As much as I love candy – and I LOVE candy- I enjoy spicy food even more. Sri Racha sauce is a mandatory condiment on basically everything I eat. My dad and brother and I regularly seek out the spiciest restaurants in the Bay Area (bummer report : we’ve found ONE that’s truly hot. If you know of any, please share, yo). If there’s something spicy on any menu that doesn’t sound crappy, I’m ordering it. I enjoy the occasional Serrano chile Margarita.
The thing is though, I haven’t really enjoyed any candy I’ve tried that’s mixed chiles with chocolate or candy. I don’t know why, it just does battle for me, and isn’t that enjoyable. Until now, that is. Forget everything you know about spicy candy and look no further – I’ve found something amazing:
Or rather, Matty found something amazing at Dylan’s Candy Bar in NYC, and brought it back for me. So it’s mine. MINE!
A quick note about these photos – I didn’t take them. See, I was doing a video review with the kid..and let’s just say that things went pear shaped. So these two close up photos are courtesy of the fine folks at ZOMG candy. Nice looking, right?
Let me preface this by saying that traditionally, I don’t care much for pralines. Too sweet for me. This one though, like I said, is different. When you open the wrapping, a wave of true chile flavor jumps out at you. And I don’t mean heat, I mean the actual smell/flavor of chiles, that…incomparable fresh vegetable on fire thing. Can’t really describe it, but it’s amazing how much the smell pulls you in. Next step, take a bite. In the simplest terms…this thing isn’t fucking around. It’s spicy. VERY spicy. But not TOO spicy.
It takes you into the fiery world of Habaneros, but just as you’re feeling like you’re gonna get some back sweat going, the sweetness and richness of the caramel pours over you, offset by the pecans. The balance this confection provides is remarkable. A little salt, a decent amount of sweet, crunch, chewy caramel, and hot chiles. Zing.
I was baffled by how much I enjoyed these. With even the most sumptuous dark chocolate, I can hold off on eating – my will power works. These 2 pralines however, were dead meat in my fridge (definitely put them in there, then take them out 5 minutes before eating). They were both gone in minutes.
There’s something so unique about the way the Habanero characteristics come out, and how the sweetness of the supporting players in this candy compliment it that makes this treat an instant classic for me. Obviously, this isn’t for folks who don’t dig the heat, but…let me just assure you again that this isn’t a face melting, sweat inducing “Man Vs. Food” type of thing. It actually is a perfectly balanced delight.
But they aint cheap.$28.65 for 9 pieces. That’s $3.18 EACH. Not cheap. But…what the hell am I gonna do, make pralines myself? No. So I’m gonna buy these occasionally, and I STRONGLY suggest you do too.
However, before I let you go, I want to take umbrage with something. Basically, I just enjoy taking umbrage in general, but I feel this one is valid and warranted. Their box. Let’s take one more look:
What the hell? What’s with the weird cement wall in the background? And why is there orange and yellow and blue spray paint on it? Are kids “tagging” the walls in celebration of Habaneros? Kinda seems extremely NON urban to me. Maybe..I dunno….something from THE SOUTH would be better?
Regardless, these are amazing. Thank you Matty Guru, and…sorry for eating them both. Now go back to NYC and get me some more, damn it!