Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hot Tamales Spice Jelly Beans

imageThis is one of the most incongruous bits of packaging I’ve seen in a while. Hot Tamales branded jelly beans, in spice flavors ... okay, so far so good. But the colors are all, I don’t know, racy.

Spice jelly beans are far from racy. They’re eaten by little nostalgic old ladies and middle-aged European guys as palate cleansers. These are packaged like they’re supposed to appeal to the NASCAR crowd (not that they wouldn’t enjoy them ... Mike and Ike even have an association with NASCAR).

But still, spice jelly beans are hard to find these days, and it’s even harder to find them made in the USA. (Yes, I get emails from people looking for American made spice jelly beans.)

Just Born is known for it’s jelly bean type products, which are their Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales as well as their lesser known line of Teenee Beanee, a gourmet jelly bean.

What strikes me as especially odd about these (on top of everything else) is that Just Born also has a line of spice jelly beans that Sera at Candy Addict just reviewed yesterday!


They’re lovely looking beans, a little bigger than the Jelly Belly everyone is so used to these days, but not as large as the Brach’s Jelly Beans.

The variety has five flavors (the only ones left out of the “traditional” spice mix are licorice and lemon): Wintergreen, Peppermint, Clove, Spearmint and of course Cinnamon.

The color mix is a little odd too, the assignment of colors defies ordinary candy traditions, but I suppose none of that is written in stone either. At least they have a key on the back.

  • Wintergreen = Pink: It’s a pretty pink, a little darker and easy to confuse with the red sometimes. The wintergreen is soft and mellow, almost like a teaberry instead of a Lifesavers Wint-O-Green.

  • Cinnamon = Red: pretty much what you’d expect, a spicy and zesty cinnamon with a very light burn to it.

  • Peppermint = White: it reminds me of those Brach’s Ice Blue mints, just a mild peppermint, which is pretty rare these days with all those curiously strong things around. Refreshing.

  • Clove = Yellow: as a candy purist, the universal color for clove is purple or lavender. Yellow is downright counterintuitive. All that aside, I thought it was nice. It has a good blend of the aromatic elements of clove along with the slight bitter volatile side. I’m not a big fan of clove, but this didn’t bother me when I ate it by accident. (Because they’re yellow!)

  • Spearmint = Green: the lightly translucent green had only a touch of spearmint, not quite as spicy as a good Spearmint Leaf, but still, a nice mellow bean that’s easy to keep eating.
  • Really, all that’s missing here is Licorice. But the Licorice beans were sold separately ... literally, in their own bag. There’s also a separate bag of Hot Tamales Cinnamon Jelly Beans, but that’s just silly! Hot Tamales are cinnamon jelly beans!

    The beans are traditional pectin thickened, many just use corn starch these days. But they’re not Kosher for Passover (but plain old Kosher). They’re also gluten free. I don’t know if these will be sold year round of if they are just a seasonal offering.

    Thanks to Rebecca on Flickr who helped me find these!

    Related Candies

    1. Hot Tamales Black Licorice Jelly Beans
    2. Gimbal’s Lavaballs
    3. Hot Tamales Ice
    4. Lifesavers Jellybeans
    5. Cadbury Dairy Milk Whispers
    6. Starburst and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
    7. Hot Tamales and Hotter Tamales
    8. Jelly Belly - Full Line
    Name: Hot Tamales Spice Flavored Jelly Beans
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Just Born
    Place Purchased: Albertson's (Los Feliz)
    Price: $1.50 (on sale)
    Size: 14 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 99
    Categories: Jelly, Mint, Cinnamon, United States, Just Born, Kosher, Easter

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:22 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

    1. Yikes, these sound a bit odd to me. If I eat too many Jelly Beans I get a stomach ache from all that sugar.

      Oh, I thought that this organization might interest you:


      Comment by Amy Marie on 3/18/08 at 10:58 am #
    2. I’ve been going around trying to try as many spice flavored beans as possble, and I’ve yet to encounter one with a lemon flavor in it. I haven’t seen the Blueberry Hill brand you reviewed last yet, though.

      Comment by Sera on 3/18/08 at 11:07 am #
    3. My candy-loving family always had a bag of spice drops in our candy drawer, and I don’t remember a lemon. There definitely was a yellow, but I think it was clove. Or is that the power of suggestion? I did and do love spice drops. I think I must have old lady tastes, though, because I certainly have the candy dishes (filled, of course) to match.

      Comment by liz/pdx on 3/18/08 at 12:33 pm #
    4. Hot Tamale, Spice flavored Jelly Beans are so yummy. We like to have jelly beans on the table while we are having “family game night” and these are refreshing, help freshen breath too smile
      I saw a previous comment about the spice drops, and that is it! These are just like those, only in better bite size pieces and less sticky.
      Love them! Thanks.

      Comment by Beth on 3/25/08 at 1:50 pm #
    5. I picked up a bag of Brach’s “Spiced Jelly Bird Eggs” after Easter. They have cinnamon, clove, ginger, licorice, peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen. I don’t notice too much of a difference between the spearmint and wintergreen though. The ginger ones are interesting!

      Comment by April on 3/30/08 at 3:01 pm #
    6. I assume they only sell these jeely beans during Easter? I can’t seem to find them anywhere. I’m tempted to try them because I love spice drops and spiced jelly beans.

      Comment by Trish on 4/10/08 at 12:39 pm #
    7. Anyone know where you can buy the Hot Tamales Spice Jelly Beans in canada?  I have to drive over the border to the Broadway Market in Buffalo, NY for easter to get spice jelly beans but would love to be able to get them in canada?  thanks

      Comment by ruth on 4/03/09 at 6:55 am #
    8. I love your blog! But I hate reading about all the chocolate! It’s not interesting! I want to hear more about common candies I can purchase at walgreens! I read your blog and then feel annoyed because I can’t find these items! I totally admire you! I buy candy and write reviews for practice! You are amazing! Btw jujijubes and jujyfruits are
      The best!

      Comment by Taylor on 3/26/11 at 6:33 pm #
    Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

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