February 2012

Top 10 UK Chilli Web Sites

We are very please to be at the top again this month, all the sites have improved there numbers this month, we moved up 2000 places in the overall UK web sites to 15,210, that may sound a long way from the top, but all the site we check are speciality sites.

It is great to see ChilliPepperPete up in the top ten in at No. 8 and a big move for MexGrocer.co.uk as they popped up 3 places to number 5, just outside the top 10 Simpson Seeds are at No. 12 after appearing for the first time in our top 10 last month. Also just outside the top 10 was Jules and Sharpie at No. 11 I don’t think we have seen them in the top 20 before so this is also a big jump.

Pos Site UK Rank World Rank Links
1 www.chilefoundry.co.uk
15,210
374,273
177
2 www.hot-headz.com
17,597
378,937
140
3 www.dartmoorchillifarm.com
18,277
527,518
36
4 www.scorchio.co.uk
30,319
576,950
110
5 www.mexgrocer.co.uk
48,470
1,516,865
112
6 www.coolchile.co.uk
62,118
1,993,116
157
7 www.chileseeds.co.uk
78,457
873,247
177
8 www.chillipepperpete.com
94,153
2,396,251
75
9 www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk
122,145
947,594
161
10 www.worldofchillies.co.uk
162,122
2,164,681
27

This is based on data from Alexa (data recorded on 28/02/12).
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From Scovilla comes a hot sauce dedicated to what is every chilli fan’s saviour – the Scoville rating scale and the man who invented it: Wilbur T Scoville. It’s a shrine to the measure that now dictates what is the hottest of the hot – and that may or may not be the almost newly crowned Moruga Scorpion.

Scovilla's Wilbur

Scovilla's Wilbur

This is probably teaching the readers of this website to suck eggs, but perhaps you’re a newbie, in which case this isn’t wasted space. Wilbur decided there was a need to measure the sting of a chilli’s heat and did so by devising a test that measured how much you need to dissolve part chilli in part water before it could be detected. The more water needed before the heat of the chilli kicked in, the hotter that chilli was. And thus the Scoville rating was born. These days the tests are a little more sophisticated, but still the battle for finding the hottest chilli goes on. Enough of the waffle however, it’s time to do a tasting.

The bottle has some interesting artwork crafted by comic book artist Chris Mart, with a pencil coloured like drawing of Mr Scoville surrounded by chillies. It’s a limited edition run with 1,500 bottles made, each labelled with its number in the batch. It’s reddy-brown in colour with a middling thickness that makes it pourable without being runny.

On the nose it isn’t too bad considering it is an extract sauce, with the aroma of the distinguishable and pungent Naga being the dominating fella; it doesn’t punch you in the face with its smell, but this isn’t for the faint-of-heart.

Ingredients: Habanero Peppers, Naga Peppers, Onion, Chilli Extract, Salt, Vegetable Oil, Chipotle Peppers, Acetic Acid, Xanthium Gum, Liquid Smoke, Passion Fruit Essence.

Bottle kindly provided by Scovilla

The first taste on the tongue is that of the Naga, but this soon disappears as the heat kicks in and builds up. The burn is all across the tongue, the lips, the gums, the top of mouth and down the back of the throat. It continues to climb as it burns the stomach and it feels like it rises back up the oesophagus. There’s a disappointing lack of flavour though, sure there’s a lot of heat, but I was expecting a bit more from a sauce labelled after our founding father.

Wilbur is a hearty super-hot sauce and there’s certainly nothing bad about it, but really other than the nicely crafted label, there’s nothing to distinguish it from a dozen others either. At £8.95 ( from Cheeky Chile ) for a standard 140 ml it’s pretty expensive too – so this is perhaps one for the completionists to sit on the collection shelf.

Flavour
(4/10)
Heat
(10/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value
(3/10)
Overall
(6/10)

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About a week ago I popped into one of my favourite suppliers The Chilli Shop in Brighton Marina to see Frank Jay the owner and pick up some supplies. Frank is a great person always has time for a chat and to suggest ideas on how to use any of the huge range of chilli based produce he sells. I was lucky enough to walk in just a he taken collection of a new sauce from Hot-headz and we spent a good while discussing its merits and how it could be used.

Stuart Webster's Enchiladas

Stuart Webster's Enchiladas

Who Dares Burns! Chipotle Con Queso is a brand new sauce and unique in the market place, in the most simple terms it is smoky chilli cheese sauce, I am informed that in the US it is used as a dipping sauce with Nachos which once you’ve tasted it makes sense, the initial flavour is a very mild, smooth cheese very subtle. As the cheese disappears you get a great big kick of smoked chill that builds in power and leaves the most enjoyable flavour in your mouth, to be honest I was shocked the idea of the sauce had initially done nothing for me. I’ve had several friends try it and everyone’s reaction is the same, initial shock at the idea and then a big smile once they’ve tried it, it just works.

I decided that just using it for Nachos wasn’t going to work for me so looked at some ideas for how to use this uniquely special sauce, Enchiladas seemed like the perfect solution so I set about creating recipe. And this is it.

Cooking time: 1 hour | Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 300g Lean minced beef
  • 1 Medium onion
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tin chpped tomatoes
  • 3 Medium tortilla
  • 1 Jar Who Dares Burns! Chipotle Con Queso
  • 200g Strong cheddar cheese

Method

Finely chopped the onion and garlic and add to a medium hot frying with the cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper, make sure the pan is large enough to take the mince and tomatoes. Soften the onions and garlic stir regularly; this stage should take around ten minutes.

Once the onions and garlic are ready add the mince, keep turning it over until the mince is brown all over than the onions and garlic are thoroughly mixed in. This should take around another five minutes.

Now add the tinned tomatoes, mix everything together and cook on a medium heat for around another 10-15 minutes. You want to cook off quite a lot of the liquid and insure all the ingredients have had an opportunity to combine flavours

Now simple follow the photos, put three tortillas into a baking dish as shown. Add the mince to fill each of the tortillas and fold over the tops to create little parcels. Cover with the jar of Who Dares Burns! Chipotle Con Queso and then finish with cheese.

Now place in an oven at 220c for around 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

A huge thanks to Frank and the Chilli Shop for introducing me to this fab sauce, to Hot-headz for bringing it to the UK and Natalie for her help with developing this recipe.

Enjoy

Stuart Webster Photography provide Food, Lifestyle and Commercial photography services throughout Hampshire and the UK.

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On a recent visit to Wahaca, we found what looked like little packets of matches in the waiting area..

Wahaca Seedsticks

Wahaca Seedsticks

 

As you can see they did not turn out to be matches at all, but SeedSticks, a promotional idea from  a company called Sow Easy, these packs contains Serrano chilli seeds, but they could be almost any seed.

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