Trees Can’t Dance – Pennine Fire Hot Sauce

by David Kelly on March 24, 2012 · 0 comments

in Product Reviews

Something I always find interesting when reviewing products is understanding a little bit of the story behind the product, and as with many other chilli entrepreneurs I know Dan May has turned a hobby into a successful business. Having previously been a lighting engineer and landscape photographer, 4 years ago Dan turned his hobby of growing chillies into a full blown business venture that has gone from selling chilli products through farmers markets to national distribution in Sainsburys supermarkets. They now grow ~70 different chilli varieties for use in a range of sauces, marinades and chutneys. And if those snippets of information don’t impress you that much, how about the face that they do all this chilli growing from Northumberland, one of the coldest areas of England with an average annual temperature between 7-9 oC. Given this fact their tagline of being the world’s most northerly chilli farm is justly deserved and gives hope to even the merest of UK hobbyists who think they can’t successfully grow chillies without the sunnier, warmer climes of Southern England

So onto the product review….

Trees Cant's Dance - Pennine Fire

Trees Cant's Dance - Pennine Fire

The sauce comes in a smaller 100ml size bottle but the eye catching packaging & labelling certainly make it stand out despite its smaller stature. The silhouetted tree set against a fiery red sky on the label is very distinctive and the added white tree on the black foiled seal would certainly makes the bottle stands out boldly on any display. The design of the labelling is such that much of the glass bottle is left uncovered allowing the rich red colour of the sauce therein to be clearly seen.

Ingredients: Blended vinegars (27%), Red pepper (26%), Onions, Water, Tomato Puree, Garlic, Spices, Habanero Chillies (2%), Sugar, Salt.

Opening the bottle I can clearly smell the aroma of the red peppers and blended vinegars, as well as getting hints of tomato. Pouring the sauce onto the spoon I can see it has consistency a bit like a smooth salsa but there’s still some texture in the body of the sauce with pulp from the peppers. I can also see small pieces of garlic and flecks of black pepper interspersed.

As I taste the sauce the sweetness of the red peppers is very apparent initially, before the combination of the vinegar and tomato puree comes through too. The flavours of the peppers and tomato have been balanced nicely so that neither is completely dominant. As these flavours recede I can more clearly get the flavours of the onion and garlic in the aftertaste of the sauce, as well as the distinctive taste of the black pepper. There’s a mild tingle at the front of my mouth as the heat from the Habaneros kicks in but this never increases to more than a pleasant warmth, as I consume more of the sauce.

If you’re looking for a different condiment to put on a hamburger or bacon sandwich this is well worth trying. The combination of flavours in this sauce will enliven either of these so much better than the standard burger relish or ketchup would, plus there’s that little bit of piquancy for that added dimension. Available for the princely sum of a mere £1.99 from Trees Cant’s Dance Foods.


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