Martin 'Scooby' Arnold

Sensations Mexican Smoke Chilli Peanuts

Sensations Mexican Smoke Chilli Peanuts

Come on then guys, what did the left nut say to the right nut? The guy in the middle thinks he is so hard haha Moving swiftly on, as you’ve probably guessed my review today is on, nuts. Walkers nuts no less. You have probably no doubt tried some of the Walkers range of sensations crisps. My favourite being the Thai sweet chilli which are very nice. Most of the range are to be fair which is why I’m quite keen on trying these. ‘Sensations Mexican Smoked Chilli coated peanuts’. They come in a very nice and sturdy non glossy foil style pack. Unfortunately it is not a reseal able pack but one that has a bit of tape to hold the pack down. The pack carries its usual flair from the sensations range with dried chillis and nuts exploding on the font of the packet. One big downfall that I have noticed on close inspection is the word ‘flavour’ in extremely small lettering under the Mexican smoked chilli. So they are not exactly Mexican smoked chilli, but are meant to contain the flavour of them. Lets see.

Ingredients: Peanuts (41%), Starch, vegetable oil, Mexican smoked chilli flavour, yeast extract, potassium chloride, sour cream powder, yeast powder, citric acid, maltodextrin, rice flour, salt, colours.

Sounds like more the contents of a chemistry set rather than a pack of nuts. They smell pretty good though. Although when I say good, I mean they smell of normal peanuts. Nothing more. If anything they smell of dry roasted, nothing else comes out of the pack other than that. It does however look like the honey monster has left a load of sugar puffs in here. These are completely coated peanuts, as in, peanuts in a crispy shell. Not the coated I had thought of being dusted with some lovely chilli powder.

So far, bit of a mix of emotions, you guessed it, I’m not completely ‘nuts’ about these as yet haha……ha??? They do taste pretty good. Not as appealing as a straight peanut due to having this outer coating but do taste pretty nice. A mild smoky flavour with a non existent element of heat. That has let me down in a big way now, no heat????? There should at least be something surely? As you can see in the picture my 3 year old son Oliver loved these nuts. He normally goes for pistachios but today he grabbed these. And after 3 handfuls then turned around dancing saying they where hot. I think that sums up the heat level don’t you?

So…..Packaging looks good but needs a proper seal system. Don’t try and hide the fact that its only a flavour and not the real deal. Lose the outer coating, its not bad at all but I think would be lot better without it. Keep the smoky flavour as it is in keeping with the sensation range but please grow some nuts and stick some heat in. I don’t mean blow your head off heat, but you need to get something off. If I was given these as a non chilli product I could quite happily eat the whole pack as the flavour is pretty damn good ultimately.

A 165g bag of these will set you back a mere £1.99 which in the terms of peanuts, is pretty cheap. Looking back though the pack is only 41% nut, the rest is coating and flavouring. They can be picked up from pretty much any supermarket by the look of things. Get them if you enjoy a nibble with a bottle of wine or whisky and relax. Not if you are after a hot snack fix. You will enjoy if not a big hot hot hot fan.

So until next time guys, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(0.5/10)
Packaging
(8.5/10) (would get 9.5/10 if had a proper seal grrr)
Value
(8.5/10)
Overall
(7/10) (More heat please!!)

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Wahaca De Arbol Sauce

Wahaca De Arbol Sauce

We all love a bit of Mexican food right? Hell yes. But like most overseas food it is hard to find something that even comes close to the real deal, well unless your talking Colonel Sanders where it tastes the same globally. Well here today I have ‘A dash of Wahaca Mexican eating searingly hot chile de arbol sauce’. Your probably thinking the same? Just another company trying to make money branding it as true to the original part of the world that it came from? Well I’m afraid we are both wrong. Just take a look at the producer (Thomasina Miers) of the sauces history. Co-Author of Mexican food made simple, Masterchef 2005 winner as well as co-presenting cookery series on channel 4. Thomasina has skills. The bottle I have here is very stylish yet simple with a great skeletal Mariachi on the guitar, no doubt playing jonny cash? Okay that ones getting old now lol

The sauce itself looks similar thickness to say vinegar so much more of a pouring sauce. Quite dark in colour, rich orange and red blend with remnants of dried chilli that has been chopped and left to meander around the bottle awaiting to jump out onto my spoon.

