Something I was not expecting to receive to review but was most welcomed, a product kindly supplied by Seggiano, their Crema di Peperoncino Chilli Paste.
Seggiano is the name of the small hilltop village on Monte Amiata in southern Tuscany, where Peri Eagleton and David Harrison have farmed organic olives since 1985. Twenty years ago they started selling their local Olivastra Seggianese extra virgin olive oil and a selection of artisan foods from small family food producers. This quickly grew into their brand today ‘Seggiano’, named in honour of the village where the story started.
Italians have a passion for food; I should know my girlfriend is Italian! Often the food is simple and made with the finest ingredients one can source to create a wonderful taste experience. That said there is a lot of bad Italian around where people do not follow these rules, just churning out any old pasta dish and charging the public for the privilege. Seggiano appear to have stuck to their principles and although clearly doing well, exporting far and wide, keep the honoured traditions alive and haven’t gone too mainstream. Indeed their website states “When we say handmade, we mean handmade. Our artisan food is freshly prepared in small batches using current harvest ingredients”
Ingredients: Fresh Calabrian Chillies 80%, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Wine Vinegar, Salt.
The packaging is not eye-catching and more that of an ingredient of basic food stuff you keep in the cupboard ready. Italians though not known for keeping things quiet and understated often let their food speak for itself. However I feel I am being a little harsh as this is not a hot sauce but a quality ingredient so perhaps it is well labelled.
The jar is beautifully packed full of chilli’s with a deep red colour, you can see the whole chilli is used with all the seeds packed in too. The Naso di Cane is a variety of chilli or peperoncino, which is specific to Calabria. The name derives from the entertaining fact that the small angular shape of the pepper is undeniably reminiscent of a dog’s nose. Its robust, yet rounded flavour has an unusual depth, which is impossible to find in your average run-of-the-mill chilli sauce. The aroma is sweet, mellow and peppery and does not give away any expectation of heat. The texture is that of a roasted sweet pepper with the seeds adding in a bit of variety. Initially no heat hits you but then gently and unexpectedly a wonderful warmth fills your mouth. The actual flavour is a little difficult to describe, it is not one I am familiar with from my experience off so many chilli’s. I am likely doing the chilli a great disservice by saying this but to help you imagine a flavour it is a little like a peppadew you can purchase from any deli counter in the UK, however this has a much more sophisticated depth and warmth of flavour. So far I have tried this product straight on top of bruschetta, stirred into Bolognese, and as the main source of heat in a crab linguini every time this produce performed. Seggiano have done a great job and provided a true quality ingredient.
If you like the product enough you can even holiday on their farm if you wanted to. Then you can not only taste the dream but live the Italian dream too!
|Value||Prices will vary for this product depending on where you source it|