At this time of year, when you cannot find fresh Chillies easily, the only solution is to buy dried either in powder, flakes or whole pods but here we have something in between flakes and whole pods. From The Love of Chilies comes their freeze dried Pequin Chilli “Chunks” for want of a better word.
These Chillies are packaged in a rather attractive black metal tin which contain approximately 9 grams of Chilli chunks. The tin comes with a black elastic band holding on the main label which is tightly wrapped around the tin and contains all the information about the company.
The Love of Chilies state that their quest is “To get the best Chillies on your (and our) table so we shall see whats inside.
The website states the following;
“We started The Love of Chilies because we love fresh chilies and wanted to find a way to preserve not just their spice, but also their flavor. We were frustrated by the dried chilies available out there.
It took two years to find the right chilies and the best process.
Our chilies are grown on the Finca la Sarantontona, a farm on the Spanish Canary Island of Lanzarote. The Finca is run by a family dedicated to fair trade and organic farming. Conditions on the windy and dry volcanic island are harsh, creating intense flavors in whatever manages to grow there.
Freeze dried for perfection
Our chilies are a Pequin variety, known to be very hot. It is impossible to pick them with machines.
Thanks to the food scientists at the Technical University in Berlin, we tested many different preservation techniques. The best results, by far, were achieved through freeze-drying, which maintains the unique flavor of our chilies.
As soon as fruits are cut they react with oxygen. For that reason, all of our chilies are hand cut in the processing area and immediately freeze dried.”
Once the jar is open, the Chillies inside are a nice orange colour and have been sliced into 3-4mm pieces, and they taste very nice. They would be good to add a decent kick to stews and asian cooking. It’s difficult to say much more really. I have to say that as these come from Lanzarote there is an issue of extra cost and for those concerned about the environment, the carbon footprint of shipping around the world in 9 gram containers.
There is no doubt that Lanzarote sounds like a good place to grow Chillies due to the harsh conditions with relentless sun and little water, but certainly here in the UK although we may not have the best of growing conditions, there is no shortage of quality UK grown dried Chilli pods, either whole, flakes or as powders for those wanting them to cook with. The company is based in Germany so it may be more difficult to obtain quality chillies there?
The Love of Chilies are making the most of an environment in which other crops may not survive, they clearly have a passion for what they are doing which is great, but I do have doubts about whether there is a market in the UK for such a product.
You can buy the Chillies in a tin direct from The Love of Chillies website
The 9 gram tin will cost 14 Euros (currently just over £12) including shipping to Europe or 2 x 10 gram refill packs for 14 euros too. I have to say I was a little shocked by the prices.