2015

Image from  www.kentishcobnuts.comThe Cobnut? what is it – I must admit I knew very little about Cobnuts before a visit to the Postash Farm Web site I was amazed to find out that the Cobnut is a type of cultivated hazelnut (Bit like a Bramley is a type of Apple) and during the Victorian era the UK had around 7000 acres of them in cultivation, today that has dropped to just 250 acres.

Handmade Thai Chilli Sauce with Kentish CobnutsPotash Farm grows about 6 acres of Cobnuts, made up of around 1000 trees. Their web site full of products made with Cobnuts, from Cobnut Cosmetics to Cobnut Oil, Cobnut Fudge and Biscuits.

New to the range are a couple of sauces a Smokey Roasted Pepper sauce with Kentish Cobnuts and the one we are tasting today their Thai Chilli Sauce with Kentish Cobnuts. The sauce comes in a tall 250ml bottle with a stylish minimalist label, looks just the kind of sauce you would expect in a deli.

Tipping the bottle you can see that the sauce is quite thin with flecks of the ingredients floating nicely in it, on cracking open the lid, there is a very pleasant aroma of soya sauce, ginger and garlic. The taste is subtle, this sauce is not designed to blow your socks of but enjoyed and to enhance the flavour of your meal.

Ingredients: British Sugar, Water, Cider Vinegar, Kentish Cobnuts (3%), Chillies (7%), Red Pepper, Light Soya Sauce, Garlic, Lime Juice, Ginger and Salt.

Bottle Kindly provided by Potash Farm

I had wondered if you would be able to taste the Cobnuts in this sauce with such strong flavours coming from the Garlic and Ginger let alone the chillies, but I was truly astounded as how the nutty flavour of the Cobnuts was carried by this sauce, while the heat is nothing to such hardened tasters as we have at the Chilefoundry who could probably just swig this direct from the bottle.

As a sauce to use as a dip for spring rolls or as a condiment with some jasmine rice, this sauce cannot be faulted. The great taste of a Thai Chilli Sauce, not sugary and that British twist of Kentish Cobnuts…..

You can order this on-line at their web site at £6.95 for a 250ml bottle, I wonder how well it would go with Turkey this Christmas?

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(8/10)

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Encona African Peri Peri SauceIt was not until 1975 that Econa first introduced their Hot Pepper Sauce range under the ‘Encona’ name and they haven’t looked back since. Having served the Caribbean community in the UK for over 40 years supplying quality sauces prepared to original recipes and containing blends of the most authentic chillies, spices and ingredients. Their iconic square embossed glass bottle has become the category symbol for quality, trust and delicious, authentic flavours in this community.

Encona now has a range of over 20 sauces and marinades. Today they have kindly provided me with a bottle of their African Peri Peri sauce to review.

Ingredients: Water, Chilli Mash (Chillies, Water, Acetic Acid, Salt ), Spirit Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Lemon Rind, Salt, Modified Maize Starch, Rapeseed Oil, Sugar, Garlic Puree, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Stabiliser: Xanthan Gum, Birds Eye Chilli, Preservative, Potassium Sorbate, Colour, Paprika extract.

Their bottles are different to most with the square embossed glass and their labels are very to the point matching as a larger set and just telling you what is inside, usually with a small picture to match the flavour. In this case the bottle has a giraffe. Encona African Peri-Peri Sauce claims to explore the taste of Africa by using a special blend of African birds eye chillies, aromatic garlic, zesty lemon and spices, to me the aroma is certainly zesty and you can even see some of the spices in the sauce. Overcoming this aroma though is a rather chemical feel of the different preservatives and stabilising that are necessary for a sauce produced on this scale. I did find the sauce rather tasty though often reaching for more to add to my food, it does fit the bill of a basic Peri-Pieri sauce with the right flavours and heat coming through to your taste buds so you won’t be disappointed. I am a sucker for the sauces from a certain chicken restaurant though so in my head I am making the comparison and though they taste similar one is clearly above the rest, but this may be down to personal preference.

Encona Sauces are certainly versatile. You can use them as a dipping sauce, a marinade, a cooking ingredient or just an everyday table sauce. They can even be easily used to drizzle into stir-fries, rice dishes, dips and salad dressings. Being a Peri-Peri sauce this sauce lends itself naturally to chicken and great for a dollop onto burgers too.

This is a sauce for the consumer not for the enthusiast, that said if you like the taste go for it you can find it in all good supermarkets and you still get a tasty hit. Would I buy other sauces in this range, yes but they would be more of a tasty table sauce for use rather than to expand my hot sauce stash.

Flavour
(5/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (5/10)
Overall
(5/10)

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A while ago we proposed an award for the company/individual that has impressed us/you with their effort, commitment and enthusiasm to promote and expand their business.

We asked for recommendations, and two people stood out from the rest by the number of recommendations, after much deliberation we had to pick just one winner this year.

And in the gold envelope this year is…… Cliff Hyslop AKA The Devon Chilliman.

Cliff Hyslop Win The ChileFoundry Award 2015

We selected Cliff as after twenty+ years in the food industry he started The Devon ChilliMan Business and glammed up one of his catering vans with a vinyl chilli coating. Then this year he took on a very major and very altruistic endeavor of working inside Channingswood Prison to take over their 7 massive and then unused polytunnels, working with unskilled prisoners, to grow over 2000 chilli plants using the Autopot water system and a feed from Growth Technology.

As you can imagine this is a big gamble and it has taken almost all of Cliff’s time and energy to make it happen, he has even ended up with a serious stay in Hospital. This success of the prison project has seen Chilli Pods become a tradable commodity at the prison and there are lots of stories to be told about what you can and cannot leave lying around that could be used to aid and escape.

After growing a range of chilies Cliff has to sell his crop to recoup the ever growing setup/running costs, and I am happy to say he has managed to do this in his first year with still some pods left to pick and from what I have seen he has some very happy new customers from all around the country.

Just incase you wondered who the runner up was this year is was the amazing Adam Marks from Mr Vikki’s who always seem to do an amazing job producing gold medal winning chilli products.

We would like to thank all the readers who recommended people/companies for this award.

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Stuart McAllister (AKA Dr. Hotz!) at Hot-Headz has some christmas offers that will be added to your order FOC when you spend over £30 or £40 (excluding delivery).

Spend over £30 and you get a Chilli Pepper design 4GB Flash Drive USB Stick and a set of Chilli design Cork Drinks Coasters.

Spend over £30

Spend over £40 and you get all the above plus a Large reusable Chilli Design zip up Bag, a Chilli Design Chefs Gauntlet and a decorative Chiilli Ristra string to brighten up your kitchen, dining room or office.

Spend over £40

What we really like is that you don’t have to remember a special code or reference number, the commerce system will add these to you basket at ZERO cost.

I recommend you place your order soon so as not to be disappointed as this will only happened while stocks last.

E&OE

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