Martin 'Scooby' Arnold

African Volcano Peri PeriWell it’s not every day you get asked to do a review on a famous chef, let alone two reviews. But When asked to review Grant Hawthorne’s latest culinary delights I jumped at the chance. They are called African Volcano, one being a Peri Peri marinade and the other a Peri Peri sauce I thought what the hell lets do a double review.

For those who do not know who Gran Hawthorne is awarded as the Master Chef of Great Britain. Hawthorne must be part of team GB Olympic squad as these two products are truly golden in colour and both award winning. African cuisine, but British made.

250g bottles with a label that on its own would be boring and bland, but the background is something else. Predominantly looking to be an oil based sauce with the marinade offering a very rich and very powerful dark sunset colour at the top, and a very much darker and less oily base which seems to have all of the good stuff. All of the chilli and seasonings.

As for the sauce??? On the whole it is extremely similar in visual texture being nice and smooth with the oil on top, but the colour is of a lighter amber compared to its marinade.

Ingredients: (Marinade) Fresh Chilli (3%), Olive oil (11%), White wine (28%), Garlic (11%), Plus other seasonings.

Ingredients:  (Sauce) Chilli (5%), Dried chilli (1%), Tomato (15%), Olive oil (9%), Red wine (3%), Garlic (2%), Plus other seasonings.

Bottles kindly provided by African Volcano

Well the first thing that stands out to me which fills me with confidence is that the sauces have different amounts of chilli/dry chilli in. Its not like Grant has just gone and used the same base of chilli and adjusted the flavours around it. Good start.

On to some flavours 😀 Well the marinade first and all I can say is give me some boxes because this ticks them all haha. Very smooth in texture and taste. It takes a couple of seconds before the heat comes through which is great as you get a real feel for the African flavours. You get a hint of the white wine and a lovely blast of garlic and it is only then that the heat pulls through while retaining a beautiful smooth African spice flavour.

And the sauce??? In all honesty it is extremely similar to its counterpart. The only real difference I can find is that the sauce is slightly looser and better for pouring although they maintain similar textures. The seasonings taste brilliant and compliment the textures amazingly. No horrible bitterness or sharpness from the wine or oils, just two lovely and enjoyable products. Heat is noted on bottle as being medium which I would agree with for someone looking for a product for taste that is enjoyable. Both very versatile and great tasting.

So remember guys, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value
(7/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

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Mr Vikki's Tomato and NigellaThe Lake District may not be the first place you think of when your after chilli. Or maybe its just me??? Probably just me as I did not realise that the Lakes are the home of the award winning ‘Mr Vikki’s’. And when I say award winning I mean 44 great taste awards in 5 years!!!! That’s just crazy hey? Once is good, twice is amazing, but 44??? And not only that, but the product today is their ‘Tomato and Nigella Chutney’ which holds a 2 star great taste award winner in 2010. This could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

The chutney is sealed in a standard chutney jar which I believe is 205g and has the usual bright yellow labels with red and black text. Yes its fairly plain, and simple. But that’s what I think is good about it. No rubbish misleading you into thinking its something that its not. Here I go I have to say it….. It does exactly what it says on the tin. (Sorry I had to say it) The labelling is done cleverly too as you two large windows on the jar to see that you are letting yourself in for. And in the case of this chutney, a textured rich yet chutney with black specs a plenty. Despite the jar being full to the brim you can just see that it is lovely and think, perfect for spreading.

Instantly upon opening the jar I a met with a familiar aroma. The aroma you get from the Indian restaurant. I cannot quite put my finger on it but it is a blend of spices that is full of a smooth and yet powerful smell that is both warm and bluddy lovely.

Ingredients: Fresh tomatoes 65%, Sugar, Vinegar, Fresh ginger, Peppers, Garlic, Nigella seeds, Rapeseed oil, Mustard, Salt, Spices.

Jar kindly provided by Mr Vikki’s

Excellent, fresh ingredients is always a good in my opinion. Now lets get to the taste, nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom. This is sweet and sour with a lovely mild heat. The tomato, vinegar and sugar compliment each other brilliantly. While the garlic, peppers and spices take the edge of any sharpness there could have been with the vinegar. This is without a shadow of a doubt a VERY good chutney. Stated on the site to be able to go with anything and this definitely will. Eating this out of the jar with a spoon and I can’t get it in quick enough. Now normally if I think a product is good, I’ll write the review and that’s that. But not this time, straight away I had to contact Darth Naga, The lurch and Hot Juan and give them the low down. I am very
impressed with this Chutney. There is no point in me listing what you can use it for, it would be easier to say what you can’t use it for otherwise we would be here forever.

