Clare Cameron

 

When I first picked up this Hot Lemon sauce from Fat Man Chilli I was intrigued and excited to try it. My first impressions were good, I felt the ingredients list was impressive and the packaging was simplistic but clear. I liked the fact you had clear view of the product but was a bit unsure what to have the sauce with. Then I opened it and tried it, the flavour exceeded my expectations and on further kitchen experimentation found it is also extremely versatile.

As soon as you open the bottle you are hit with a strong aroma of lemon and mustard, I can also detect the garlic which is subtle and not too overpowering. The sauce is a mustard colour with the herbs clearly visible. It has a great consistency and texture with the thickness of a dipping sauce, it also works well in cooking.

Without a shadow of a doubt the best feature of this sauce is the taste and this isn’t surprising given the quality of ingredients used. The sharpness of the lemon hits you instantly then you experience the subtle warmth of the Lemon Aji chilli which reminds me of cracked black pepper. I think the use of Limoncello really adds a depth to this sauce.

The great thing about this product is it can be enjoyed with many different dishes and can be enjoyed by non chilliheads. With it being the festive season I have had friends over for nibbles and put this sauce on the table for people to try. Everyone has been very impressed with this sauce as they feel it is not over powering or too intense. The ingredients used complement each other and everyone who tried it went back for more sauce.

I have also cooked with this sauce and found it is a great addition, it works really well when stirred through with rice and I think it would be a great filling for a homemade chicken kiev. In regards to a dipping sauce it goes great with chips, chicken and prawns. I haven’t found anything it doesn’t work with.

I can see why this is the most popular Fat Man Chilli product, the website describes it as ‘A fantastic blend of Lemon Aji chilli and fresh lemons makes this our most popular sauce – you just have to try it’

All sauces and jelly are priced at £3.50 or you can order the Fat Man Chilli Range for £31.00 to find out more check out http://fatmanchilli.webs.com/

Ingredients: Lemon (19%), Lemon Chilli (2%) Wine Vinegar, Water, Mango Pulp, Peppers, Mustard, Onion, Garlic, Palm Sugar, Limoncello, Herbs, Spices, Salt

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(7/10)

 

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When I first heard there was a judging spot at the UK Chilli Cook-off in Brixton I jumped at the chance! I had never been to a chilli cook-off and had never been a judge so all it was all new to me. I know the cook offs are a big deal in America so was really pleased to see them here in the UK.

Whenever I think of a chilli-cook off I always think back to that Simpsons episode where Homer attends the Springfield chilli cook-off and Chief Wiggum has prepared a chilli which contains the merciless peppers of Quetzlzacatenango grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum. Homer not to be beaten covers his mouth in wax and goes back for more and ends up hallucinating. I think most that Chilliheads who watch this episode find they can relate to what he experiences!

It was a lovely, hot sunny day in London and I met up with Darth Naga early as we wanted to go see the Ribman and try his famous ribs before they sold out! We arrived at Brick Lane and the crowded streets and endless street food stalls made him hard to find at first but we soon spotted his stall and went over not only excited about trying the food but to also meet the Ribman himself.

The food was better than I could have imagined, a huge soft white crusty roll filled to the brim with delicate, succulent rib meat then topped off with a good helping of the Ribman’s special Holy Fuck sauce.

It was delicious and clear to see why the stall had a constant queue of people all wanting to get their hands on this fantastic roll! I think the Ribman is selling himself short by saying they are the best ribs in London, they are the best I have tried and I would say they are the best in the UK!

Next we were off to the main event, Brixton. The venue couldn’t have been more perfect it was held at the Grand Union bar Brixton which has one of the largest beer gardens in London. Once there we were immersed in the fabulous, organised chaos which consisted of 13 teams hard at work preparing their chillis for us to judge and the public to sample. I went to the treehouse to meet my fellow judges and sit down, taking in the incredible atmosphere and watching the teams hard at work.

