June 2013

In the thesaurus, the word ‘Alchemy’ means the transformation of base metals into gold, this term can be transferred into the culinary world quite easily, and here we have Chilli Alchemy with their Red Onion & Chipotle Chutney. Alex and Jenny run Chilli Alchemy and they have a growing range.

Chilli Alchemy Red Onion Chipotle ChutneyNow I am very partial to an Onion Chutney, great with cheese and cold meats etc so how will this one hold up?

The labeling is simple and basic, but also clear and concise. It does the job, my only criticism would be that the company name wording is quite small so isn’t immediately obvious from a branding point of view.

So how does it taste? Once the lid is removed I get a nice aroma of the smoky chipotle and the balsamic vinegar. The onion pieces are a decent size and a nice deep brown colour. It’s clear they have soaked up the main flavours.

All too often, onion chutneys and relishes end up being pieces of onion and some very thin vinegary liquid. But I’m pleased to say that this is not the case, the mixture has been reduced to an ideal consistancy which will enable a spoonful to stay on top of a piece of cheese without becoming a mess in your lap!

So out with the spoon and I can see what I assume are pieces of chipotle pods and the odd chilli seed in amongst the red onion mix. The onion still has good texture, nicely softened and sweet but still retaining enough texture for a little crunch as it is chewed.

Another common problem with onion chutneys is that they can be overly vinegary, and again I’m pleased to see that isn’t a problem here either, whether it’s the use of Balsamic vinegar or the strong chipotle influence or both, it works to allow the red onion flavour through.

Ingredients:

Red Onions, Red Wine, Sugar, Chipotle (3%), Balsamic Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Jar kindly supplied by Chilli Alchemy

The onion flavour is not overpowering and the chipotle chilli gives a nice heat, actually hotter than I was expecting but that is a good thing! This is a chutney which will suit anyone who likes a gentle chilli kick, there is a lasting taste of chilli, but it is well balanced.

Overall this is a very accomplished product from a small producer, and nice to see there are no artificial additives.

Their products will be stocked at Chilli Bugs via their website and on Ebay, Chilli Alchemy will be listing on Ebay very soon.

In the meantime you can contact them on Twitter @chillialchemist or email them at info@chillialchemy.com

The 110g jar sells for £2.55 and there is a 220g jar for £4.00.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(6/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

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Hot-Headz have been around a long time, one of the original Chilli Companies in the UK and their range has grown over the years. This time we have a bottle of their Kickin’ Chicken Wing Sauce and Marinade Mild. A lot of their products are very authentic, taking inspiration from the US where marinades and Barbecuing are a big thing.

The first thing I noticed about the product was the size of the bottle and the extremely professional packaging, it’s clear to see this product is intended for the mass market. It’s the perfect amount of sauce for marinating; I find all too often there is never enough marinade provided in the standard marinating products so it’s refreshing to see a decent sized bottle.

It’s also good to note the versatility of the product it’s not only a wing sauce, it can be used in cooking for grilling, stir frying, marinating or as a table sauce. I have used it as both a table sauce and a marinade for chicken breast and find I prefer it as a marinade not a lot was needed and it bought a subtle yet noticeable flavour to my meal, it worked well with the chicken and was not overpowering.

There was something I was unsure about when trying this as a table sauce I think it may be the natural butter flavour listed in the ingredients but can’t be 100% sure. I do prefer products with more natural ingredients but understand why it is not an all natural product; it would not be practical considering the market it is intended for. It’s more big scale as opposed to a small business type operation thus needing a longer shelf life.

There are 4 different Wing sauces available to buy online at Hot-Headz  they start at mild and go up to very hot, the hot, smoky chipotle sounds very interesting. These all retail at £3.99 which I think is very reasonable considering the 354ml size.

