The traditional spice beans that you find out during Easter were something I always saw and considered to be a “gross” candy. You know what I mean – the type of candy you’d let sink through the Easter grass to the bottom of your Easter basket so you could “forget” about them until they were inedible and had to be thrown away. For some reason when I think of this specific type of jelly bean, images of Grandma’s, moth balls and dust come to mind, not all things I want to associate with my candy.
These belong on my “never got these as a child” easter candy list, along with Bunny Basket Eggs, Marshmallow Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs. But unlike those candies, which I was dying to try because I knew they were popular and desired by everyone, I never heard anyone really crave spice jelly beans. Or the black ones too for that matter. Little did I know what I was missing out on.
These pectin beans by Just Born are larger than Jelly Belly (and are also two calories more per piece). The chew is very thick and more substantial and I find it very pleasing. The flavor seems to come solely from the shell of the bean as opposed to the inside and outside of the Jelly Belly bean. Even though these are different, I still really enjoyed and appreciated these for the difference. It was refreshing.
White: peppermint: I was frightened that this was going to be overpowering since I don’t like peppermint much. Surprisingly, it was a good strength, not too strong and not too mild. I still got a good dose of flavor without feeling like I was eating a mint. It has a good sweetness to it which cuts the spice.
Red: cinnamon: a good, strong cinnamon flavor, very similar to Big Red gum and Jelly Belly’s version. It has a good full flavor, with only a little burn to it, so I wouldn’t consider it a “hot” cinnamon, or at least not an intense one.
Pink: wintergreen: my favorite of the bunch. I may be be a tad skewed, since I do love wintergreen, which has always been my preferred “minty” flavor. The flavor is bright, fresh and just brimming with the standard wintergreen flavor. I was pleased to find that it didn’t go overboard either, since I’ve had some gums/mints/etc. that have too much flavoring in them, resulting in a odd burn-like sensation in my mouth. Not with these, thankfully, and I found myself eating these last… since they’re the best of course.
Green: spearmint: I was worried about this one, since the minty flavors aren’t a favorite of mine. This reminded me of toothpaste, but in the best way possible, I assure you! It’s a very bright, fresh, cooling and invigorating flavor. It also has a good amount of sweetness to it so it feels natural to swallow it, despite the pre-programmed associations we have with our oral hygiene.
Yellow: clove: I was looking forward to this one, but it was much spicier than I anticipated. It tasted as if I had stuck my nose into a jar of clove powder and inhaled. Despite the strength, I was not disgusted by it, but intrigued. I did enjoy the flavor; it’s very authentic with strong woodsy, paprika and licorice notes. I’m also a fan of cloves to begin with, so I may be a bit biased here. I think this one is the “spiciest” and most “hardcore” of all the beans.
What a surprise this turned out to be; not only would I say I liked these, but I loved them. In fact, I plan to stockpile a few bags on my next shopping trip. I discovered a treasure here. So I’m curious, do you have a relationship with spice beans? Love them? Hate them? Please let me know!
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