Bath Chilli Festival 2014Last year saw the first ever Bath Chilli Festival held on campus at the University Of Bath. Without going into too much detail, the event quite simply fell flat on its face. Not so this year!

Organisers Pete and Rich pulled out all the stops in the run up to this year’s event and I’m pleased to say that it was a huge success. Setting off to go and set up I was only 5 miles out of Stroud, just getting onto the A46 heading south, when I saw a sign post advertising the festival which is some 30 miles away. A good omen I thought!

The University is easy to find and access for set up was hassle free and straight forward. The first thing I noticed was that the show layout this year was far more structured. No great expanses of ground for tumbleweed to roll through! Once it filled up with visitors (and it did) this show had the feel of a summer fete – except with hot sauce, chilli, beer, cider…and sunshine! Yes the weather was kind, which is always a huge advantage.

There was a good selection of vendors from hot sauce companies to curry sauce companies, spice vendors, drinks, chilli plants and seeds, spicy sausages – all the usual, but not so many stands that the product offerings were duplicated. Entertainment was laid on in the main tent with local bands and performers, talks on chilli science, a curry cook-off and later the chilli eating competition run by the Clifton Chilli Club. For full details visit the website: http://www.bathchillifestival.com/index.html

Like a lot of other companies selling there I’m sure, I was too busy to have a proper look around! The show was extremely well attended and what impressed me was the number of “chilli virgins” who came just to see what it was all about. These are the life blood of any show. I always get a buzz from the sheer enthusiasm (and wide-eyed terror when being introduced to the hottest of the hot) that newbies bring to these events. Lots of visitors praised the show without being prompted and many stayed and made a day of it. The queues for the food vendors suggested that they all did good business.

The day seemed to absolutely fly by and breaking down after the show was made all the more easy by the fact that most of us had almost sold out of stock! Luckily my wife was coming to the show so after the first hour I was able to call to tell her to bring more stock and even then I sold out of many product lines. Happy days!

Organising, running and promoting a successful show is far from easy and I think Rich, Pete and all the staff that helped make the show such a success should be congratulated. I certainly hope they do it again next year.

Bath Chilli Festival 2014

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PeppesSauceHot_smOne of the first sauces that has winged it way to us at the ChileFoundry since we reopened for reviews has been Peppi’s Sauce. The sauce comes in a 150ml bottle and has a yellow colour, with hints of red..

On cracking open the bottle there is a lovely smell of mustard, vinegar and chillies, first taste is BANG with the chilli heat, and a good kick from the mustard, this is a good start to the day.

The heat does not last long and it not to extreme, but from such a simple list of ingredients this sauce makes my taste buds start popping, a second spoon is quickly required. again a good hit of heat, now I am truly awake and ready to go.

Ingredients: Pepper, Onions, Vinegar, Water, Mustard, Salt, Sugar.

Supplied by Peppi’s Sauce www.peppissauce.co.uk

The sauce is not thick or thin, it pours well and sticks nicely, idea as a condiment with some beef to replace my extra hot mustard.

Presentation could do with a bit of a work, the label has become marked during transit and it not up to the quality of the product, the web site has contact details, but no way of ordering, some simple PayPal buy buttons could solve this in a few minutes.

At £3.50 per bottle this is pretty good value, this bottle won’t go to waste, roll on the next roast diner.

I would give this sauce a definite BUY recommendation, great flavour, good heat level, not you standard fare.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(6.5/10)
Packaging
(3/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(7/10)

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PLAYBOY magazine and web site have been know for its fine articles, what other excuse would you need to possibly read it, well for me I have found one, they have ranked Hot Sauces.

PlayBoy Top 20 Chilli Sauces

Hot Sauce rankings are a personal thing, but it is always interesting to look at what other reviewers have found and this list brings a few new ones to me. The list is as you would expect very USA centric with all but one sauce being a brand from the USA or marketed in the USA for the USA.

That exception to this is at number 2 on the list and it is local Hot Sauce Hero’s Hot-headz and it is their Serrano Red Chilli Sauce.

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itsi hot-su potsu sauceitsu is a new brand to me so I could not resist buying this bottle of sauce on a recent trip to Sainsburys. It turns out that istu is a brand developed by some of the early pioneers (their words) at Pret A Manger, the have a number of itsu eat-in/takeaway shops in London and spreading. This sauce is part of their healthy, Asian inspired range.

The sauce comes in a soft plastic bottle with a screw release nozzle, similar to the now famous Sriracha sauce. At first taste it is just sweet with a mild chilli flavour, no chilli kick, but a few moment later a very pleasant blend of the chilli, ginger and garlic is spreading around my taste buds. The combination of flavour is truly sublime, I could eat this direct from the bottle with a spoon.

Ingredients: Chilli, Water, Sugar, Tomato Paste, Garlic, Ginger, Roasted Garlic, Modified Tapioca Starch, Salt, Vinegar, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate.

The ginger is not overpowering, the chilli is mild, the roasted garlic just seem to work so well, this sauce is no macho head banger, it is hard to say how much of a surprise this sauce is, I have just tried it with some prawns and I can still take the prawns, but they are enhanced by this sauce. it is not a sweet sticky dipping sauce, but for me I think it could replace them.

Flavour
(10/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(9/10)

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