October 2012

Over the last couple of years there has been an explosion of new varieties/hybrids of chillies emerging from all over the world. There is a very competitive race to come up with a new stable variety with a unique feature. The most common required trait is of course the heat level, being that there is a World Record up for grabs. New varieties seem to just appear out of nowhere and there is sometimes scepticism surrounding a new strain.

The truth is that, to produce a stable strain which grows true to its parent takes many seasons, it is not a quick process by any means.

So here we have the Bubblegum 7 Pot,

The Bubblegum 7 Pot displaying the Red Cap and Stem

Before I go any further I must add that seed from this chilli has not been officially released, but here at Chilefoundry we get emails asking about it’s availability all the time. As you can see from the photo, it has a rather unique feature which I guess makes it desirable amongst Chilli growers.

The “cap” around the stalk is much larger than most other varieties and can be bigger than the one pictured, but the most striking feature is that as the pod ripens, the cap and a certain amount of the stalk reddens too!

At Chilefoundry, we have been lucky enough to be sent one by Jon Harper who is the “Father” of this variety, based in the UK, he has been growing this and a lot of other Hybrids for a number of years. It is this particular Chilli that has generated the most interest recently. It is a very very rare chilli to get hold of with the true BG7 characteristics.

Jon called it Bubblegum because he thought it had a taste of the Bubbaliscious Bubblegum. I tasted the one pictured above and although Jon told me that it wouldnt be as hot due to the temperature drop affecting the SHU’s, I was certainly stunned by its heat, I couldnt pick out the Bubblegum flavour but that was due mainly to the fact that my mouth and throat were on fire!

Although Jon has crossed the Red Moruga Scorpion with a Yellow 7 Pot both ways, he believes the BBG7 to be a mutation/variation of the Moruga Scorpion. A simple explanation of crossing the varieties is having a plant of each variety, and then pollinating the flowers of each with the pollen from the other, then you wait for the pods to form, collect those seeds, growing them and repeating the process, keeping the best pods.

The Moruga “Phenotype”, a BG7 without the red cap

 

It can produce quite different results, depending which plant ends up as the male.

One of the reasons Jon hasn’t officially released the seeds for this variety is that some plants will produce more Moruga Phenotype pods, which are actually BG7’s but do not display the red cap and stems, but more characteristics of the Moruga parent.

So if you have managed to obtain seed, it is likely that it grew a Moruga Phenotype if the pods didnt display the reddened cap. The other reason for not releasing seed is that the seed fertility rate is currently less than 50%, Jon isn’t sure why at present, so if he can improve that for next season, maybe official seed will be released.

Here’s Jons guinea pig, Paul Tonkin doing a video review on the BB7 last year:

In addition, if you happened to attend FieryFoods UK in Brighton this year and watched the Chilli eating competition, you will have seen Jon’s Super Hots being held over head and consumed by the competitors. The final round on Day 2 ended on the “Borg 9” which is another of Jon’s Hybrids currently being developed, which is a Hybrid cross between the Bubblegum 7 and a Naglah!

The Borg 9 – A BG7 crossed with a Naglah

Jon named this the Borg 9 because at the time he was was trying to name it, Ernest Borgnine died, and apparently it is the name of the font used for the helicopter in Airwolf! A bit of Chilli trivia there for you!

Anyway, hopefully we will expect to see the Bubblegum 7 Pot officially released sometime next year if Jon can get the seed viability levels up.

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Chutneys are something that remind me of my childhood, with the aroma of onions from the garden frying and the spices rising into the air. My mother used to make an amazing Chutney in the Autumn  for use over the winter period and Christmas, and A Bit Chilli are trying to tap into the Chutney market with their range of Chilli dipping chutneys.

Here we have their Serrano Smokey Chutney, somewhere in the middle of their range heatwise.

It comes in the standard jar you would expect to find used for dips bought from the supermarket. The label is very yellow, nothing wrong with yellow, but the majority of the label information is white and quite small. This makes reading the ingredients list and the information about the company very difficult.

So to the chutney itself, as I open the jar I get a strong aroma of cinnamon straight away followed by the red onion and the balsamic vinegar. It’s a nice smell and does remind me of my mother’s old chutney recipes cooking away.

Ingredients:

Red Onions (57%) Balsamic Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Serrano Chillies (0.8%), Smoked Paprika (0.6%), Garlic, Cloves, Salt, Black Pepper, Bay Leaves, Cinnamon.

 Jar kindly supplied by A Bit Chilli

The red onion has been cooked well, it has lost its raw harshness and has been softened but still has a slight crunch, it is quite sweet but the brown sugar content accounts for that, and balances the Balsamic Vinegar.

Those two ingredients always go hand in hand.With regard to the heat level, the company makes clear they want to educate the public to the flavour, not just the heat of the chillies out there. I have to say that it’s difficult to detect the flavour of the Serrano with the other strong flavours but the heat is there, admittedly it’s a slight heat but the brand name is “A Bit Chilli” and there is “A Bit” of chilli in there. I haven’t tasted their other flavours of chutney so cannot compare heat levels, but the label says medium. I would class this chutney as mild, there is a slight warming in the mouth but that’s it. This isn’t a negative at all, it will just appeal to a wider audience of chilli “novices”

This would go well in a toasted cheese sandwich or with cold meats, or just used as a dip with a big bag of crisps.

