2013

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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I feel you will all be seeing much more of Twisted 7 Sauces. A company that strives to source local produce and keep things as fresh and as simple as possible, using no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. This time it’s the turn of their Sweet Jala’loo-ya chilli sauce.

In a 100ml bottle with a purple flame designed label on a black background, the full, sticky consistency boasts seeds, herbs and fine chunks galore! This smells like your perfect dipping sauce (that will be the rice vinegar). The salt keeping the scent clean and uncomplicated. Garlic, vinegar and a cheeky jalapeno note I capture.

Ingredients: 

Jalapeno Chilli Peppers (15%), Sugar (23%), Water, White Wine Vinegar, Rice Vinegar, Garlic (3%), Salt, Arrowroot.

Bottle kindly supplied by Twisted 7 Sauces

I dive in to a sweet, bit-filled, garlicy dream. Heatwise, you find a general all over mouth burn to a medium degree (depending on how hot you think jalapeno chillis are) and occasionally fall upon a little landmine of pure sensation that takes you aback.

A thick, tasty, warm dipping sauce that would work wonders as a chicken or meat glaze, with any chinese meal. This could work as a salad dressing with croutons.

At £4.49 from their website, its worth a good try and I feel you wont be disappointed.

Flavour
(5/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(6/10)

 

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If I had to sum up this Baobab jam from Bim’s Kitchen in one word, it would be unique. I have tried many different chilli jams but when it comes to standing out, this one leads the way rather than following the pack. By using Baobab, the African super fruit as opposed to the more traditional chilli jam ingredients; the flavour, colour, consistency and texture are all different to the standard jams on the market.

The first thing I noticed when opening the jar was the colour and consistency of the product. It has a deep red colour and a smooth, thick consistency which was really appealing to me; it spreads well on bagels and goes really well with cheese. It has a sweet, smoky aroma which I assume is down to sweet red peppers and smoked cayenne chillies.

Ingredients:

Hibiscus water, Demerera sugar, sweet red peppers (10%), chilli (10%)- (smoked cayenne chillies, birds eye chillies), vinegar, baobab fruit (7%), onion, ground ginger, garlic powder, salt, cinnamon.

Jar kindly supplied by Bim’s Kitchen

Due to its thick texture I think this would also go well as a dipping sauce and could imagine it being a great marinade as the jam would absorb into the meat creating a nice balance of sweet, smoky and spicy.

Looking on the website they have a vast range of products ranging from spice mixes to curry sauces. This ‘modern, African-inspired cuisine seems to stand out from the crowd as it infuses unique ingredients into its products.

For more details on this company, and the huge range of products Bim’s Kitchen stock, check out their website

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

 

 

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