2013

Back in January we reviewed Wiga Wagga’s Chilli Sauce and were impressed by its flavour. Since then they have scooped their first two Great Taste Awards including a 2 star award for their Wiga Wagga Chilli Paste.

I’m sure a few of our readers will have just read the previous paragraph and thought Wiga who? Well for those of you who missed our review at the beginning on the year here’s a quick snippet about the company.

Wiga Wagaa are relative newcomers to the UK chilli scene and were founded by owner Victor Nwosu in July 2012. Victor has drawn inspiration from his travels across Africa, Asia and Europe to create a range of products which deliver a fusion of the flavours he experienced.

Recently you may have heard Victor on BBC Radio Newcastle or had the pleasure of meeting him at a chilli festival such as The Great Shoreham Chilli Fest 2013.

Today I’ll be taking a look at something different from the Wiga Wagaa range – Wiga Wagaa Chilli Oil. In the last couple of years chilli oils have become quite popular in the UK, but this is the first product I’ve seen made with sunflower oil.

Before I get started with the tasting, let’s see how the product looks. The oil is presented in a 110ml square bottle with a large plastic cap and vibrant orange labels. The labels have a quality finish to them and have been applied to two sides of the bottle.

The front label features the company’s logo, a heat rating and a general description of the Wiga Wagaa product range whilst the rear label contains an ingredients list, contact details and even more information about the product range. There is also a dried bird’s eye chilli suspended in the oil which is a nice touch.

I found the ingredients list a bit hard to read on this product as a lot of information has been crammed onto the back of the bottle. Personally, I think this product would benefit from a single large label covering 3 sides of the bottle as it would allow the information to be better presented. Some simple recipe suggestions would be a nice addition too.

Ingredients:       Sunflower Oil (47.3%), Water (14.2%), Onion (9.4%), Ginger (9.4%), Scotch Bonnet Chillies (9.4%), Soy Sauce (4.7%), Sugar (2.3%), Garlic (1.4%), Seasoning (1.5%), Salt, Herbs, Preservatives (Sodium Ascorbate, Potassium Sorbate).

Bottle kindly provided by Wiga Wagaa.

Upon opening the bottle I am greeted by a waft of enticing aromas. It’s hard to identify the individual ingredients, but the onion, ginger and garlic are most prominent. The smell reminds me of stir fried vegetables which is not surprising given the ingredients which have been infused into this oil.

I pour a little oil onto a spoon and take a moment to inspect it. The oil is clear, but more golden in colour than other sunflower oils I have used. Upon tasting the oil I am again reminded of stir fires and Asian cuisine. The fusion of flavours is nicely balanced whilst the chilli provides a decent kick of heat that lingers for quite a while.

I have since used this oil in stir fries, salads and homemade hummus. In all instances, the chilli oil imparted a lovely flavour. Sunflower oil is very versatile and I’m sure this product could be used to liven up a lot of other dishes too. There’s even a recipe for sweet & salty chilli popcorn on the Wiga Wagga website.

Wigaa Waga Chilli Oil is currently priced at £3.25 which is reasonable given that most chilli oils we’ve reviewed have been priced between £5 and £8 for a 250ml bottle. You can purchase this product online from Corbridge Larder or find it at one of the many Wiga Wagaa stockists.

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

 

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Burning Desire Foods is a Brighton Hot Sauce company started in 2011 and have been making tantalisingly delicious hot sauces ever since. The sauces are all made in small batches with emphasis on both flavour and heat. Some of their hot sauces are mellowed to develop a unique and distinctive flavour, slow cooked for a deep intensity, while others go straight for the chilli hit. All of the sauces are completely natural and vegan and do not contain any artificial colourings, flavourings, or preservatives.

I suspect the sauce I have been given to try falls in the latter category looking for the chilli hit. Today I have in my hands a bottle of Burning Desire Scorpion sauce batch number 001! This is an addition so new to the Burning Desire range, that at the time of writing this review, even their website has no information in the sauce itself.

 Ingredients that mean business:

Red Peppers, Yellow Peppers, Onion, Celery, Jonah 7 Pot, Orange 7 Pot, Red Wine Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Garlic, Dark Muscovado Sugar and Sea Salt

Bottle kindly supplied by Burning Desire Foods

Scorpion Hot sauce is made with the world’s hottest chilli the infamous Trinadad Scorpion. The heat of the Trinidad Scorpion is intensely powerful and not for the feint hearted, and has flavours of apricot, pineapple and honey. The bottle suggests using on any food that needs a lot more ‘sting’…..

The label has a cool scorpion picture on it and the extravagant and indulgent Burning Desire Food logo. All bottles in his range have the same shape so look nice next to each other as a set. The sauce does look quite watery in the bottle and a little separated so I had to shake it to awake the pain.

On opening the cap, amusingly, my cat sitting next to me while writing this review suddenly opens one eye, sniffs the air a couple of times and runs off…. The aroma I get is one of intense fruitiness coupled with impending doom.

You can taste the peppers and celery and there is certainly no disputing this sauce intends to bring the pain and keep on coming. The heat is instant and builds, but when it dies off you are left with an endorphin rush and the flavour. There is almost a sense of sweet and sour with this sauce through the combination of the muscovado sugar and the lemon juice.

