~~Today I’m, yet again, trying something new. My fiance, who is a big chili head, ordered some chili candies that are made with extremely hot peppers. Now, I can take a pretty good dose of hotness in my foods, but even these were a little out of my league. I asked he he wouldn’t mind doing a guest review of these candies for me, and he happily obliged! Enjoy!~~~
I had first seen these Vertigo Chili Candies reviewed by Ted Barrus on his YouTube channel. I am genuinely a fan of his videos and opinions and credit him with adding many spicy products to our pantry. These particular candies are made in Brooklyn, NY and I ordered them directly from their website. All of their products proudly feature their namesake, the Bhut Jolokia. You may have heard of this formidable pepper under its more common name ‘The Ghost Chili’.
I decided to start slowly and try their Watermelon variety first. Both packets contain about an ounce of candy and I’d estimate that to be about fifteen pieces. After opening the package I gave it a good sniff expecting to encounter chili right away, but was surprised to smell only watermelon. It wasn’t as punchy as, say, a bag of watermelon Jolly Ranchers but its in the same ball pack. The candies themselves were rectangles that seemed to vary in size from about a 1/4 inch wide to some nearly 3/4 and definitely hints at their ‘small batch, handmade’ formula. They are mostly black with a bright green stripe down the middle.
As I popped one in my mouth I wondered about how long it would take for the chili to ‘hit’. To my surprise the first thing that I tasted was the watermelon. They really do have a nice watermelon flavor. After about ten seconds though I started to feel the burn of the Jolokia. For those readers who have never tried a ghost chili I find them to have a very ‘sharp’ heat, like lots of tiny needles. While that’s just been my experience with them I’ve had a few friends agree. The candy seemed to hit its peak at about the 45 second to one minute mark and from then on it was a steady, intense heat that lasted as long as you were willing to hold the piece in your mouth. If you enjoy spicy food at all, these would probably be a good treat if you wanted a pick-me-up during the day. Warning here: don’t try to crunch these babies, the heat will bite you back for it as you’ve just exposed lots more surface area.
Now for our main event, our title fight….the Vertigo. I was a bit afraid to these to tell you the truth as I’d seen what they could do to some chili veterans on YouTube. After reading the ingredients its easy to see why their reputation precedes them. They contain five separate chilies and out of them the ghost chili is the MILDEST. Compared to the watermelon variety, this package smells like pure pepper when you tear the seam open. The size of the bits remain the same except the welcoming green stripe is replaced with a bright orange-red. These guys….mean BUSINESS.
So it was with great caution that I dropped one into my mouth. I’d venture to say that you get about 5-10 seconds of ‘Oh well that’s not SO bad’ before the heat cranks up, and let me tell you, these go 0-60 faster than an Enzo Ferrari. I was honestly staggered at the heat level that a half inch piece of hard candy could deliver. These are violently hot! Beads of sweat formed on my forehead, my knees became a bit wobbly, and I had to sit down and concentrate on the task at hand. This is not a candy….this is a CHALLENGE! The heat was unrelenting; as long as I dared to hold on to that little chunk it brought more and more fire to the party. Even after they completely dissolve (which seems an eternity!) you’re still going to feel them for good while longer. In my case it took about 30 minutes for the burn to wear off, and even then I was acutely aware of what had happened.
Overall I’d give both of these candies high praises! They both showcase the power of these peppers very well and produce mounds of heat with no artificial additives. I’m a big fan of natural heat that boy do these deliver! I’d consider the watermelon variety a solid everyday snack for the chili enthusiast. However, save the Vertigo’s for that special occasion that you want to push your boundaries. And trust me, that moment WILL come, where you’ll look over at the black package, and dare yourself to do it again.
Rating: Will Buy Again