February 2014

Cottage Delight Ltd are purveyors of speciality foods since 1974 claiming to use only the finest ingredients and traditional production methods in a wide range of award winning jams, marmalades and chutneys. You will find Cottage Delight products in lots of locations including department stores, garden centres, farm shops, tourist attractions, delicatessens and traditional grocers.

Today I will be tasting a bottle of Cottage Delights Tropical Mango Lime and Chilli Sauce. The bottle is a decent size and shaped like an HP sauce bottle with careful attention to the label looking like a small batch production product. However you may have gathered from the amount of stockists above that Cottage delight are quite large producers with production levels capable of filling any supermarket shelf. Even though Cottage delight do produce in small batches, being able to fill shelves everywhere does, for me, loose a little of the magic you get from small UK family companies where each batch will have a unique quality and sometimes vary in taste depending on the chilli crop that year.

The label also contains several descriptions of the contents, describing the sauce as: A fruity exotic sauce with a chilli hit. An exotic, fruity sauce to serve with meats, fish or vegetables. An excellent dip, marinade or bbq baste.  Not forgetting the web description of this Lime & Chilli Sauce is an exotic and extra fruity sauce with a chilli hit.

So basically it should be fruity in taste and appears to go with any food invented. I am almost expecting another description saying zero calories and an ecological alternative to fuel suitable to power any vehicle.

Ingredients:

Mango chutney (37%) (mango, sugar, ginger, garlic, chilli, acidity regulator: acetic acid), sugar, water, lime pickle (12%) (limes, salt, vegetable oil, chilli, mustard, spices, acidity regulator: acetic acid), dried glucose syrup, salt, acidity regulator: acetic acid, thickener: xanthan gum, spice extract

Jar kindly supplied by Cottage Delight Speciality foods

On opening this sauce it smells and looks like a watered down version of mango chutney, given the ingredients listed above this is not surprising. The sauce is sticky allowing it to cover anything you want but is still able to be poured out of the bottle. The ingredients make reference to chilli flakes but don’t mention which chilli, as a chilli head I am always curious and every chilli sauce I buy is usually proud to display the chilli used. The aromas make you think of papadums and bajhi.

The taste of the sauce is like that of a good curry house and is very familiar. I always mix lime pickle and mango chutney with the fresh onions with my papadums. It appears this sauce has just mixed the two together and added a few chilli flakes with some extra sugar. Don’t get me wrong this sauce is tasty and VERY sweet, but disappointing in both heat and inventiveness. One of the suggestions listed is to add into a stir fry. I must admit I haven’t tried this option and can’t picture how an Indian themed stir fry might end up tasting, maybe I’m wrong? The sauce will probably go well over prawns on the bbq or as a cool dip for a buffet meal. Other than that I would keep it handy for your next Indian takeaway as an alternative to mango chutney.

A 220ml bottle will set you back a very reasonable £3.30 for its size direct from the cottage delight site though you will have to spend £15 to qualify for free postage. But you could ask yourself is it worth just purchasing a jar of Mango chutney for about a pound instead? I would also expect you might pay more in any garden centre.

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

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Handmade in Bonnie Scotland (Och Aye!), Chillilicious is a Mother/Daughter team who certainly know how to create some delicious jams and sauces. As well as oatcakes (which were reviewed earlier this year) I own a fair few pieces of the handmade glassworks that Daughter Stacy lovingly makes in her glass kiln all the way in Ceres, just south of Dundee. A beautiful combination of culinary and glass art.

Ingredients: 

Pineapple (45%), pear (30%), sugar (24%), lime, cardamom pods, apache chilli.
Suitable for Vegetarians, may contain traces of nuts.

Jar kindly supplied by Chillilicious

In a whopping 135gram jar, simply adorned with a white label, this medium yellow/orange jam, packed full with flesh and seeds teases your tastebuds.It smells like a summery pineapple jam.  Very sweet, with a softness from the pears and a hint of the lime to keep you reminded that this is no ordinary pineapple jam. 

Its not as set as most other jams you would find.  The consistency has a slight thick but fluid motion to it.The pear and pineapple is in large but very soft pieces, giving you a mix of different flavours and textures with each bite you take.The apache chilli flesh is in small quantities dotted about the jam, but don’t let that fool you.The heat is very subtle, so subtle in fact, that you wouldn’t realise it was there until a good few tastes in.Its a slow warming heat that isn’t intrusive or unpleasant.The sweetness of the pear and pineapple, with the combination of the chillies in such fine quantities is a very moreish delight.

I would personally love to try this in a victoria sponge cake with a twist.I feel the sweetness would lend itself well to a summery dessert.With ice cream as a compote style addition.Of course on toast and in a sandwich.I would also suggest using this instead of a mango chutney to accompany a sweet curry dish.

Available via their online shop for £3.50, I think this is a very good price.  Next time I see these guys at an event I am picking up a few of these!

Flavour
(10/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(4/10)
Value (10/10)
Overall
(10/10)

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