Junk Food Review: I Tried "Sriracha Cotton Candy" and the Verdict Is NOPE

It's officially time to stop putting Sriracha on things.

In the hallowed annals of flavor trends, there are many ingredients we could have done without: Strawberry-kiwi. Acai berry. Even the ever-ubiquitous bacon. But we have never, ever turned up our tongues at the iconic hot chili sauce known as Sriracha.

We squirt it on our avocado toast, our veggie frittatas, our salads. We stir it into our Chex mix, and put it on our Lays, and even blend it into our hot chocolate. So it should only follow that it would pop up in our… cotton candy? Packaged cotton candy?! Okay then.

Because we are Junk Food journalists and it is our sworn duty to try all new products no matter how horrifying they may seem, we went ahead and purchased the questionable candy. We hate to say it — because we truly have an undying love of Sriracha — but something about the combo of hot sauce and spun sugar was, y’know, kinda off-putting.

It sat on our counter for a week. And then another week. And then another week. Its sparkly red bag taunting us. “What’s wrong?” it mocked. “You guys a little scared of some SUGAR AND SPICE?!”

Finally, we declared it D-day and tore open the package, and what lay within was worse than we could have possible imagined.

The “cotton candy” had disintegrated into four compact nubbins of pink sugar. Whether that’s just the nature of the product, or its time spent in our kitchen, or its duration on store shelves, we’ll never know. But we do know that said nubbins tasted nothing like cotton candy, nor Sriracha, therein betraying the entire concept.

The package smelled strongly of something like Strawberry Shortcake’s shampoo, and its flavor mirrored its scent: strawberry, saccharine, a little tart, and a lot of soap. No spice, no heat. (One nubbin, however, boasted a juicy center (ew) that had a bit of a peppery appeal, so perhaps the whole of the Sriracha had been reduced to that filling?)

“There will be no repeat customers for this product,” my husband declared, before eating the entire bag like the trash compactor that he is. And then: “Actually, it kind of grew on me. Sort of like strawberry gum that you try to chew but then you just swallow whole.”

A more perfect summation, we cannot write.    

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