2013

Writing reviews for Chilefoundry takes time so I am often on the lookout for like minded people to join the team, the workload is vast, and being volunteers, the review team do it because they have a passion or an addiction to chilli in all it’s forms. Every now and then, new people come along who have a good knowledge of the chilli scene, and a couple of weeks ago whilst at Grim Reaper Foods Halloween Restaurant takeover this happened;

John and Sianne – “The Shepsters” – If you are a regular UK Chilli Festival attendee, you may well have seen these guys. They have always been “foodies”, with a particular fondness for world foods which give the opportunity to try new flavours.

Their attraction to chillies and hot sauces began several years ago with a visit to South Devon Chilli Farm while on holiday, where John picked up his first ever chilli plant – a Bolivian Rainbow – which was kept as a decorative houseplant. 

This led to an increasing fascination with the idea of chilli growing – starting off in the house with about five varieties of mainly ornamental plants and developing over the years to become a polytunnel and several smaller greenhouses in the garden as well as houseplants, and more than 40 varieties of chillies being cultivated in the last year alone.

John enjoys the growing side of the chilli scene, as well as smothering every possible foodstuff with hot sauce, while Sianne’s interests lie more in the culinary uses of both the pods and chilli products of all kinds.

John and Sianne will be reviewing as a couple so keep your eyes peeled for their first review very soon

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Now just when you thought the Chilli Festival season was well and truly over, in just under a month the very nice people at ColaRebell are hosting the last sole chilli event of the season (or should that be the 1st of the new season?) Anyway it is called The Burton Winter Chilli Festival and is being held in a brewery….yes a brewery, the National Brewery Centre to be precise so you are guaranteed at least two things, chilli and alcohol!

The day is promising to have 30 of the very best chilli traders in the country selling their wares, like Grim Reaper Foods, Burning Desire, and Hot-Headz to name a few but Derek from ColaRebell informs me that there are a few trader spaces still available so if you want your products on sale, please make contact with Derek as soon as possible, and as we are in the run up to Christmas, there will be plenty of people looking for that perfect gift for the Chilli Head in the family!

Tickets are on sale from the Burton Winter Chilli Festival website, but tickets are limited due to the venue so again Derek advises me if you are thinking of coming, please pre book your tickets to avoid disappointment, as if all tickets are pre sold there will not be any tickets on the door. Each ticket will also entitle you to £5 off a case of ColaRebell Maxx Chilli.

Our reviews of both ColaRebell’s flavours are here

So what can else can you expect on the day? Well the UK Chilli Cook Off Association will be holding one of  their 1st heats of their new season, team places still available and can be booked through the UKCCA website. If your team wins, then you scoop the £250 prize and go through to next years grand final with a chance to compete in Las Vegas representing the UK in the World Food Championships.

The day will also include the obligatory Chilli Eating Competition organised by the nutters from Bristol, the Clifton Chilli Club boys.

There is also the opportunity to taste some of the best beers available and take a tour around the Brewery.

So with less than a month to go, make your decision to come along, whether as a trader or ticket holder and book now!

There is a rumour that Father Christmas will be making an appearance too.

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Since 1994 when the Darn Spice Co. was set up by the chilli aficionado, Shawn Haddaway, Having spent hours perfecting the recipe for “fiendishly Fiery” Chilli Sauce. Shawn initially made batches of the chilli Sauce to order for friends and family. Then as the volume of orders grew and local retailers expressed an interest Shawn took the plunge and set up Darn Spice. From their base in Bedfordshire they sell a large range of quality chilli and spice products ranging from mild through to darn painful to customers worldwide.

I have a jar of Fiendishly Fiery Chilli Sauce, winner of a Bronze Great Taste Award in 2005, to review. The sauce claims to be a clean-tasting sauce made from the finest Scotch Bonnet peppers.

Jar kindly supplied by Darn Spice Co.

Ingredients:

Hot Chillies, Vinegar, Sugar, Salt

This is a very pure sauce that is: dairy free, gluten free, with no artificial colouring, no artificial preservatives, no onion or garlic and suitable for vegetarian. Basically it is a close to home made as you can get. The colour is a vibrant red and you can see the seeds in the sauce.

