April 2013

Throughout the country there are now a handful of Chilli Shops opening their doors to the chilli community for them to get their Chilli fix. The first and original shop and company to do this in the UK is of course Chilli Pepper Pete’s in Brighton. Started by Miranda and the late great Gandalf of the Chilli world Pete Seymour who sadly passed away last summer.

But his legacy lives on, the company continues to grow and develop with Miranda at the helm, Steve the ‘Sourcerer’ and the rest of the team working hard to fulfill orders or work in the shop in Trafalgar Street, in the North Laines, Brighton,  just down from the Railway Station. You can read my original article of the shop when soon after it opened in 2011 here

Every company, from time to time needs to reinvent themselves and Chilli Pepper Pete is no exception. With a new look website due very soon, Miranda has decided redesign the company logo, pictured below

Coupled with the new company logo, Miranda and the team have decided to re launch one of their top selling and all time classic sauces, Dragons Blood and develop it into a range of 6 different sauces, each having the name Dragons Blood as the main branding but with each sauce being different. These are:

Dragons Blood Hot BBQ Sauce – £4.50            

This is a new take on the previous Smokin’ Chipotle Devil sauce with Chipotle Peppers, Cranberry; Blackcurrant juices as the key ingredients to create a hot fruity sauce which will make any BBQ more interesting!

Dragons Blood Hot Fruity Sauce – £4.50

This sauce is an updated version of the previous Sting in the Tail, the sauce base of Mango and Apricots luring you in but with the kick of Naga Ghost Chillies and Habaneros.

Dragon’s Blood Hot Green Salsa – £4.50

There are not many all green sauces out there, but this is one of the few, although technically a salsa and made with Tomatillo’s and a whole lot of Chilli , it would be great with Nachos.

Dragon’s Blood Hot Naga Sauce – £4.50

This is where we start to build up the heat levels, this sauce is crammed full of Naga Ghost Chillies, the hottest all natural sauce, with the fruity pineapple base which was the classic ingredient from the original Dragon’s Blood.

Dragon’s Blood Original Mega Hot Sauce – £7

Reverting back to the classic Dragon’s Blood, this is definately a sauce for the brave, with 6.4m extract to add the fiery kick.

Dragon’s Blood XXX Ultra Hot Sauce – £10

The title says it all really, if you want it insane, then this is your sauce, with 12m extract, this is the Dragon of old!

These are already available to buy direct from Chilli Pepper Pete. The Dragons’s Blood range now has it’s own Facebook page too.

The new labelling looks fantastic, clear and glossy. We will be reviewing these in due course but if first impressions are anything to go by, they will be a hit that Pete himself would be proud of.

And for those of you local enough to the Brighton shop, Miranda tells me that their Chilli plants should be available to buy from the shop any day now, there is sure to be some unusual varieties available for purchase.

 

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Mark Gervaux, or The Ribman as he is better known on the streets of London, is famed for his amazing slow cooked Rib meat which he sells regularly on Thursday at Kings Cross and Sunday at Brick Lane. But it is his Hot Sauces which are really taking off, particularly the original Holy F*ck!

And it is the demand for this sauce which has prompted Mark to launch a Kickstarter project to try and get enough backers to raise £10,000 by the 25th of May. He wants to buy a shipping container and convert it into a kitchen so he can upscale hot sauce production.

Recently I managed to visit Mark and sample his Rib rolls and you can find that article here.

Now for those unfamiliar with the Kickstarter concept, it is quite straight forward. The project creator sets their target and the investment plan and then once approved, the project goes live (today) Mark sets different levels of backing so anyone can pledge different amounts ranging from £10 up to £1000.

At each different pledge amount, for your investment you will get something different as a thank you for helping reach the target.

For Mark, these range from;

£10 gets you 2 bottles of Holy F*ck

£50 gets a bottle of each of his hot sauces

£500 would get you a free Rib Roll whenever you want from his street food stall for a year.

The top level of backing is £1000 and for that you would get Mark to come to your house or party venue and cook his Ribs for up to 50 people.

There are other pledge levels in between too.

So thats Mark’s plan, here he is to tell you about it himself

The project has only been live for under an hour and there has been just over £500 pledged and 29 backers.

Heres the link to the project page again so you can make your pledge

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1475049250/the-ribman-kicking-it-up-a-level?ref=live

And for those who have not experienced Mark’s sauces, here’s our own Darth Naga reviewing the sauce:

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China Spice is run by John Coupland and Jenny Song, and for those who are not familiar with the name, they are specialist importers of dried chinese chillies, some of which are very rare. Jenny is from Chengdu, Sichuan in China and certainly knows and loves her chillies. She is an accomplished cook and cooks many authentic traditional chinese dishes from her cooking book.

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She is always keen to point out that the Chinese food that we in the west are used to, is so far removed from Authentic Chinese cooking. Most of her recipes are simple and contain at least one variety of the dried chillies they import, this is to bring out the flavour of the chilli as well as the heat.