We sampled a range of different chillis, no two were alike and all had their quirks. Some used different spices; different cuts of meat, one team had even steered away from the usual beef to make a chicken chilli. There was one clear winner which we all scored highly and that was Billy Franks, the sauce was so thick and flavoursome with a nice afterburn, the meat was cooked to perfection and if his team ever decide to go into mass production I will be stocking up on it!

It was a really great day and I do feel a good day was had by all. The Chilli Cook Off association raised £ for the Clic Sargent charity by selling spoons to the public so everyone had the opportunity to sample these delicious chilli’s and the atmosphere was electric.

Everyone’s passion and enthusiasm was contagious and after the long day, I left tired yet ecstatic that I had been privileged enough to judge at such a great event. If there is a chilli cook-off near you I recommend you head over and enjoy the fun, you will not be disappointed.   

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This is the third Devils Dynamite paste we have reviewed, the company has a great story of how the company came about. It’s always great to see family run companies doing well and contributing to the UK Chilli Industry.

First and foremost, I really like the packaging. It has a really professional, polished quality. The red and white font works well against the green background the font also incorporates the devils tail which is a good tie in to the name. The jar also differs from the standard round shape its hexagon which I think adds to the unique nature of this product.

The product is a paste as opposed to the standard jam and has a very smooth consistency which seems extremely well blended, opening the jar the coriander and garlic stand out as the most poignant aromas coming through.

Ingredients:

Fresh Scotch Bonnet, Chilli Powder, Fresh Ginger, Fresh Garlic, Paprika, Lemon Juice, Vegetable Oil, Salt, Fresh Coriander

It has a really deep red, crimson colour and a mild, complex taste. The scotch Bonnets work well with the garlic and I think the flavour would be best suited as a coating to meats such as chicken. This would go really well with barbecued meats. It would also make a great base to sauces, adding a spoonful to chilli and pasta dishes would really uplift a dish.

Looking on the Devils Dynamite website  there is range of 5 flavours available to buy online, Explosive Chilli, Mild Chilli, Tandoori Twist, BBQ Twist and Coconut Chilli.

 A large 180g jar retails at £5.50

Jar kindly supplied by Devils Dynamite

Flavour
(6/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(6/10)

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The Mini Jar Company is a fairly new company on the scene, being launched last year and like many companies, priding themselves on not using artificial ingredients and the products are made in small batches. They have a nice range of products available which are sold direct from their website and at many farmers markets and food shows. They are trying to fill the gap in the market for ‘non volume’ jams and preserves which are no longer available in supermarkets. Here we have their Scotch Bonnet & Tomato Preserve.

If I am honest, on first glance I wasn’t expecting much from this plain looking jar but as soon as I opened it I knew I was mistaken..this little jar packs some serious punch!

The lovely waft of warm spices and ginger hits your nose on opening, the texture is a perfect jam like consistency you expect with these products jagged yet at the same time smooth.

This product has a moreish taste which means a mini jar goes really quickly! I do wish this jar had a big brother (or sister) as I used it up far too quickly! The tomatoes and Scotch Bonnets work really well together the ginger compliments the scotch Bonnets Jamaican roots and the rum gives it a great kick! This is the first time I have seen rum in a chilli product and it works really well.

The Packaging is basic but this just shows these jars are not mass produced, it’s simpleyet effective it shows all the information needed and lets the product speak for itself. Now I have tried this product I will definitely be ordering it and trying some more varieties.

Looking on the website, there is a dedicated section to specialised Chile products, I feel the jars are priced fairly at £1.25 a jar. There is a great range and the benefits of a little jar means you can buy lots of different ones and try them all! I really like the sound of the Lemon and Naga Chilli Chutney and the Chilli Peanut Butter

Bottle kindly supplied by The Mini Jar Company

Ingredients:

Scotch Bonnet Chillies, Tomato, Ginger, Garlic, Onions, Vinegar, Spices, Rum

Each product is handmade and heat scale ranges from very mild to very hot (we are talking Naga hot) all products The Mini Jar Company sell are made in small controlled batches which ensures a high quality product every time. They use no additives, colourants or thickening agents and all produce is locally sourced where possible.

One of the great things about their products are they are suitable for vegetarians, vegans & celiac.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(7/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

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