The red wine vinegar certainly comes through strongly as a feature, in fact every ingredient keeps darting back and forth in a mixture of intense flavours. 

I wonder how the taste would be altered by using balsamic vinegar instead of red wine. For me this sauce is a little too watery, which I often find limits its applications but as always this is being picky. The description suggests add to anything you need more sting, this is certainly accurate. Apart from tasting this sauce straight for dipping and enjoying the experience, I begin to wonder how this sauce would fair as the ‘secret ingredient’ for finishing off a chilli con carne. It has all the elements to compliment the dish and a scorpion chilli con carne just sounds cool.

Scorpion sauce is a sauce that is enjoyable, tasty and powerful another triumph in their range. Yes you can get hotter but then you are in extract territory and a whole new and different world of pain and pleasure. Hang onto some of that flavour and check out this sauce and the burning desire range at around £5 a bottle.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(8/10)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(8/10)

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Karimix are a company that produce a wide range of table sauces, cooking sauces and pastes, and the products have a very professional look, here we have their Jalapeno Apple Chilli Sauce.

This smoothly blended mix of fine ingredients fill the beautifully labelled 100ml bottle. The Karimix K in a purple and yellow arrangement adorns this quaint cylindrical bottle, filled with information about what you could possibly use this sauce for!  A rich brown sauce, exploding with aromas. Ginger, vinegar and the sweet jalapeno scents pop out to greet you as you open the lid.

This sauce pours quite thinly and reveals a plethora of spices floating about with slightly larger bits of apple flesh bobbing around inside the sweet sauce.I immediately taste earthy onion, overridden very quickly by sweet sweet apple and a sharp punch of heat from the Jalapeno.

For a sauce that says its a medium heat, they aren’t wrong.  It has a heavy vinegar taste that is inescapable.The heat is a fast hitting all over burn that is long lasting and true to the jalapeno style.It certainly leaves your lips warm and wanting more.

Ingredients:

Peppers, Apple (19.5%), Water, Jalapeno Chillies (10.5%), Vinegar, Sugar, Onion, Salt, Ginger, Fruit Juice, Spices, Natural Stabiliser.
Gluten free, Suitable for Vegetarians.

I see this sauce being used well in a stir fry with pork, or as a glaze on a piece of ham/gammon. As a dipping sauce for anything you may need to dip (I think something porous like prawn crackers etc would work really well here).

Available direct from their factory shop, and at the chilli events at £3 a jar

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(9/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(6/10)

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Fat Man Chilli is “committed to growing and producing some of the finest chillies and chilli based products available” It’s always nice to welcome in a new company I have not tried before. The company is growing fast and now established at a number of Farmers and Growers Markets. To find out which ones there is a regularly updated list on their website. The first product I get to try from Fat Man Chilli is their Green Chilli sauce which is apparently a green chilli version of their popular Salsa Media Sauce.

Looking at the bottle you can actually see the ingredients which do indeed look very much like a salsa. I am fond of coriander as a herb, it often goes very well with green chillis so I’m looking forward to this one.

The label looks like it was designed and printed from a home PC but I love the company logo of a walking chilli with a moustache. The label also only covers the front of the bottle allowing you a glimpse of the sauce. If you check the website description this sauce is listed as a Fat Man Chilli Heat Rating 5.

Ingredients:

5% fresh green chilli, onion, cider vinegar, water, tindora, fresh ginger, green peppers, fresh coriander, palm sugar, salt, spices, garlic and finally a very interesting addition of apple sours

Bottle kindly supplied by Fat Man Chilli

I’ll admit I had to look up a couple of these ingredients. Where many basic low heat green sauces would just add in jalapeno, a choice of vinegar, and maybe a couple of spices. Fat Man Chilli has clearly been experimenting and added in a few interesting ingredients and also focused on fresh herbs and spices. Though the percentage content of chilli in the sauce is small, rumour has it there are three different types of chilli used in this secret recipe I would assume jalapeno and Serrano would be part of the mix.

The first sensation on opening the bottle is indeed as the ingredients suggest the essence of freshness! It immediately gets your taste buds going. There are definite citrus undertones to this salsa styled sauce. The first spoonful of this sauce sets off a sensation like there is a part in my mouth. The heat is higher than I expected but still mild. You can feel and taste the coriander which is fantastic.

There is a sharpness of vinegar which maybe could have been stepped down a notch with a little more palm sugar but this does not put me off. I can’t pick out the ginger which I was expecting to overpower things.

The acidity and freshness would compliment a white fish dish and like many sauces if you’re doing a BBQ splash this on your chicken. As this green chilli sauce is not overly sweetened with the palm sugar hopefully that means it won’t catch fire like some other more stick sauces available. I can’t emphasise the word fresh enough with this sauce which is unusual for anything bottled.

I’ll also have to find out what three chillis are used in the sauce now to see if they are influencing the taste too. I guess the sauce could also be used as an alternative to a salad dressing and as part of a salsa verde with your fajitas. I hope the rest of the Fat Man chilli products have this wonderful fresh feel to them too. I will enjoy finding out….

At £3.50 this sauce is competitively priced and you get a lot of taste for your money so its worth checking out which markets the Fat Man will be at.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(7/10)

 

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