The range of Chutneys are available from the A Bit Chilli website priced at £5.98 ( includes £1.99 Postage )

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(6/10)

 

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Russell from Grim Reaper Foods continues to expand his range of specialist chilli products with the recent introduction of a trio of rapeseed oils. Thankfully Rapeseed oil has come a long way from its historical origins as an oil manufactured to lubricate steam engines.

Over the years more palatable strains have been developed for culinary use but olive oil retains its position as dominant oil in the kitchen due to its favoured use by celebrity TV chefs and the promotion of the Mediterranean diet. Nonetheless cold pressed rapeseed oil (as distinct from the rapeseed harvested to make cheap vegetable oil) has been growing in popularity. Cold pressed rapeseed oil has a mild, delicate nutty taste compared to the stronger fruity / peppery taste of olive oil and also has the added health benefits of containing lots of Omega acids and only half the saturated fat of olive oil.

Anyway, enough of my public information piece and onto the product itself….

Ingredients:  Oak smoked cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil, chilli extract

Bottled kindly supplied by Grim Reaper Foods

As with the other recent introductions to the Grim Reaper product range, the packaging and look of this product really catches the eye. The bold colours and imagery on the glossy label contrasts really well with the golden amber colours of the oil. Plus the tag line of ‘Come burn with me’ adds a nice touch of humour.

Opening the bottle releases a rich smoky aroma, much stronger than I was expecting but nonetheless inviting. The oil is noticeably thinner and less viscous than olive oil as I pour it onto a spoon to try it neat. Tasting it reveals an initial mild nutty taste before the smoky tones begin to dominate and shortly thereafter the burn kicks in at the back of my throat. The burn seems mild at first but quickly builds as I take a few more spoonfuls. I believe the (naturally derived) chilli extract is only rated at ~100,000 SHU but the extract punches more of a kick than the natural heat of a similarly rated chilli pepper.

Some other chilli oils I’ve tried have infused chilli pods in order to impart their heat and flavour to the oil. Russell’s approach in using chilli extract, has allowed a devilish kick to be present without having any chillies present that can spoil either the flavour or look of the rapeseed oil. It’s ‘Incinerator’ tag line is well deserved and the burn and the smoky overtones from the oil continue to linger sometime after sampling the oil.

Of course a product like this isn’t really designed for direct consumption from the bottle, so I’ve been road-testing the product in the kitchen for several weeks now.  It’s fair to say that this is an oil that meets the culinary needs of chilliheads head-on and I’ve been using it with vigour during this time, trying it with pretty much everything I can. I’ve added it to mayonnaise to make a great salad dressing, I’ve added it to balsamic vinegar to make a great dipping sauce and I’ve also used it to cook stir frys and even drizzled it over seasonal vegetables.

The great thing about the extra virgin rapeseed oil is that because of its higher smoke point versus its olive oil counterpart, it can more readily be used the higher cooking temperatures of frying and roasting.

I believe the only thing I’ve yet to try, is using it for roasting potatoes and making Yorkshire puddings – something for this weekend’s Sunday roast methinks!

Available from the (recently launched) Grim Reaper Foods website for £5.00 for a 250ml bottle.

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

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Hey hey my chilli nuts!!! Cast your minds back to June of this year and you may well remember Hot Juan giving us all a heads up on a book coming out called……….

‘Dr Burnorium’s Compendium of Hot Sauces’.

Well today my friends, I have a copy sitting right here beside me.

A handy 13x19cm book which is a great size for your travels and has 40 of Dr Burnoriums favourite hot sauces from around the world. This is not, I repeat NOT!!!!!! A general book filling you with gumpf about the elegant tastes ect.

This book tells you exactly how each of the sauces behave on the taste buds. It will take you on a roller coaster of a ride through the sauces and the makers and each has its very own quirky story and comical value.

But to get into feel for the book you cannot simply go straight into reading about the sauces as I found out when I first picked it up.

You need start at the very beginning, a bit like any normal book really, pillock!! Start at the beginning and you find yourself in the depths of Dr B’s mind and from there you can fully understand and appreciate his language and terminology of the reviews. I mean come on, who the hell can come up with descriptive words for a hot sauce like, Well endowed, good girth? Or hung like a donkey? Brilliant!.

The main producers of the sauces for the book are of course the legendary Blair Lazar, Cajohn, Marie Sharp and David Ashley. A brief update on the old faithful scoville scale before hitting the hot sauce reviews and ending on some awesome recipes. A great read.

I strongly recommend this book for anybody who likes there heat and beyond. Learn about sauces like ‘Wet fart’, ‘Mad dog 357’, ‘Sphinkter srhinker’ and not forgetting the doctors very own ‘Psycho juice’.

Pick up a copy now from Amazon for I believe £9.99 or Dr Burnorium direct and you cannot go wrong. Definitely and informative book with a character of its own. Dr Burnorium  has definitely pulled out all the stops for this book. Thumbs up from me.

So remember guys, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out. Scooby out.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(11/10)
Packaging
(9/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(9/10)

 

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