2015

We have talked about creating an awards scheme for the past few years and I always put it off for another year. I wanted to create an award scheme that is similar to the Great Taste Awards, or the Chelsea Flower Show RHS Awards but just for chilli based products.

chelsea-2010-Sample

The proposed ChileFoundry awards would provide Gold, Silver and Bronze awards to products that we think are exceptional. There would be some basic categories, but each category could have any number of each level of awards within them. We would also provide awards to companies that we think have done exceptional work during the year to promote the UK chilli scene.

The plan is to start promoting the awards in March with the awards being awarded in August/September, we will be sending out information emails to as many companies as we know about. The Awards will also be promoted in the national/local and specialist press.

Designs of the certificates is under way ready for examples to be ready for March 2016, for the first year to enter a product is completely free. We will see how much it costs us to run the awards. We will also be looking at some of the UK chilli festivals to see if we can make the awards at one of the UK events.

The 2015 Chilefoundry Award

This year however we are giving away just one award. We are looking for a company/individual that has impressed us/you with their effort and commitment and enthusiasm to promote and expand their business. This is open to anyone involved in the UK chilli market.

We would like you to propose who you think should get the 2015 award using the form below, we will then make our selection based on recommendations.

[contact-form to=’info@chilefoundry.co.uk’ subject=’2015 Chilefoundry Award Proposal’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Company/individual’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Web Site’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Why I am proposing them’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

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Red’s Judas Ketchup is a smoky ketchup produced by Red’s True Barbecue, the American-style smokehouse restaurant chain who have a number of restaurants across the country. I’d never heard of Red’s before so paid a quick visit to the website and within seconds their menu had my mouth watering. They specialise in authentic barbecue food from the Southern states of the USA, which means smoked meats cooked slow and low. Menu items include ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket and burgers (including a donut burger!). They also produce a range of sauces to accompany their mostly meat based dishes, which includes their Judas Ketchup.

Red's Judas KetchupJudas Ketchup comes in a pretty typical 320g squeezy ketchup bottle and is on sale at Asda for a very reasonable £1.87. Their packaging has a light hearted evangelical theme (their logo is crucifix made out of a knife and fork) and has a Southern states feel. The label describes the product as a “Tomato sauce with smoked paprika and chipotle chilli” and has the following prayer on the back “Red’s authentic BBQ flavour. Taste and be saved. To worship Fries, Burgers or Meats. They’re going to taste better with a dollop of your new favourite ketchup. Amen.” I really liked this humorous theme across the packaging and their website (I found myself reading it in a stereotypical Southern drawl!), but am I ready to convert to their religion?

The ingredients are what you would expect from a typical ketchup with the addition of Chipotle chilli puree and Smoked Paprika.

Ingredients: Water, Tomato paste, Sugar, Spirit vinegar, Smoked Paprika (2.1%), Salt, Cornflour, Chipotle chilli puree (1%), Cayenne Pepper.

I’ve tried several chilli ketchup’s over the past year some which were very nice but the majority have left little to be desired, however as a big fan of smokey BBQ style sauces I was eager to give this a try.

On first taste you instantly get the sweetness of tomatoes and a typical flavours you associate with a decent ketchup, this is then followed by a smoky depth that you would associate with a BBQ sauce, but this isn’t a BBQ sauce it’s a ketchup and that’s exactly what it tastes like. However, unlike many supermarket brought ketchups you can actually taste the sweetness of the tomatoes over the vinegar which sets this apart from your typical middle of the road ketchup.

In terms of heat there is a very very mild burn, which to be perfectly honest was difficult to detect. I would have liked the ketchup more if the heat was turned up several notches and lingered on the tongue for a few minutes, which it did not. I tried this ketchup with some chicken thigh and sweet potato fries. It went especially well with the fries and I would not hesitate to use this anytime I have chips, fries, wedges etc. It would also go nice on a burger, however I prefer a more spicy BBQ sauce with the majority of barbecued meat.

So has Red’s Judas Ketchup done enough to convert me to their religion and have me worshipping at the altar? Well, at £1.87 a bottle this a very affordable sauce and one that I could putting out when having family barbecues. It would be ideal for people who want something smokey to dip their chips into but without the heat. It is a very respectable tomato ketchup with a subtle smokiness but for me it needed to be a little bit hotter to have me shouting “HALLELUJAH!” from the rooftop.