The flavour and texture give it a sense of a summer chutney, great on salads ect, and at the same time a winter feel to it. This covers all the angles and at only £3.50 for a jar which I believe is 205g. Keen to try more products of Mr Vikki’s but I know that the second I get on the site I will be ordering more and more jars of this rather than anything else right now. Get some in, NOW!

So until next time, If it burns going in, It will burn coming out.

Flavour
(9.5/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(8.5/10)
Value
(7/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

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Well the sun is here so who wants to come a farmers market???? oooooohhhh, and how about a car boot at the same place???? O WAIT!!!! There is even a Chilli Cook-Off there too.

Chilli Cook -Off

I’m definately going now! Well actually I have to as I am on the judging panel for the cook off which I am realllllllly looking forward to. All of this is happening on the same day at the same location. But where I hear you ask???? At the Dolphin Inn in Wortham http://www.dolphin-wortham.co.uk/. All activities are due to start at 12 midday with free access to all. It is going to be a great day for all the family, and the chilli cook off should be pretty eventful with a bit of friendly competition trying to win over my tastebuds.

The Dolphin Inn

If you would like more information on the event in general then please contact Ray on 01379 898228. Or for more information on the Cook off and how to get involved then Nic is your man on 07901766048.

Looking like it will be a good turning on the day with lots of fresh local produce on the farmers market, along with peoples unwanted junk (only messing) at the car boot so go and grab yourself a bargain. And as for the Cook off, well as you all know anything with chilli in the title is good, and anything with cook off is even better. So let the games begin. Hope to see you all there and could at least one of you try and bring the sunshine with you? Pwetty pwease???

If it burns going in, it will burn coming out.

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Chilliqueen - Sweet Chilli KetchupHey hey hey!!!!!!! Going to do a review today but fear I’ll struggle a bit. Not because it’s a blow your head off sauce and not because it tastes bad. But because I decided to open it the other weekend and enjoyed it so much that the jar is empty. So I am going to attempt a review today from partial memory (My brain is shot to bits anyway), as well as scraping the remains out of the bottle with the most fitting piece of cutlery I can find in the kitchen at the time.

The sauce today is…………… Chilliqueen Ketchup. Sweet Chilli Ketchup. I have had a number of their products in the past and its nice to pick up a bottle of a product without the fear of jonny cash paying a visit a few hours later. Previous products have had a great mix of heat and flavour and stand by their claim of using chilli as a subtle form of heat and flavouring. Well as I was having a bbq I had to crack this open. I’m sure that all you meat eaters out there agree, you can’t have a barby without ketchup, or chilli. And when you have them in the same bottle its win win.

The bottle is nice and chunky with what I like to call organic labelling. Bit of fruit and veg to show your product off can look dull at times but Chilliqueen make it work wonders. The sauce however looks not like a typical ketchup red. More orange than red, a kind of dark carrot colour to it. Looking textured with a slight pulpy look to it. Looking interesting so far.

Ingredients: Tomatoes, Sugar, Malt Vinegar, Water, Tomato Puree, Cornflour, Salt, Dijon Mustard, Chilli (0.4%), Ground Celery Seeds, Allspice.

Mustard??? Shudder lol Not a lover. But come on its in a sauce so hopefully I wont notice it. Lets give it a try (Again).

Despite is texture this is a good pourer. Not fast but not slow. It glides out of the bottle and you luckily do not have to slap ten shades of crap out of bottle like you do with another brand of ketchup. You know the brand, I shall call it Breinz ketchup for now to prevent any brands complaining. Used to hate having to slap the bottle or dig your knife in to it. Mind you I am digging this out with a knife right now as the bottle is bleeding empty because I got carried away eating it.

The heat on this sauce is right on the money. You can feel it tingling away and you cannot stop eating it. I found myself putting more and more down the hatch in each mouthful every single time I had this. This tingling is complimented beautifully by the tomato flavour. There is an ever so slight vinegar hint to this sauce which it knocks it back on my overall score but on a very very small level. Probably me just being a bit anal but on the whole this ketchup is awesome. Without a doubt this is one of my favourite ketchups. I feel quite privileged at the moment as I have had a string of products scoring well. The boss must be happy otherwise he’d send me some awful shite. So keep it coming Hot Juan.

At £3.50 this is not a bad price for what you get really. Don’t be fooled into paying less for any Breinz chilli ketchup. This is the real deal. Check it out at www.chilliqueen.co.uk

So remember, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out. Don’t worry though this wont do that lol Its designed for purpose and its purpose is to enjoy!!!!

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value
(7/10)
Overall
(8/10)

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