Bottle kindly supplied by Hot-Headz

Ingredients:

Water, distilled vinegar, dried cayenne chilli pepper, salt, natural butter flavour, canola oil, xanthan gum (natural thickener), dried onion, black pepper, less than 1% sodium benzoate (natural preservative).                                                                         

Flavour
(6/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(7/10)

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Good morrow chilli heads. Scooby here with another sauce to titillate the taste buds of all you fellow chilli craving lunatics. Today’s sauce is Hot Bhut Jolokia from Capsicana Chilli Co Ltd which looks to be their hottest sauce on the shelf with a given rating on the bottle of 5++.

Capsicana Hot Bhut JolokiaWe have got a good sized 150ml bottle which looks pretty damn sexy with its black label and sealed top and a very stylish font being used and great rich red band that makes it stand out from the crowd.

The sauce itself is a nice mix of slightly pulpy, but at the same time fairly easy to pour. It has a just off red colour with a touch of orange, and you can see the odd spec of chilli and seed rambling inside the bottle.

But one thing I love about this sauce is the smell. I’ve found at times that some chilli sauces can give a sometimes overpowering aroma of fresh chilli, but not always a nice one. This being a hot sauce with fresh chilli, I am surprised that it smells quite tame. I’ve got a feeling that this is a bit misleading though!, after all it is called Hot Bhut Jolokia sauce. We all know Bhut’s are hot but to put in the title???? Their second hottest sauce is just called Bhut Jolokia sauce. Scared now.

Ingredients:

Chillies (including 4.5% Bhut Jolokia) (43.5%), Water, Barley malt vinegar, Spices (including mustard), Salt, Cornflour, Stabiliser, Xanthan gum.

Bottle kindly supplied by Capsicana

Spoon out so off we go.

Immediately I get a rich fruity flavour and a pretty mild tingle on the tongue. It’s a beautiful flavour but low heat so I tip another spoonful out, but just as I put the spoon to mouth it feels as though someone is fanning the flames of a fire just started in my mouth. The heat is increasing at a fairly rapid rate and for a non extract sauce it is pretty damn impressive on both heat and flavour. With a mild aroma, and low heat initially I could have quite easily blown me balls off if I had taken the second spoon. Damn you Capsicana, that is some good sauce and it’s pretty awesome how it works with the impressive build up of heat.

When this kicks, it kicks. Its one of these rare sauces that I can see being used in pretty much anything at the dinner table. I can see it working really well on top of cheese on toast, in a pasta dish, as a dipping sauce, as a marinade. The list is pretty endless, and the beauty is that you wont need a load of it to get the flavour and heat. All you need to do is wait 15 seconds before the full package arrives and takes you on a roller coaster of tingling sensations.

The sauce is made in small batches and with fresh ingredients so quality and care is assured. The xanthan gum has been used in a perfect way so that you get the slight thickening of the sauce without a slimy aftertaste, Thats a win, win win scenario.

Definately look up these guys at the address above and check out some of their other products too. This is not a sauce for the pussy boy, this is man’s sauce through and through, and at £4 a bottle is not the most horrific price tag in the world. I’d prefer to see it a touch cheaper but then again this comes across to me as a kind of farmers market luxury product so maybe its just me being picky. But definitely worth a try regardless. Enjoy.

If it burns going in, It will burn coming out.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(8/10)
Packaging
(8.5/10)
Value (7.5/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

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Do you fancy winning a gift set from Heirloom Sauces, the makers of the growing range of Gran Luchito products? Well we have teamed up to bring an exclusive competition to win one of two gift sets of the following:

Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Paste, Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Honey and Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Mayo.

Gran Luchito Gift Set

We have previously reviewed the Smoked Chilli Paste here and achieved a very respectable 9/10. We do currently have the other two in this set in for review at the moment.

To be in with a chance of winning you will need to be subscribed to our Monthly Newsletter before the end of June. I will be sending out June’s Newsletter which will contain the link required to enter the competition. This will be the only time and place the link will be published.

You can subscribe to our Newsletter by clicking the Newsletter tab at the top of the homepage.

These products are available to buy from a few online retailers including Hot-Headz

So keep your eyes on your inbox during the first couple of days of July.

*Please note Heirloom Sauces are running this competition, terms and conditions will apply, details in newsletter.

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