What is the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge?
There’s no official connection between Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean and Jelly Belly’s Bean Boozled line of jelly beans. Yet, I imagine we have Mr. Bott to thank for not knowing if the next candy confection we eat is chocolate pudding or canned dog food flavored.
Similarly, I like to imagine we have a pyromancer to thank for the Bean Boozled Fiery Five Challenge, which features five chili flavorings of escalating spiciness.
How is it?
I was impressed to notice the ingredient statement included actual chili puree from each of the chili varieties. Perhaps the R&D process for these involved less magical fire manipulation and more Magic Bullet Blender manipulation. Either way, I’m encouraged to think these beans might offer the kind of authentic chili flavor a heat seeker like me wants.
I pop a single bean into my mouth, and there’s a quick spicy bite at the back of my throat, just like actual sriracha sauce. The heat is immediate, but its rapidly quenched by sweetness. These would never be included in a normal mix of jelly beans, but if they were, I’d think the amount of spice was surprisingly bold. As a spicy novelty, they’re fairly tame.
There are some grassy, vegetal flavors from the puree that set these apart from the sriracha. The spice level is similar, but is better balanced by the jalapeno flavor and so seems milder.
These have a slower buildup of heat, with a deeper burn that fills the mouth. I must admit that I was a bit nervous going into the Fiery Five Challenge, but this middle entry has a very manageable amount of heat. Bring it on, Jelly Belly.
Now we’re getting somewhere. The heat is still very tolerable, but I had to do that thing when you suck in air through your mouth to cool the tongue. The fruity sweetness balances the spice to provide a pleasant experience.
I was getting a bit cocky up until the habanero, but that one was spicy enough so that I’m apprehensive going into this one. I pop it into my mouth and immediately taste Tabasco. It’s spicy enough that I actually get up from my seat and start searching the kitchen for something to cool my mouth. By the time I arrive, the heat had diminished enough so that ice water sufficed. The Carolina Reapers are certainly very spicy, but I declare victory over the Fiery Five Challenge.
All at One Time
Do you think more people eat jelly beans individually or willy nilly by the handful? I’m more of a one-by-one, guy myself, with some artful flavor mixing after I’ve sampled them all.
In the spirit of challenge, I take a handful and glance at them to make sure there’s a generally representative mix (and maybe not too many Caroline Reapers) and shovel them into my mouth.
You know that scene at the end of Terminator 2, where the T-1000 falls into the vat molten metal, loses control of its mimicry, and then randomly morphs through all the forms it’s taken throughout the film? That’s what this is like. The heat of 15+ beans is much greater than when daintily sampling them one by one, with each bean’s distinct flavors randomly rising and falling.
Ice water won’t be enough, and I don’t have ice cream, the gold standard chile cure. Full-fat Greek yogurt does enough so that I’m not flailing around like a robot assassin from the future in a foundry, but only time completely cools my mouth.
Anything else you need to know?
I work in food manufacturing and have participated in hundreds of sensory panels during my career. Let me tell you that the surest way to remove all joy from a food you love is to eat small bites of it every day for years.
This can actually be helpful because the question you’re supposed to be answering when sampling a sensory sample isn’t “Is this good?” or “Do I like this?” but, “Does this taste like it’s supposed to?”
I bring this up because I enjoy imagining the sensory testers in the Bertie Botts and Bean Boozled factory tasting vomit flavored beans and asking, “Do these taste enough like vomit? Or should they be more vomity?”
The fact that Jelly Belly was able to get real chile flavor into these is impressive. Despite that, this isn’t the kind of product you eat because they taste good. They’re a fun challenge, and you knew if you were up for it even before you read this review. Go with that when deciding to purchase or not.
DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 3.5 Oz (99 grams)
Purchased at: Received from Jelly Belly
Rating: 7 out of 10
110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.