It’s almost as if we know how this review is gonna go. And it’s not in a good direction. Because generally, these kinds of attempts at spicy candies are just not done well. But…let’s give it a moment before we get to the meat.
I saw this and the spicy Skittles bags a few times before giving in a plunking down for it. How bad could they be?
The wrapped pieces (to me) looked the same as regular Starburst. But if you look a little closer there’s a flame-like image there as well.
Unwrapped…well I dare anyone to identify these in a lineup.
Here’s the thing though…these surprised me. For two reasons actually.
One, the flavors were nice, and they definitely felt different. This isn’t just normal Starburst cherry plus heat.
The second reason is of course the heat. It’s pretty dang enjoyable. Not for pepper heads at ALL, this isn’t super spicy. But I found out years ago I don’t really dig super spicy when it comes to candy-it’s just too much. This spice level is there, you feel it, and it integrates with the flavors nicely.
Let’s direct the flavors real quick, from left to right.
Fiery Watermelon -classic candy watermelon flavor at first, no heat. Then the finish gets your cheeks first, then the whole mouth, almost right as it’s waning away. Mild heat, but it lingers for a bit.
Flamin’ Orange- not quite as interesting or tasty, but just a bit hotter than the watermelon. Enjoyable for sure though.
Piping’ Pineapple-this is the best. Really nice pineapple flavor, pretty damn accurate too. The spice works really well here, as it does in real life with pineapple.
Strawberry Mango-So they all have a spicy adjective in front of the flavor name except this one? Odd. Kinda like the flavor combo-I really didn’t get strawberry OR mango, but I did like it. Seriously, it tastes more like lime/berry to me. The heat on this one is a bit lower too.
Now to the main concern. Of course, it always comes down to this with mass produced American candy- the ingredients. It’s a who’s who of artificiality. There’s nothing from nature in this bag. Which, as we know, takes points off for two reasons:
1. Real flavors taste better
2. When “real” candy gets old, especially chews like this, they get a lot chewier. These? They’ll be soft till the cockroaches take over.
Even with those issues, these still taste good. One more issue though, regarding the heat. Actually, Jonny Guru Jr. brought this oneup: where is the heat coming from?
It’s not coming from chili peppers. It’s not coming from extracted capsaicin. In fact, according to the ingredients list, the only possible place it could be coming from is “natural flavors”.
Seriously, FDA, you have GOT to eradicate the use of that term. It means nothing, gives no information, and is a GD nightmare for people with any specific health or food allergy concerns.
In this case though, it’s just stupid. And while most people don’t care to know these things, it’s our job. BUT YOU WON’T LET ME.
Having said all that…I like these. And I will buy them again for sure. It makes me want to get the Skittles version (that’s a hint, Mrs. Guru…Father’s Day is coming up) but daaaaamn kids come on- just list your ingredients.
When you don’t, you raise eyebrows.
If you’ve resigned to be frustrated in life yet want your good goods, click the link before to get sweet heated up.