June 2013

To twist a well known adage, it would seem there’s no rest for the wicked chilli sauce maker, or at least no rest for Adam the owner and creative mind behind Mr Vikki’s products. The Mr Vikki’s product range is wide & varied and Adam seems to have a panache for developing a selection of Indian and Thai themed products. What we have here is Adam’s endeavour to deliver an authentic Thai sweet chilli sauce.

Looking in any supermarket shelf you’ll find many variants of sweet chilli sauces available from mainstream brands but the first difference you’ll find with these compared to Mr Vikki’s is within the ingredients list – unlike those mass produced products Mr. Vikki’s sauce has a far shorter list of ingredients and of course has no artificial additives or flavouring.

Ingredients:  

Red Peppers, Sugar, Garlic, Vinegar, Habaneros Chillies (3%), Onion, Ginger, Salt, Spices

Bottle kindly supplied by Mr Vikki’s

The sauce is a bright strawberry red colour and upon opening the bottle an enveloping aromatic fragrance of red peppers and Habanero intertwined with tones of vinegar and garlic is released. It’s a very inviting aroma for any garlic lover and the scent of the garlic seemingly grows whilst carrying the aroma of spices. The spices used therein aren’t specified but I’m sure I can detect a subtle hint of lemongrass or ginger.

Pouring the sauce onto my tasting spoon reveals it has a runny jam-like consistency with tiny bits of onion, garlic and black pepper flecks contained within it. When tasting, there’s a sweet sugary hit before the natural flavours of the peppers and Habanero come through at a swift pace afterwards. Initially the heat burn hits the back of the throat but this recedes and the burn then builds and concentrates towards the front of mouth and lips. With a small percentage of Habañeros used the burn level is tame enough to be enjoyed by non chilliheads who want a stronger hit than those mass market sweet chilli sauces.

The onion and roasted garlic flavours then begin to come through and although not listed as an ingredient, I can detect a mild liquorice / aniseed like taste at the end. All of the flavours have been balanced very well together; indeed in particular the sweetness from the sugar has been well controlled to ensure it’s doesn’t follow the mass market trap of totally overwhelming and overpowering all of the other ingredients.

Naturally this sauce works well as a dipping sauce for such as spring rolls, prawn crackers or Thai fishcakes but it also makes for a great additive to use in stir fry, be it fish, prawn, chicken or vegetable  – a touch of this will also add a nice twist to your noodles too.

Available in 140ml bottles direct from Mr Vikki’s priced at £4.25 (although at the time of writing this review it’s currently on offer for only £3.75)

Flavour
(7.5/10)
Heat
(3.5/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (7.5/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

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Okay I’ve finally plucked up the guts to do this review, I will go on record right now by saying this is easily the HOTTEST sauce I have had to review.. I’ve reviewed some extracts in my time…and even some extract based sauces..well actually A LOT of extract based sauces..but this is by far the hottest to date..and the reaction my body had to it was not good!

20 Minute BurnIt comes from the purveyour of pain himself, Gerald Fowler of the Chilli Pepper Company…yeah, saying that name and I KNOW you are all like “wooooooah” so you KNOW this one is gonna hurt!!

Ingredients:

Fresh Naga Bhut Jolokia, Pineapple Juice, Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Tomatoes, Mango, Molasses, 7.3 million SHU extract, Celery, Herbs, Spices.

This is the latest in Ged’s famous xx Minute Burn series, and “bloomin’ ‘eck is it ‘ot”!! (As Jane King would say!) and as you can well see, there is one ingredient in 20 Minute Burn that sticks right out! I can safely say I think I’m done with this series..the after effects of this one have left me scarred for life..it’s not a sauce I ever wish to try neat, ever, ever, EVER AGAIN!

The bottle is well presented, so much so I didn’t want to open it..but I took it round to my friend Leytons house @LeytonP on twitter btw, and we cracked the bottle open right there on camera..to say we were scared of doing this review would be a massive understatement!!

SO there you have it..never do it neat, ever, you have been WARNED! I spent the 15 mins off camera violently throwing up because my body just rejected it, completely and whole heartedly, and I do not blame it at all! It took me about 2-3 pints of milk to be able to talk again, and the burn took around 30 mins to fully subside..without milk I suspect it would have been longer, this stuff is hardcore!

You can grab a bottle of it from The Chilli Pepper Company and its a mere £7 for a bottle of absolute suffering, I would recommend only using this as an additive, unless you’re an stark raving f**king lunatic!!

A massive thanks to Leyton for sharing in my suffering, and until the next time I stuff a few million scovilles down my gullet padawanz, may the sauce be with you…always!

