Lily’s Chillis are a husband and wife team with the company named after their daughter. They are already winner of Fiery Foods Amateur Best Taste award for their Lime & Ginger Chilli jelly. Like many Sussex and even UK companies Lily’s Chillis pride themselves on locally sourced ingredients. I have been fortunate to try several of their past limited edition jelly products including the special @Thelurch fireman’s jelly. But until today I had not tried one of their ketchups.
From experience I know that a lot of care goes into Lilys products, so checking out their website for further information on their ketchup range it goes on the explain. All their ketchups are made in small batches and bottled by hand. Using fresh local produce is key, so local Sussex tomatoes and chillies sourced in the UK are used in every bottle. No thickeners or gums are used to produce their lovely sauces, just hours of gentle reduction on the stove.
The label is basic with the great touch of shiny red font and has a nice homemade feel to it. Simple but it needs nothing more, this is ketchup, no pictures of demons, fires or volcanoes etc required.
On the label you will also find the text “the original and the best- this fiery chilli ketchup is crammed full of tomatoes and bursting with flavour. Add the kickass heat of scotch bonnets and you’re a winner….. Great with bacon and eggs, and burgers, and hotdogs and…. You name it.”
Tomatoes (made with 200g per 100g of ketchup), onions, white wine vinegar, sugar, Scotch Bonnet chillies (2%) garlic, spices, salt, black peppercorns
Bottle kindly supplied by Lilys chillies
Before you open the bottle you can see that the sauce is a nice thick, pulpy consistency. The hours on the stove have also given the sauce a dark concentrated look and will have hopefully locked in a deep natural tomato flavour together with the fruity Scotch Bonnet. My concern before opening the bottle claiming to be fiery is the mere 2% Scotch Bonnet, will that be enough.
Cracking open the seal on this generous bottle you can see that this is a very high quality sauce. You can’t smell the fruitiness of the scotch bonnet, instead your sense are greeted with rich concentrated tomato aromas. The texture is wonderful; you can feel the time taken to reduce the tomatoes. On your tongue you can feel pieces of tomato but not in a way to detract from the taste or make the sauce lumpy it is a perfect balance. While caught up in the beautiful sweet ketchup taste, I almost forget to look for the chilli. That’s because it is more subtle than expected, no hit or sense of it in the first mouthful when you are taken over by the quality of the tomatoes, but then you get a gentle background build that is very pleasant. I had hoped this heat build would continue but unfortunately the time taken to build to a peak isn’t too long and the heat soon dies away.
The solution is to simply eat more though! With Lily rating this as a 2/3 on their heat scale I think it would be more worthy of a 1/3. Perhaps the batch I have is a little low on chilli content; perhaps the 2% isn’t enough for this large bottle? Nevertheless this is really tasty ketchup! I would say it’s good for the whole family and definitely better than the chemical filled alternatives on our shelves. The Lilys range is for both foodies and chilli heads and this ketchup continues the trend. This bottle is now the standard in my house for all bacon sarnies!
High quality ketchup suitable for all providing a fruity warmth and natural feel to anything you can pour it over. Lovely to have in the cupboard for everyday use, or as a gift for anyone. I have also noted Lily do a smoky version too so I’m off to get hold of some of that……..
250g bottle is £3.85 – a lower prices than some other producers 100ml bottles go for
All suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.