With this in mind they have a number Chilli varieties for sale, some in larger quantities for sale at a discounted price.

These are:

CHOATIAN JIAO – FACING HEAVEN (BULLET)

Internationally probably the most recognisable Chilli from the Sichuan Province. A medium heat, full flavour with a hint of citrus.

A favourite Chilli of the Godfather of the British Chilli world, the late Chilli Pepper Pete.

CHOATIAN QIXIANG JIAO – FACING HEAVEN 7 STARS

This variety of chilli grows upwards, facing heaven, this is the most one most commonly used in Sichuan for the hotpot and other dishes.

Like it’s big brother (Choatian Jiao) it has a citrus overtone and very is flavoursome, but a higher heat level.

This is a good general purpose chilli. And like all the imported Chillies, they are dried in the Chinese sun to help keep a full flavour, a much better alternative to the usual machine dried Indian/Thai chillies on the market.

XIAN HORNS

These are a fantastic Smokey full flavour medium heat chilli from the area around the first Emporer’s tomb and the Terracotta Army. These can come supplied in strings to hang in the kitchen, or loose.

They will keep their flavour for years and provided they are not in direct sunlight the colour will be bright for a very long time. Just pick a few off when you need them.

 

These Chillies are available in large quantities and are in stock now, so any prospective sauce or chilli pickle maker out there who needs a large amount can get in touch with John and Jenny at China Spice.

All three varieties are available to buy in 25kg packs for a special offer price of £175 which works out at less than £7 per kg.

Obviously they are also available in smaller quantities too, more details can be found here

For Wholesale Inquiries

China Spice
181-189 Junction Rd
Burgess Hill
West Sussex
RH15 0JW

01444 871333

07974 666767

info@chinaspice.co.uk

 

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This Hot Chipotle Sauce is the hottest of a trio of Kan-Kun Chipotle Chilli Sauces. It is described as the closest you will get to a home-made, traditional chilli sauce found only at the most authentic of Mexican family gatherings. There are many chilli sauces around that use chipotle (pronounced chee-pot-lay) or smoked ripe Jalapenos. Many claim to be authentic so how does this sauce compare?

Some authentic sauces are reproduced in the UK from recipes written abroad but on closer inspection to the bottles label, it clearly states that the sauce is made in Columbia.

The website gives some information on the history of the product,

“Rolando Cardenas, the magical power behind the Kan-Kun sauce, learned the art of the perfect chilli mix by sneaking into the kitchen at family dinners and watching, tasting and smelling the age-old recipes that sit at the heart of his family’s tradition.

The steaming hot kitchens were full of stories, gossip and laughter, and little Rolando soaked up the tricks and secrets of the sauces. He then replicated them a thousand times until they were as good as those from his childhood.

The Kan-Kun Mexican Chipotle Sauce uses a secret recipe guarded fervently by generations of grandmas, aunties, and mamas from the Cardenas family”

So things look promising,

Firstly let’s look at the label on the bottle. The packaging of a sauce is very important as it draws the eyes to the product on the shelf or stand, Kan-Kun looks very professional, glossy and the red text match well with the sauce within. The main feature of the label is a Mexican wrestling mask, which is very characteristic of the very popular “Lucha Libre” or “Free Fighting”, a term used in Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries for Mexican wrestling.

The only criticism I have with the label, is that it is quite “wordy”, one side of the main image has all the necessary information on ingredients, nutritional information etc, but the other side talks about the sauces use in a lot of depth and about Chipotle Chillies. I did however learn something that they were once used to test the strength of Aztec warriors!

Ingredients:

Tomato, Chipotle Chilli (26%), Water, Lemon, Salt, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Spices, Vitamin C, Xanthum Gum.

Bottle kindly supplied by Rolomex Foods Ltd

On to the sauce, looking through the glass I can see a deep dark red liquid with some texture and a few visible seeds.

With 26% Chipotle, this is definitely going to be nice and warm but also quite smoky. Once the lid is taken off, I can smell the smokiness. It is interesting that there is no vinegar present, the acid comes from the lemon juice which makes a nice change.

The sauce pours well out of the bottle and has a semi smooth texture, the aroma means my taste buds are now crying out to taste it! The first thing I detect is tomato, not surprising as it’s the primary ingredient, swiftly followed by the chipotle smoky flavour and it’s heat. Then a slight zing from the lemon juice.

The sauce heat is nice and gentle, I cannot compare it to the other two in the set as we have only had the hottest in for review, but it will be a nice heat for the average consumer.

The overall flavour is great and well balanced to give a nice experience. The label suggests using the sauce to marinate meat, pour on pizzas and burgers or as a dip. I personally think it would be fantastic in a bacon sandwich.

It comes in a 150ml bottle and can be purchased from various online shops including Mex Grocer for £2.99 which is a bargain.

Thoroughly recommended.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)

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