December 2012

The House of Chilli on the beautiful Isle of Wight will be hosting the first Isle of Wight Chilli Fiesta on 27th and 28th July 2013.

The weekend will be packed with live music from top bands, thrilling entertainment, bars, fantastic food and some of the top Chilli companies in the UK.

The event will also play host to the Isle of Wight heat of the 2013 UK Chilli Cook-off championship hosted by the effervescent Jon Doody.

This year’s event is taking place to help raise money for the fantastic Beaulieu House Respite Centre on the island, which offers short term breaks for children and young people who have severe learning disablilties, challenging behaviours and complex health needs, some of which are life limiting.

Camping and Glamping will be available from Friday 26th through til Monday 29th July. Opening times, ticket information and further details will be announced soon.

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When you sow your Chilli Seed, the main thing you want from the plants is a good crop of Chillis. This can be dictated by a number of factors, some are out of the growers control like the quality of the summer and amount of sun the plants are exposed to, but other key things which factor into getting a great crop is the feeding and watering of the plants and that’s where Greenhouse Sensation have the perfect solution.

The Chilligrow is specifically designed to produce bumper harvests, the SmartReservoir keeps your chillies perfectly fed and watered so that they never dry out or become water-logged.

Here at Chilefoundry the Chilligrow has produced the best most consistent results, all the plants look excellent! This is also something we have heard from other growers. The Quadgrow enables a steady supply of water/feed gets to your plants even allowing you to leave them while on holiday.

The Chilligrow starts at £28.90 for a 3 pot system or £50 for a 6 pot version.

The Quadgrow starts at £42.90 depending on the size of the system you want. Shipping is usually £4.95 but at the moment Greenhouse Sensation are giving free shipping on both products.

To receive free shipping, quote the offer code CHILLI2 at the check-out section of the website, or call 0845 602 3774 to place your order over the phone.

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I, probably like many other chilliheads, started out my introduction to hot sauces through trying the ubiquitous Mclhenny’s Tabasco® sauce. It’s iconic bottle is found in many a restaurant or pantry as an additive to food, with a dash or a few drops being the usual amount needed by non chilliheads to enliven a dish.  As ‘Tabasco® sauce’ is a brand name and registered trademark by McIlhenny’s, no one else is able to able to market their sauce using the ‘tabasco sauce’ moniker. However that doesn’t stop other companies from producing similar sauces using the tabasco chilli pepper and so what we have here is a variation on a theme of that well known sauce.

D’Olancho Chilli SauceD’Olancho chilli sauce originates from Olancho, Honduras in Central America and is imported into the UK by Marsh Trading. Tabasco chilli peppers grown in the area are cultivated, salted and stored in wooden silos to age over a period of time. After this aging process the mash is strained to remove skins and seeds and the paste is then combined with vinegar in order to produce the finished sauce.

Ingredients:       

Red Tabasco Chilli, Salt and Vinegar

Bottle kindly supplied by Marsh Trading

Although relatively simple labelling, the bright green & yellow colour scheme in conjunction with the vibrant red colour of the sauce helps this bottle catch the eye. Rather usually too for a chilli sauce it’s supplied in a plastic bottle rather than glass.

Popping open the stopper lid on the bottle releases a scent similar to McIlhenny’s – a mixture of sweet ‘n’ sour aroma from the peppers and vinegar. The sauce is very thin and with the stopper lid design only a little comes out at a time. Handily though with the plastic bottle you can give it a squeeze if you want a large dosage more quickly. The sauce is a rich red colour and to the trained chillihead eye is easily seen as being a much more vibrant red that it’s well known competitor. I also notice that compared to McIlhenny’s it has a slightly more smoother consistent appearance – the pepper content in D’Olancho’s appears to be dissolved in the vinegar more than I recall with McIlhenny’s , where the pepper content can be seen to be suspended in the vinegar.

Tasting it, I initially get a hit of the natural sweetness & the heat of the peppers before the sharp hit of sourness of the vinegar comes forth. Inevitably in my mind I’m comparing it to the taste of that well know brand. With both sauces having high vinegar content they don’t make for the easiest tasting neat from the spoon but the D’Olancho sauce to my mind has the better balance of flavours.  Yes, there’s the sharpness of the vinegar to go with the flavour of the chillies but the sharpness is a bit more reined in compared to McIlhenny’s, and not as over powering. There’s also a slight woody quality to the sauce which comes out towards the end after tasting the peppers and vinegar. It’s not at all a strong or unpleasant taste (I guess this must come from the ageing process in the wooden silos much like an ageing whiskey absorbs the flavours of the sherry casks it’s matured) but it gives another quality to the sauce than just the raw ingredients listed.

Given the high vinegar content of this type of sauce, it’s less of an all-purpose hot sauce but rather something which works really well as an ingredient /condiment to enliven soups, sauces, pasta dishes or stir fries. You could quite happily ditch your existing traditional malt vinegar and use this as an alternative to season your fish & chips (fries for our US based readers), giving them a little piquancy.

Available direct from the Marsh Trading website  at only £1.95 for a 150ml bottle it represents excellent value for money – it costs around the same price as the standard 57ml of its well know competitor for almost three times the quantity.

Flavour
(6/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (9/10)
Overall
(8/10)

 

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Dear Readers,

As we very rapidly approach the festive season I would like to take this opportunity to thank the readership of Chilefoundry from around the world for visiting us and reading our articles.

I would also like to thank the team, Darth Naga, Marty “Scooby” Arnold, David Kelly, Marty Greenwell, and new recruits Rob House, Clare Cameron and Chris Whitehouse for giving their time to review and write for the site, and for the help given to me taking on the Editor role. Hopefully I have been doing the site justice.

Some of you may not realise that none of the team, including myself gets paid, we all have real jobs to pay the bills and this is a hobby for all of us which we love. So if there are times when there are no new articles for a few days, then please bear with me. I have a 50 hour fulltime job and with all the team family and life sometimes get in the way!

From Saturday 22nd December until the 1st week in January there will be a break of published articles, I may have time to publish the odd article, time permitting, but we are all going to have a well earned rest over the festive season (even though I am working!) and return in the New Year with all the latest chilli reviews and news from around the world. I will however try to get the events diary up to date during this period.

So from all the team at Chilefoundry, I would like to wish everybody a very Happy Spice filled Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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