Sorry I missed a few review days this week. Last night I gave a presentation to the Gloucester County Art League about all the stuff I create and do. On top of running this food blog I also run an art blog, a few online shops, I freelance from home (mostly graphic design), I sew, sculpt polymer clay charms and trinkets, and I sell all my work at conventions. All of that, plus 9-5 graphic design and printing job. Sometimes I get stretched pretty thin with all that I do, but even when I'm sleep deprived and running on sugar, I wouldn't change it for the world.
For today's review I have something that has been sitting in my stash since last December, these Tropical Heat Hot Tamales! Let's see if these candies live up ti their name, or if their spiciness is just a marketing gimmick.
The box art reminds me of those air brushed t-shirts you can buy on the boardwalk down the shore. It has a gradient background with some palm trees silhouettes, the colors are vibrate and they relate to each flavor of the candy, which I like, but the overall design feels like it's trying too hard to be cool. Kind of like Doritos and Moutain Dew's marketing team. It's bold, obnoxious, and kind of macho. For what it is it's okay, but I'm not a big fan and I won't be adding this box to my candy collection.
This candy is loose inside the box, like Mike and Ike's, so you have immediate access to the candy inside without any bags getting in the way, making this very movie-friendly. (No crinkle noises!)
We have three different colors and flavors in this mix.
Mango Tango (orange with red flecks) - the sugary shell crumbles revealing a sweet and tangy mango flavoring, similar to the mango water ice at Rita's or the Mango Mango gummies from Trader Joe's, but as you chew the heat starts to build. The heat mostly hits you towards the back of your throat with just a little burn towards the sides of your tongue and I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed with the spiciness here! This isn't overwhelmingly hot, and it won't make you run for a glass of milk (which is better for dulling heat than water) but it is still pretty intense for your typical dollar store candy and the more you eat the more it builds. After 3-5 candies it's on par with a medium-hot mango salsa, and it's really enjoyable! I never thought I would like this as much as I do!
Limon Fever (green with dark green flecks) - The lime flavoring is tangy, bright, and impressively authentic. I love it! Again the heat slowly creeps up on you, but this time it seems less intense than the mango version and I also feel like this one in particular has more of a dry-heat effect on my mouth. It makes me want to drink water, not to dull the spiciness, but for some reason it makes my mouth feel much drier than the other flavors.
Pineapple Picante (yellow-orange with red flecks) - This one has a sweet pineapple flavoring that reminds me of the pineapple pieces you get in sweet and sour take-out. It's a little tangy, but mostly sweet and caramelized. The heat was more like the mango flavoring, it hits you right in the back of the throat and the more you eat, the more the heat builds. Oddly enough, this was my least favorite in the mix, but I wouldn't change or remove it. The pineapple is a nice companion flavor to the mango and lime and I like how it rounds out the box.
I'm pretty impressed! Sweet and spicy is one of my favorite flavor combinations and a lot of other candy companies play it safe by adding only the tiniest hint of spice to their sweets. These Hot Tamales didn't send me running for a drink, but the build able heat was no joke. The more I ate, the more I felt the heat, and it was awesome! Plus the fruity flavors are bright and authentic (for the most part). Plus all these candies for $1.00? You can't beat that! I would definitely buy these again and I'm going to recommend them to all my spice-loving friends.© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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