Monday, April 21, 2014

Hot Tamales Tropical Heat

Hot Tamales Tropical HeatJust Born has been making Hot Tamales, a cinnamon flavored jelly candy, since 1950. Their newest twist is Hot Tamales Tropical Heat, which features spice combined with fruit flavors.

While the classic Hot Tamales get their warm heat from the active ingredient in cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde, the twist with this new version features hot peppers. The active hotness in chili peppers is caused by capsaicin.

Hot Tamales Tropical Heat come in a mix of three flavors in the bag: Limon Fever, Mango Tango, and Pineapple Picante.

I bought this half pound peg at Cost Plus World Market for $2.99 ... I found that a bit steep for what are basically jelly beans, but I was very interested in Just Born’s entry into this segment. I’m quite fond of the original and keep them on hand in my candy jars in my office.

Hot Tamales Tropical Heat

The pieces are beautiful and easy to differentiate from the regular Hot Tamales or Milk and Ike, if you happened to mix them together.

The Limon Fever is light green with a few green speckles on it. Though limón is lemon in Spanish, this has a distinct lime note to it. There’s a bitterness at the front, a nice zesty note of citrus peel, then a tart juicy flavor (which could be lemon) and a note of jalapeno. Though I get the spicy burst and the warmth, it’s not too much, not throat searing, just warm. Then after a while it’s just sweet and a little grainy.

Hot Tamales Tropical Heat

Mango Tango is medium orange with red speckles. This seemed to be the dominant flavor in my package, which is too bad. As much as I love mangos, they’re rarely good in candy format. The flavor starts out with a mild tangy bite and the heat from the chili, then it gets sweet and taste like peaches. That’s pretty much it. It’s not terrible, but it’s not quite mango.

Pineapple Picante begins with a good mix of floral and lightly tart. The chili warmth comes in just as the whole thing descends into sweetness though the floral pineapple remains. It’s the freshest tasting of the three, though I liked the enduing zest of the Limon as well.

Though I found these a little strange, I actually liked them, and I don’t actually like chili peppers. They’re warm but not painfully hot. But if you’re someone who likes their spicy spices to burn, these will not do it for you.

Hot Tamales are gluten free, contain no gelatin but do have confectioners glaze so wouldn’t be appropriate for vegans.

Related Candies

  1. Ginger Zingers Blood Orange and Chai
  2. Lindt Wasabi
  3. Haribo Hot Sticks
  4. Jelly Belly Tabasco
  5. David’s Signature Beans Jelly Bean Sampler
  6. McIlhenny Co Tabasco Brand Spicy Chocolate
  7. Cowgirl Chocolates Buckin’ Hot Habanero Caramels
  8. Jolly Rancher Fruitas Enchiladas
  9. Hot Tamales and Hotter Tamales
  10. Xocoatl 73.5%

Name: Hot Tamales Tropical Heat
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $2.99
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 108
Categories: Candy, Just Born, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:41 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewJust BornJelly Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesCost Plus

  1. These sound like my kind of candy.
    Small note to make: in Puerto Rico, our citruses are flipped: limón is the green one, and lima is the yellow one. I don’t know why. Just one of those things that makes us odd among Latin America.
    I doubt that was Just Born’s intention, but at least to me it wouldn’t have seemed weird at all.

    Comment by Christian P. Saenz on 4/21/14 at 8:30 pm #
  2. In Mexico, “limón” always means “lime”—they don’t really do lemons there.

    Comment by JefferyK on 4/22/14 at 3:29 pm #
  3. I bought these at World Market using a 15% off coupon so they ended up being $2.54. Wish I would have bought several bags because I adore these. All three flavors are good, but pineapple is my favorite. The chile flavor is awesome. I realize these won’t appeal to everyone, but I love gummies, licorice, jelly bellies, Mike & Ike, etc. I also loved Good & Fiery from a few years ago. I even tried to replicate the flavor by mixing Mike & Ike’s and Hot Tamales but there was no comparison.

    Comment by Joyce Z on 7/10/14 at 12:33 pm #
  4. I just picked up a 5.8oz bag at Big Lots for $1.  Now, I used to play the “why is this here/what’s wrong with it?” game at that store, so I don’t know if the bag I bought was atypical: it’s hot.  The candies taste vaguely sweet at first, then upon chewing they start to burn.  The inside of my mouth actually feels burned in spots.  I can’t finish the bag. :(

    Comment by Dave on 9/26/16 at 7:41 pm #
  5. The Tropical Heat Hot Tamales have just been replaced with Cinnamon Apple Hot Tamales. I bought them recently but haven’t tried them yet. I’m sure I’ll love them because I love the Tropical Heat one. Now I have to check out Big Lots to see if I can score any of the bags.

    Comment by Joyce Z on 9/27/16 at 8:18 am #
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Next entry: Oak Leaf Refresh Triple Mint Chewing Gum

Previous entry: Pelino Confetti Flowers
















  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.


    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner






Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.





Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon


Candy Season Ends

-438 days

Read previous coverage



Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter




These candies will be reviewed shortly: