The Internet is a silly place.
It's spawned dancing hamsters, overly attached girlfriends, pedophilic bears, an unhealthy love of bacon and countless other strange, strange things.
Of course it's also at the center of the capsaicin cult that surrounds sriracha, what is probably the United States' favorite hot sauce.
So, when J&D Foods, the Seattle-based makers of bacon salt and frequent contributor with Web Comic Magician The Oatmeal, announced that they were releasing sriracha candy canes in time for the holidays, I can't say I was surprised.
After all, this is the company that makes sriracha popcorn, sriracha lip balm and bacon sunscreen, if there's one thing they know, it's virality.
What did I expect when the candy canes arrived on my desk? I can't say exactly, but what I can say is that I'm pleasantly surprised.
The sriracha candy canes are good, though they're not amazing, but what candy canes really are? Packaged in sets of 12, the only hint of the on-coming heat is a thin green stripe that pays homage to the cock sauce's green cap. Hang 'em on a Christmas tree, and no one's going to be able to tell the difference. First taste? You might not notice that they're particularly spicy at all. Second and third taste? There's heat there, but it's not debilitating — far from it. These did come out of Seattle, after all (again, ID represent).
Ultimately, the sriracha candy canes rely on the simple fact that sweet + spicy = pretty good. As much as J&D have played up their sriracha connection, the candy canes don't at all taste like the hot sauce (they don't particularly taste like any form of mint either). They're just, for the lack of better descriptive prowess, sweet and warm. The heat, a sort of bland spiciness without very much body or definition, definitely takes the forefront, but they're not any hotter than say a habanero-infused cocktail or Mexican chili candy.
No, the sriracha candy canes are not amazing, but they're pleasant, and when you're dealing with hard candy that you literally hang on a tree and mostly throw away at the end of the season, that's pretty good.
You can get a 12-pack of the candy canes from ThinkGeek for $5.99. That's the cheapest I can find them. Is 50 cents per cane a good price? I have no idea, I haven't been in a position where I've had to price compare seasonal candy just yet, but it seems good to me.
Writer's note: There is one thing that I'm severely disappointed about concerning the candy canes. They make horrible candy cane shanks, but I guess not everyone can be perfect.
Second writer's note: J&D sent these to me for free. They also sent a stick of their new “bacon-scented” deodorant, but I'm not letting that touch me.