Chillilicious, A mother and daughter team from deepest darkest Fife and Scotland’s 1st Chilli farmers, started making chilli chutneys back in 2011 when they decided to try and grow the spicy fruit on their 2.5 acre farm, which has since grown to include 2 large poly tunnels, where they nurture over 4000 chilli plants, farm shop, glass art studio, a commercial kitchen and a biodiversity pond walk that serves to express and compliment their core values of fresh organic local produce.
Having tried a few of their products in the past I was looking forward to trying a new one, Monkey Punch harks back to the company’s beginnings being a chutney full of hearty chunks and deep rich flavours.
The name derives, I guess, from the use of banana as the main ingredient but rather than being the base flavour it acts as the fragrant after-note of the onion and sweet vinegar you’d expect from a more traditional chutney.
Ingredients: Bananas, kiwis, lemons, apples, dates, onions, allspice, salt, tumeric, white wine vinegar, sugar, jalapeño extract, lime extract, cayenne chilli.
Rather than being a mushy condiment as you may think you’d get from a banana based product, Monkey Punch has been expertly crafted and not over cooked so the texture of the apple, onion and other ingredients gives a satisfying bite that would work wonderfully served with a cheese board or plate of cold meats.
Heat wise the label promises an “explosion” but is, for me at least, a gradual warm glow that’s builds with every bite to a comfortable lingering finish, the chutney uses a jalepeno extract and dried cayenne, both of which are masked by the other ingredients so only provide the warmth. Although Chillilicous have hotter products in their varied range, their ethos is to concentrate on producing a well balanced and flavoursome accompaniment to food rather than trying to melt the face of the most hardened of chilli heads.
The packaging of Monkey Punch still has the homemade feel about it and the labels look like they could still be applied by hand, the printing isn’t glossy but a honest attempt and a fun design. (This may be a 1st run jar and the labels may improve during production as the company has recently been tweeking the brand design).
As with their other products you can choose to purchase a small 40g test jar for £1 (great for creating gift hampers) or the full size 270g jar for £3.95 which should last you one dinner party or a month of ordinary meals.
Gluten free and Vegan friendly