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The Skittles brand are frequently putting out new flavor editions, but they often taste too similar to the Original and Sour varieties. Finally, the chewy fruit candy has broken into a whole new taste profile. The new spicy Sweet Heat line from Skittles and sister candy Starburst were supposed to debut in December, but they're on shelves early -- just in time for Halloween.

Hot Skittles
Photo by Amazon.com

When I first saw the Skittles Sweet Heat at Walgreens in San Francisco (they've been spotted at locations nationwide and on Amazon.com), my gut reaction was negative, but after dragging them home to my lair to taste them, a new potential addiction is brewing and I want to get more right away. The flavors are amped up versions of the originals -- lemon (Lemon Spark), orange (Flamin' Orange) and strawberry (Sizzlin' Strawberry), plus Blazin' Mango (my favorite) and Fiery Watermelon (the most subtle).

Individually, the heat stays fairly tame, but if you are used to eating Skittles by the handful, you'll feel the warmth in no time. At first, people who have a low tolerance to spicy foods might get a slightly numb tongue that may not allow them to taste the whole rainbow, but they can also use these to slowly train their palates one packet at a time. Naturally, Skittles wants to get in on the holiday season too, and will release the festive Skittles Ugly Sweater Edition Original and Sour varieties next month, which I hope to hunt down soon.