January 2013

Many of you will currently be sowing chilli seeds, trying to give those superhots a head start to producing loads of pods in the summer. One of the key aspects of good germination is keeping a constant temperature so the seeds have the best possible chance of popping from their casings. Thats where our friends at Greenhouse Sensation come in with their Vitopod Heated Propagators.logo

These propagators have won various awards and have been recommended as “Best Buy Propagator” by BBC Gardeners World Magazine.

The Vitopod has won a load of awards and is used by Alex at Upton Cheney Chilli, Matt at Simpsons Seeds, Joy at Sea Spring Seeds, River Cottage and by most gardening editors including the Telegraph.

The units come with a digital thermostat which can be set from 5 – 30 degrees centigrade for excellent temperature control and are very sturdy in construction.

Greenhouse Sensation are having a very limited sale on the small Vitopod for one week only starting now for a maximum of one week until next friday 18th January.

The small Vitopod is usually £110.90 but for one week only is being reduced to £90, a saving of £20.90

So if you are thinking about buying one, pop over to Greenhouse Sensations website before next friday.

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Wiga Wagaa are not a well know brand, they have a range of three products at present and here we have their chilli sauce. On first impressions, the packaging of the sauce reminds me of the pepperami mascot. It shows an angry looking chilli brandishing an oversized fork. The labels colour scheme is warming so even without the menacing chilli it is clear this falls under the hot sauce umbrella.

Opening the top, I am hit with garlic and the warmth of chilli, it also reminds me of the aroma of a stock cube whilst being crumbled. Looking at the consistency of the sauce this would be more suited as a cooking ingredient as opposed to a dipping sauce. It is very watery and the label states 52.6% water content which is probably why.

The flavour of the sauce is punchy and has depth, I used it with rice but think it would also work very well with meats such as chicken or beef.

Wiga Wagaa also offers pastes and chilli oils. The website also offers recipes and ideas on how to use the products which I always think is a nice touch.

Bottle kindly supplied by Wiga Wagga

Ingredients:

Water, Ginger, Onions, Scotch Bonnet Chillies, Soy Sauce, Sugar, Tomato Puree, Garlic, Seasoning, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Herbs, Preservatives, (sodium Ascorbate, Potassium Sorbate)

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(7/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

 

 

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If you had a new ipad/smartphone or traditional calendar or diary for Christmas, you will inevitably be wanting to plan your year around Chilli Festivals so look no further.Each year the number of Chilli Festivals and Fiestas continue to grow with more popping up all over the UK. Here at Chilefoundry I have been trying to collate as many Chilli related events into one place so you dont have to hunt down dates.

Currently we have 17 different Chilli Festivals listed in the diary, which if you haven’t noticed is over here on the righthandside of the site, the aptly named Chilefoundry UK Chilli Events Guide!

I cant promise to have got all the UK events listed, so if you know of one I have missed then please use the “contact” tab to let me know and I will add it. Apologies to our readers outside the UK for not having any of your events, if you know of any which you would like to see listed then please send me an email.

 

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Chilli is a key ingredient in Sri Lankan cuisine and over 42,000 metric tonnes of dry chillies are consumed in Sri Lanka every year – that’s more than 2kg per person! Perhaps this is why Sri Lanka is known as the “Nation of Smiling People”.

08_IMG_2888Karimix are no strangers to us here at the ChileFoundry. In fact they have been making an award-winning range of chutneys, pastes and sauces since 1984. Today I will be reviewing their authentic Sri Lankan Tomato Chutney which won “Best Chutney” at the Great Dorset Chilli Festival in 2011.

I have seen Karimix at several chilli festivals in the past couple of years and have always been impressed with the quality of their packaging. This product is no exception. I particularly like the contrasting colours of black, orange and white which have been chosen for this label – they are bold and very easy to read. My only gripe is that the mild heat rating of this particular product is illustrated by the outlines of 4 chillies. At a quick glance this gives the impression that this chutney is much hotter than it is. It was not until I looked at their Thai Shrimp Relish that I realised the outlines are filled with colour to depict a higher heat rating.

Moving onto the contents of the jar, I am greeted by an almost curry-like aroma. The sweet tomatoes and fragrant spices are very reminiscent of one of my favourite curries – rogan josh.

Ingredients:

Tomatoes (63%), Sugar, Vinegar, Onions, Salt, Oil, Tomato Puree, Spices, Ginger, Garlic and Chillies.

Jar kindly provided by Karimix.

The texture of the chutney is quite smooth, but some seeds and spices are evident. I think I can spy cumin, nigella and star anise, but I’m sure this is far from a definitive list of the spices used.

Having read the list of ingredients beforehand, I was a little concerned that the vinegar, onion or salt might dominate the flavour, but I needn’t have worried. At first, I am greeted by the sweetness of the tomatoes and a hint of garlic. Soon after, the sweetness is accompanied by the pleasant savouriness of the spices. There is a faint tingle of chilli on the tongue too, but it is very minimal. This is definitely a mild product.

In day-to-day use, this chutney is a very versatile product. It works brilliantly as a condiment or dipping sauce, but can also be used as a marinade or cooking ingredient. A spoonful has certainly livened up several of my meals during the past week.

Overall, there is a lot to like about this product. At £3.50 for a 180g jar it is a tad expensive, but the flavours more than make up for it. You can purchase Karimix products from their factory shop or from online retailers such as Hot-Headz.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(9/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

Note:  This product is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians.

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