Flavour
(2/10)
Heat
(20/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(7/10)

 

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Simpsons Seeds are a small company, based in West Wiltshire, who specialising in supplying a variety of vegetable and chilli seeds. Matt Simpson is well known amongst the chilli community having written a book ‘Chilli, Chili, Chile’ which has provided many amateur growers with an abundance of information and advice on growing chillies. Matt’s expertise isn’t just for growing chillies though and he’s also a dab hand at making sauces with the chilli crop that his green fingers help to cultivate.

As with other Simpson Seeds sauces, labelling is straight forward and simple, being a white background with black text… no glitz nor glam just wholesome artisan with a clear list of list of ingredients, company info & best before date being presented.

Ingredients:

Sugar, Red Wine Vinegar, Fruit Juice, Peaches, Trinidad Habanero Chillies, Honey, Lime Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt.

Bottle kindly supplied by Simpson’s Seeds

Gladiator is a caramel amber colour and looking at it more closely I can see that it’s almost a completely translucent sauce with only a few seeds interspersed within it. It has a fruity, tangy aroma rather like tomato with hints of peach. Whilst the peach aroma I expect given it is listed as one of the ingredients strangely tomatoes are not – perhaps the fruit juice used therein is tomato juice? There’s also some sharpness from the red wine & balsamic vinegars which remain after the initial fruity hit.

Pouring some onto my tasting spoon I can see that the sauce has a smooth almost syrup like consistency, rather like the texture of some cough mixtures and I imagine the honey content has help to give it this viscosity. The initial hit when tasting is the sweet flavour of the honey before the fruity flavours begins to emerge and some sharpness come through at the end.

Heat for me is a little bit disappointing for a sauce utilising Habanero chillies. The burn level is surprisingly low and the longevity of the burn is brief, passing swiftly after consumption; however what lingers for some time afterward with this sauce is a pleasant fruity sweet aftertaste.

I think Gladiator would make an excellent alternative to a barbeque sauce – its fruity, sweet flavours would be well suited as a sticky glaze to brush over chicken wings or ribs.  Indeed with its honey properties I think it would also work well as a glaze on many pork based dishes: – roast ham / gammon, pork belly or pork shoulder joint, where I believe on the latter it would make for some really tasty crackling.

Available for £4.00 for a 140ml bottle available directly from Simpsons Seeds 

Flavour
(7.5/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(7/10)

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Ladies and gentlemen gather round, I wish to tell you the tale of a small jar. But not any small jar. For this jar contained a ‘Mad-Ass’ chilli concoction that made me, Scooby, nearly fill my boxers with what I can only describe as a feeling of pure ecstasy. Ok, granted that is a bit OTT but none the less this is the mutts nuts of a chilli product (I mean that in a good way, not sure what mutts nuts actually taste like I’m afraid)

Mad-Ass Double SmokeySo the story begins, once upon a time there was a small jar with a double smokey chilli inside. One day, Scooby opened it, and ate it. He then fell in love with it, married it and ran away never to be seen again.

All the way from the team at Mad-Ass, this Double Smokey is only a small 30ml jar. Their sauces are all available in these size jars but also in a bigger 150ml jar too.

Label is basic but at the same time a great design. An evil grinning chilli which seems to be the standard for their range of products but with colours changing on each one.

The sauce inside is reminiscent of a thicker than the norm stew. Slightly pouring from side to side of the jar but thick enough to stop before you spill any. I guess you could say that the colour has come from the ‘bowels of hell’. Get it? Bowels, poo? Brown sauce? Ooooooo, tough crowd tonight, no one laughing. Moving on……….. ingredients time.

Ingredients:

Home Smoked Chipotle Chillies, Smoked Garlic, Cider Vinegar, Onions, Tomatoes, Demerara Sugar, Chipotle Syrup, Smoked Rock Salt, Cracked Black Pepper.

Hell of a lot of smoking going on in this. And immediately noticeable when you open the jar. A VERY strong aroma and it is extremely warming to the nostrils. If it can warm my nose then it will definitely warm yours. You guys with your normal size noses, your lucky.

The taste however blows the aroma out of the water. Garlic, onions and the chipotles give an amazing smokey flavour while the sugar gives you a slight sweetness which is finished off with a blast of heat kindly supplied by the chipotles. They have rated this as a 7/10 for heat on their site and I agree all the way, not too hot and not too mild, an awesome blend of heat and flavour with a smooth texture all squeezed into this tiny jar.

I have found it to go great with chicken and other meats. I reckon it would work well as a Bolognese sauce for us chilli heads.

So, to end the story, go to Mad-Ass and buy lots of it 😀

Remember all you chilli heads, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out.

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

 

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