The label reminds me of the fisherman’s friends sweets and looks like something you would find at the in the special aisle of a supermarket rather than amongst the chilli sauces and bottles you would normally see. However there is nothing wrong with this, it just looks a little out of place to me compared to other packaging you usually see.

When you open the mini jar, you get an overwhelming sense of fresh chillies and the vinegar used to preserve them. I had to come back to this review and keep the fiendishly fiery sauce in the fridge for a few days. I expected to find the freshness had faded a little but happily on opening the jar again the same fresh smell. There is not much to describe about the taste other than imagine slicing up some fresh scotch bonnets and eating them that’s this sauce.

Though this product would work as a sauce it is more like a chilli puree relying on the beautiful natural flavour of the scotch bonnet chilli. The scotch bonnet does have a very fruity flavour powerful flavour that is accessible to many people as the heat levels are not too high. If you are using the sauce as just a dipping condiment, the texture of the sauce due to the amount of seeds, may put you off as the seeds get stuck everywhere! But added to dishes like soups, stews and casseroles will add a wonderful fruity fiery kick. This would also be awesome on your morning eggs. Fiendishly fiery sauce is great to have in the fridge so you will always have that fresh chilli flavour when you need it.

This is not a creative sauce, there are no complex flavours and although it is very tasty, it may not impress if you are looking for and interesting sauce. Think of it as a substitute for fresh chillies and a cooking ingredient ready when you need it.

A 95g jar is £3.50
470g catering jar is £14 available from the Darn Spice website

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

 

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Happy weekend Chilli Padawanzzzzzzzz! Today is “Fiery Friday” and Uncle Darth has a cracking product for you all to wrap your laughing gear around! The product in question comes from none other than the purveyours of fine tasting pain, Hot Headz, run by Dr Hotz himself, Mr Stu Mcallister!
This product is basically the first of its kind in the UK and probably the world! Sure there been others before it…but not quite like this, with *this* particular pepper! So without further ado, let me introduce this tastebud orgasm..

Ingredients:

Peanuts (95%), Trinidad scorpion mix (4%), rapeseed oil.

So, what we have here is a sexy little tin of peanuts, but these are no ordinary peanuts, oh hell no! These are “Who Dares Burns 2nd Assault: Trinidad Scorpion Peanuts” and they are here to kick all other chilli peanuts to the kerb, and show you how its done!!

As you’ll be able to see in the video, what makes this product stand out from the rest is the packaging, they come sealed up in a bag, which is then sealed in a tin, with full artwork present wrapped around the tin, and on top, with the iconic WDB logo right in the centre!

Anyway, enough from me, lets get this video cranking!

Well, well, well…as you can see, those peanuts were both HOT and tasty! I felt quite privileged to receive a product that i got to fully enjoy, rather then end up spewing up due to the high amount of heat, these nuts were genuinely delicious.

For a good chillihead stylee mix of heat AND flavour, these were out and out perfect, they had a nice solid crunch to them (I’ve had some that go soft because of the flavouring process, but these were awesome!) and the flavour was very straightforward, but nice and savoury, with an almost fruity, but unmistakeably Scorpion burn!

There isn’t much more you could do to increase the appeal of these peanuts to be honest, they will definitely appeal to both hardcore chilli heads, and of course, newbies who want to spread their wings a little bit and appreciate a quality product packing A LOT of flavour and heat!

I think the only gripe I have is that these seem a little pricey at £3.99 for 80g, you are getting a *premium* tin for that, but perhaps this could be a “starter kit” for those whom want the awesome resealable tin, then maybe do a larger foil bag, without the tin and market it as a “refill” at perhaps the same price but for more nuts?

That’s about the only place I can find fault with these, as presentation and flavour is beyond what you would usually expect from ANY chilli snack!

Head on over to the Hot-Headz website right now and grab yourself a tin of these before they sell out (which they will, once people have a taste for them!!).

Right Chilli Padawanz, that’s it from me this time round, I’ll see you all soon for another Chilefoundry review!

And of course…may the sauce be with you, always!

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

 

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