November 2012

Well winter is here, we’ve had huge floods, frost, some snow earlier this month, and more is likely to come, so what should we do in these times? Many folk would think that a nice hot bath is a good idea, and to honest I would normally agree with them, but there is an alternative. The Roman City of Bath’s annual (and rather wonderful) Christmas Market has begun and runs to the 9th December.

This year there is extra chilli fun going on, in the main area there is the well known Upton Cheyney Chilli Co, who range of chilli sauces, chocolates have received some fantastic reviews here on the Chile foundry. Its also the last chance to snag a bottle of the ‘Megalodon’, not only does this sauce boast the best ever label design, (by Becky Hamblin) its one of the best tasting naturally hot sauces, being 7-Pot based.

Very close to them is the Bath Pig, whose Chorizo and sausage products are mouth wateringly wonderful. It’s also (maybe) the only sauce to have its own appreciation society on facebook

Should you head up into the town, there is a new extension to the market, into Milsom Place, where there are more chilli delights,

Matt Simpson of Simpson’s Seeds will be there, from Thursday 29thNovember to Sun December 2nd, and has made a special range of limited edition sauces for the market, 3 of them have a Roman theme,

The mildest one, ‘Centurion’, and then its gets hotter with ‘Gladiator’ and ends with ’Sillius Soddus’! Who said Monty Pythons Life of Brian was not a good history teacher!!

There are a few other specials including ‘Mellow Cello’, ‘Jalabanero’, and the award winning ‘Horny Goat’, which is now available with or without garlic. It’s also a first time outing for the ‘Fruity frog’, and the very popular ‘Lemon Curse’ makes a return, hotter still is Peachy Peachy, a combination of the Peach Habanero and well, peaches.

Finally, as it’s the season to be cheery, Matt has made the ‘End of the World’, a hot one, made with a mixture of Fatali Habanero and Dorset Naga. This level of heat is a bit of a departure for him, as his motto is ‘Putting flavour first’.

The market also features The Chilli Hut, a new chilli emporium which has just opened in the city, see earlier article for details, so it sounds like if you are lucky enough to live in that part of the world, then the Market is the place to go for lots of chilli treats

{ 0 comments }

Dedicated chilli shops are still a rarity in this country, ChilliPepperPete being the one that stands out, but there’s a new contender who opened their doors yesterday. Residents of Bath are about to get a red hot cure for the winter blues as The Chilli Hut opened in Green Park Station, unsurprisingly this shop will be dealing exclusively with chillies and chilli based products.

They will also be trading at the Milsom Place Christmas market until the 9th December if you can’t wait to try some of their fiendishly hot condiments. This crazy shop will be selling a huge variety of incredibly hot specially imported face-melting sauces which they tell me include the hottest chillies and chilli sauces in the world.

I spoke to Simon Francis, the owner, about the possibly dangerous heat levels of their foodstuffs:

I have to admit we do have some seriously hot sauces but rest assured that we also sell lots of delicious condiments which are just tasty rather than painful including some really amazing locally produced stuff. We’ll be having tastings every single day so people can come down and see what it’s all about, anyway we can guide you to a heat level you can handle although I’d probably recommend going way beyond what you can handle to be honest”.

Simon went on to say that in his opinion Bath has been sorely lacking this kind of establishment and that they would be doing as much as possible to promote this pain inducing fruit with promotions and events such as chilli eating contests, especially with the Bath Chilli Festival happening next year. Not that I’ll be taking part in that competition!

So there you have it, a new chilli shop in the South West of England, sharing the chilli love which cannot be a bad thing, every town should have one! The Chilli Hut is already stocking quite a range of products but Simon has said that if there are any Chilli sauce producers out there who would like their products stocked, then send an email to the address below.

Simon Francis

Tel:07901 717224

Web: www.Bathchilli.com (under construction)

Email: info@bathchilli.com

Twitter: @bathchilli

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Chilli-Hut/106546489508889

{ 2 comments }

Here at Chilefoundry, we are all for promoting new ideas and innovation in the Chilli world and there seems to be no shortage of expertise in this area. One avenue which can help, is Kickstarter.com, a funding platform for funding creative projects. We have featured a Kickstarter project before but this appeal is from Snack Jockey Foods 

Anjers De Moneg, owner of the company has created a cardboard packaging solution for their speciality range of peanut butters and here is more detail about his project in his own words;

“The Nutter Butter Triple Pack, is a funky looking, tongue-in-cheek, big kid oriented multipack of our speciality peanut butters, designed specifically for novelty/gift retailers and spicy food specialists. The packs will retail for £20, and will put a big silly smile on the face of anyone receiving one!

The carton will contain 3 x 300g jars of Nutter Butter (UK name only) – our chilli honey variety, in Mild, Regular & Hellfire heat variations. The back of the packs are done in the style of a kids puzzle book or comic annual, and feature a crossword puzzle (which can actually be completed!), maze and joke corner.

We have recently had our products taken on by a very well known U.K based online gift retailer, and they will be hitting the shelves in December. They have also confirmed they will take stock of this item as soon as it becomes available. Several other U.K gift shops are also eager to take stock of this product, along side our existing stockists in East Sussex, and we estimate initial sales of these to fall between 100 – 200 packs between Jan & Feb 2013.

