hot trail mix
They look angelic, but they’re hot little devils. Photo by Melody Lan.




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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.


September 2006

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Hors D’Oeuvres & Cocktail Snacks

Original Juan: The Sultans Of Sizzle Spicy Hot Cocktail Nuts

If You Like It Hot-Hot-Hot, Here It Is!


If you like things hot, Original Juan is your man.  His “Pain is Good” line of condiments and snacks has a different face, happily screaming in pain. Taste any item and you’ll see why. These are great—if you can take it. (We suggest taking it with a frosty cold beer.)

The “Pain Is Good Snack Pack” trio is not or casual snackers; in fact, “Pain Is Good” products are for people whose favorite condiment is hot sauce. Even though we generally buy our salsa “mild,” we still enjoyed the thrill of these exciting cocktail mixes. They are works of art: hot enough to call the fire department, yet still delicious.

  • Jerk Nuts: Start with something manageable on the heat meter. We love these jerk spices: the clove and allspice shine through: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and onion. Woo hoo, sweet and hot—a wake-up flavoring for peanuts! And only medium on the “pain gauge.” 
  • Hott Nuts: The “pain gauge” warns you the contents are hot, and the habañero sinks right into your tongue.  Ouch!  Pain is good...and this stays on the palate for an hour to remind you just how good it is. Enjoy it with your cocktail...and don’t plain on tasting anything subtle until that hour is u.
  • Hot Trail Mix: Peanuts, almonds and cashews are mixed with Cajun sesame sticks and BBQ Corn sticks. Though equally as hot on the “pain gauge” as the Hott Nuts, the flour and crunch in the sticks mitigate the pain a bit.
Jerk Nuts Hott Nuts Hot Trail Mix
Jerk Nuts Hott Nuts Hot Trail Mix

You don’t have to mainline the nuts: you can spice things up in lighter ways by tossing a few into a green salad, a chicken dish, or rice. We chopped some up and breaded chicken cutlets: the Jerk Nuts were terrific, the Hott Nuts, but hot food-lovers will love that recipe. Just don’t play tricks on anyone and pretend they’re normal barbecue nuts. It isn’t nice!

The 10-ounce cans are $5.06 each; for a few cents extra you can get them gift-packaged in the official Sultans of Sizzle Gift Pack. The packaging is swell: the black and red graphics on brown kraft paper are so cool, people may never even open them. They make a nifty objet d’art, and double as a paperweight.

The rest of the Pain Is Good line includes hot sauces, barbecue sauce, pasta sauces, steak sauce, salsas, microwave popcorn, cheese dip, bloody mary mix and seasonings. Have a hot old time!


Pain Is Good Snack Pack

  • Jerk Nuts
  • Hott Nuts
  • Hot Trail Mix
  • Sultans of Sizzle Snack Pack

Buy online at

Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.

At right, from top to bottom: Hott Nuts, Jerk Nuts, Hot Trail Mix.
Photo by Melody Lan.

Original Juan Nuts