Nonetheless this has been a good introduction to Red’s products and I am really keen to try more of their sauces and some of the mouthwatering dishes on their menu, so there’s still a chance I will become a believer.

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (9/10)
Overall
(7/10)

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You may have seen our article about Galloway Chillies a few weeks ago, they are using Indiegogo to sell some of their products to raise money so they can buy a van, with which they hope to expand the number of events they can attend and also take more stock and a better stall. Well they have now got 17 days left (as of 24th September 2015) to complete the funding and 77 fab people have backed their project but they still need more backers to help them reach their target of £7500.

Galloway Chillies

For you backing they are offering a range of perks from a thank you for just £2 to £250 for a massive 40 jars of their exceptional range and in the spring some chilli plants. They have lots of options in between so there is something at everybody’s to enjoy.

So now is the time if you have already backed them to tell all your friends of the bargain you have picked up, or if you have not already backed them follow this link and get your perks while you can.

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I admit it, I’ve become a bit snobbish when it comes to hot sauces, thinking only artisan producers make a worthy product and all major food makers cant put a decent sauce together because of all the focus groups and marketing bods muddying the waters, and why do they even bother because there’s no chilli in the things anyway!

So when my first package of sauces arrived from Chilefoundry for review I was surprised and sceptical at the inclusion of a bottle of Heinz ketchup! But in my defence Heinz hasn’t had the best of records when it comes to “hot” sauces, being more bottles of vinegar with a hint of something in the background.
HEINZ Firecracker Sauce

Like a true soldier and wanting to do my best for the site, I put my prejudice aside and cracked open the bottle, first appearances are that its just the same old tomato sauce we all grew up with, the bottle is the same and features the iconic Heinz label shape that’s on upside-down so that you keep it stored standing on the cap, its has the effect of having reluctant sauce hanging on to the base of the bottle, also the cap has one of those little diaphragms that are supposed to reduce spills but actually causes the contents to shoot out with the force of a solid fuel rocket booster from a Saturn 5!

Squirting some of the sauce on my silver spoon I got when I was in catering college, I do the usual reviewer thing of first sniffing the bottle and the spoonful to see what subtle notes I can pick up to indicate the flavours locked within. The initial hit is just as I’d feared, spirit vinegar! some people like a strong vinegar taste and I’m OK with it as long as its actually got a flavour like white wine or cider vinegar does, spirit vinegar is too harsh but is common because its cheap, and big brands are all about making things as cheaply as possible! Hiding behind that though is a sweet tomato and herby hint.

Ingredients: Spirit Vinegar, Water, Concentrated Tomato Puree (17%) Sugar, Date Purée, Chipotle Paste (5%, Tomato Purée, Smoked Jalapeño Peppers, Water, Onion, Spirit Vinegar, Sugar, Peppers, Salt, Garlic, Spices, Parsley, Spice extract) Modified Cornflour, Salt, Concentrated apple juice, Chilli powder, Smoke flavouring, Spice, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate) Spice Extract.

Taste wise again i wasn’t expecting more than a ketchup with no actual chilli heat and a completely over exaggerated label design, but Im pleasantly surprised by the smoky kick and lingering tongue burn offered by the chipotle chilli, its not the main flavour (that going to the highly processed tomato) but does give a twist to your bog standard ketchup.This would be a good addition to your Tuesday night tea of burger and chips or as the Heinz website suggests pizza or hotdogs, Ive added the sauce to my beef chilli as I think the sweetness and chipotle would give a nice balance to a family friendly evening meal.

As I mentioned above the 220ml bottle is that of the usual Heinz design but the label emphasizes the 57 logo and this sauce is part of a range of 10 “signature” sauces comprising of a Garlic, Burger, Flamin’ Cajun, Mint, Tartare, Horseradish, Blue cheese, Cocktail, Caesar and a mustard sauce along with the Firecracker.

So, has this sauce swayed me back to the land of supermarket big brand sauce? simply, no, its a cheap n cheerful addition to your fridge only costing around £1.20 but with the dedication and inventiveness of our beloved artisan producers there are far better sauces out there that mass production cannot match, its worthwhile getting some if you’re throwing a BBQ and have kids and chilli virgins around that may want to play with a safely controlled fire.

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(3/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(7/10)



Editor Note:- James also produced a live feed of his review, which is now below and also on his YouTube Channel.

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