The only thing holding up production, is the cost of the cardboard multipacks themselves, which have to be bought in very large quantities to make them affordable. As we’re a small independent company with not much capital, it would mean having to wait a bit longer than we’d like before we could launch this product ourselves, which is why we decided to do this Kickstarter campaign.

So far, we’ve managed to create our entire product range from scratch, without any funding from banks, and we hope to keep it that way! The only financial investment we’ve ever taken has been from family members who wanted us to succeed. Being a part of the 1st wave of Kickstarter campaigns to launch from the U.K is really exciting, as we have watched with admiration at the success and ingenuity of the U.S led ones, and have been counting the days till we could do one ourselves.

It means a great deal to us, to involve the people who already buy our products and support us in our business ambitions, and hopefully we can gain new recognition in the process. We wholeheartedly believe that community based funding is the future for all small businesses looking to get a leg up, and we’re quite proud to be a part of the revolution!

Anyone who takes a glance at our artwork will notice the awesome ingredient characters we had designed exclusively for us by the amazing Dean Murray. Our heavy metal aficionado marshmallow character ‘Mr Moshmallow’ is the basis for our limited edition foam rubber keyring, and will be available as part of the rewards also.

All the groundwork has been laid before seeking funds, and the risks as we see them, are minimal. We have a steady stream of orders for our peanut butter, and the pack contents are more or less always in stock. So content supply isn’t an issue.

Once the cardboard manufacturers have been paid, we should receive 5000 cartons within a fortnight, which if our campaign is successful, should be around the middle of January.

Our biggest concern is simply with receiving the cartons in a timely fashion. as the aftermath of Christmas is notorious for delays. To avoid disappointment, we have estimated delivery of completed multipack rewards for Feburary, although we are hoping it’d be by the end of January”

And here is the promotional video to accompany the appeal

As with other kickstarter projects, they only have a limited time to reach their target of £8640 in just under a month from now. Depending on how much you pledge towards the project, you will receive something back. The pledge levels start at £1 and go up to £50 (or more) where you get a completed set with personalised labels.

I think these sort of things should be encouraged, not everyone has the opportunity to get on Dragons Den so here’s the next best thing and if you pledge you can get some satifaction knowing you have helped out a UK small producer.

Here is the direct link to the campaign for you to pledge whatever you can

{ 0 comments }

Aji Amarillo is a variety of chilli pepper which originates from South America. Despite being relatively unheard of in the UK, these peppers have long been an essential ingredient in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine. In fact, rock carvings from the Moche civilization show that these peppers were highly regarded almost 2000 years ago.

Rico Picante are relatively new to the chilli industry, but their authentic Peruvian sauces have already received several accolades. Today I will be reviewing their Amarillo sauce which landed a gold, 1 star award in the 2011 Great Taste Awards.

As I pick up the bottle, I can’t help but feel that I should be wearing sunglasses. The sauce is bright yellow and its vibrant colour conjures up thoughts of warmth and sunshine. The label is also very striking and my attention is instantly drawn to the Rico Picante and Great Taste logos. The mosaic border which adorns the top of the label is a nice touch and helps make the product look very enticing.

Taking a moment to admire the rest of the label, I notice that the product name isn’t immediately obvious as the light text on a yellow background is a little difficult to read. There is also a “Peruvian Chilli Peppers” emblem which makes the front of the bottle look a little cluttered. Both of these are minor criticisms and the overall presentation of the product is very good.

Ingredients: 

Aji Amarillo (70%), Vinegar, Vegetable Oil, Water, Garlic, Salt and Citric Acid

Bottle kindly provided by Rico Picante.

As I remove the cap, the familiar citrus tones of the Amarillo chilli emanate from the bottle. There is also a hint of garlic, but the chilli is the dominant aroma.

The sauce pours easily from the bottle with no coaxing required. I try a small spoonful at first and take time to savour it. I am promptly greeted by the delicate flavour of the Aji Amarillo chilli. There are undertones of garlic too, but they are nothing but complimentary. With such a high percentage of chilli making up this product, I would be disappointed if the subtleties of this chilli had been lost. Fortunately, the balance of flavours is superb.

The Aji Amarillo chilli registers around 40,000 SHU on the Scoville scale, so this sauce is pleasantly warm. I think the medium rating Rico Picante have given this product is appropriate.

During the past week I have used this sauce habitually. It works equally well as both a table sauce and a cooking ingredient. A few months ago, I remember seeing a recipe on Saturday Kitchen which called for the use of Aji Amarillo paste. At the time I was unable to source any, but this sauce would make a perfect substitute. The Rico Picante website also has some great Peruvian recipes including Tuna Ceviche. Personally, I am looking forward to mixing this with some mayonnaise to make a dip for some prawns or crayfish tails.

A 150ml bottle of Rico Picante Amarillo will set you back around £3.50, but I consider this to be good value given the high chilli content of this sauce. You can purchase Rico Picante products from Fortnum & Mason and several online retailers including ChilliPepperPete, Scorchio and The Devils Garden

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

 

{ 0 comments }