’ll try them without laming out.
And can we talk for a sec? What’s with people not wanting to try things? Especially candy? Sometimes the looks I get from people when I offer them something-something I’ve told them is good- are hard to comprehend. Their brows wrinkle up, their claw of a hand purses into itself as they slowly reach for the candy, then slow down even more…as if they’re not SURE if I might be trying to poison them or not. It’s CANDY, people. It’s good for you. Remember that.