Devon Fire Chutney is an onion, pepper and orange chutney from Otter Vale Products a small Devon based family business who produce a range of hand-made chutneys, savoury jellies, and other food accompaniments. Their website and packaging emphasises that their products are handmade using the finest ingredients (locally sourced where possible) with no artificial colours or flavourings and they are gluten free. A quick look at their chutney range demonstrates a company who appear to be willing to experiment and try different and interesting flavour combinations (Curried peach chutney and Minted Goosebury to name but two). Their products have won a number of awards including Devon Fire Chutney which was a Gold Winner at the Taste of the West awards.
The chutney comes in a typical 225g jar and costs £2.25. The packaging is clear and simple with illustrations of some of the ingredients in the product, in a style which you would typically associate with similar products from family businesses.
Ingredients: Sugar, Acetic Acid, Onions (26%), Peppers (11%), Maize Starch, Oranges (3.75%), Chillies, Salt, Spice.
Now, being a fan of all things chillies I like to know what chillies were used in a product, after all chillies have a diverse range of different flavours, smells and heat, so I’m always a little disappointed when a product’s ingredients simply states ‘chillies’, however a quick look at Otter Vale’s website informs me that the chilli used in Devon Fire Chutney is the fruity and fiery Scotch Bonnet.
I’ve never had orange in a chutney before and as someone who is not a fan of marmalade I was initially unsure whether this would be a product for me, however I’m pleased to say I was proven wrong.
When I open the jar I initially smell the vinegar followed by the fruitiness of the orange and a hint of coriander, which automatically reminds me of a good homemade Mango Chutney, my instinct is to grab a stack of poppadoms and get stuck into to the chutney but, alas there were no poppadoms, so I use a Jacobs cracker instead. The chutney has a nice sticky consistency with small chunks of onion, pepper and Scotch bonnet. From my first taste I’m won over, the chutney has a sweet tangy flavour from the orange and onions, with a hint of coriander. This is quickly followed by a decent, but not overwhelming burn from the Scotch Bonnets. The orange gives the chutney a subtle citrus flavour and it really helps bring out the fruitiness of the peppers and Scotch Bonnets. Every now and then I’m surprised by a burst of coriander in my mouth as I bite into a seed but it’s not unpleasant.
For me the great thing about this Chutney is how versatile it is. As I mentioned, it would go very well with poppadoms and other Indian cooking as an alternative to mango chutney. It would also be a great chutney to bring out at Christmas to have with cold meats or as a very welcome addition to your cheese board. The sweet tangy flavours would really complement a mature cheddar or stilton, but at only £2.25 a jar why wait for special occasions when a dollop would also enliven an otherwise dull cheese sandwich.