Ingredients: Water, Red bell pepper, Spirit vinegar, sugar, dried chilli, cayenne pepper, maize starch, dried roasted garlic, salt, dried onion, red chilli, Chile De Arbol 0.6%, Smoked paprika, Oregano, Allspice, Natural chilli flavouring, Cumin.

I think that just about sums that up. Lots going on it here and the smell is very true to its roots. Strong aroma of what reminds me greatly of chilli con carne. I can sense that I am eating chilli as we speak, the aroma is so distinctive. No more messing with this I really want to give it a taste. Bugger, the kids just run off with my spoon, time to tip the bottle back then.

Immediately I get the taste of chilli con carne, and this flavour builds and builds at the same rate as the heat. Lovely warming of the mouth which quickly moves to burn which is great. Ever so slight vinegar essence in the background but not enough to do any harm to the sauce. Good smoky flavour starts flowing while the heat levels out comfortably. This to me is a very VERY good Mexican sauce. My only area that I feel needs a bit of work is that I would prefer it if it was thicker. Don’t get me wrong the flavour is great. I guess its just me having trouble separating the flavour from actually eating chilli. I’m used to chewing when I get this taste, but I can’t with this. But still, awesome taste and heat. Multitude of Mexican flavours coming out, wave after wave. You can almost pick out the individual spices that have gone into this and the compliment to each other is perfect.

I can see this being used to spice up your salad of the bbq season (if there is one), to even adding an extra something to your winter stews. Pretty versatile which is where I reckon the thickness has been designed to be this loose. Clever thinking. This is actually the first product I have tried from Wahaca but I look forward to others now.

I could not find out price for this, but looking back on a review Hot Juan did at the end of May and it looks as though Sainsbury is the place to go. £1.32 (was £1.99) for a 150ml bottle is not bad value in my eyes for a sauce that packs this flavour. I think Hot Juan would have preferred this one over his Smoky Chipotle sauce. Don’t worry I’ll save you a drop lol So give this one a look guys. Not a bad little number at all.

So until next time guys, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(7.5/10)
Value
(6.5/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

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Tell me if I’m wrong guys but haven’t we all dreamt at some point of being a secret agent? Well for Ged at The Chilli Pepper Company this is more a delusion than a dream as I found out when I got the instructions for my next review which is of 4 chicken wing sauces/rub. I was told that they should be shaken and not stirred??? Really? Hope your not winding me up here lol Anyway, as I was saying I have 4 products here chilli peeps. All created by Ged and his brother Brian from Canada. Both as crazy as the other when it comes to Chilli products.

The first is Flamin’ wing seasoning which Ged has kindly coated 2kg of wings for me and left in the fridge over night to soak up all of the flavours and spices. From here my instructions where simple, 200’c in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn and put back in for another 15 minutes. And what a smell I am left with. It’s a mix of bbq and fresh chilli aroma, beautiful. Next up I had to split the wings in to 4 piles, one to be left with just the rub, and the other 3 for the sauces which are…..

Flip the bird, Teryaki wizard, and El Diablo.

Flip The Bird - El Diablo - Teriyaki Wizard

Flip The Bird - El Diablo - Teriyaki Wizard

So after shaking the wings in each sauce I can on with the taste test along side Alex and Scottie 2 Hottie. First off, Flamin’ Wing Seasoning (ingredients at bottom of review) Awesome dry rub which has truly given the wings a crunchy outer by very moist flesh. Hint of garlic and cinnamon with a lovely mild sweetness and a mildly warming heat. Personally I could quite easily polish off the whole 2kg of wings with just this on. Yum yum.

Ingredients for Flamin’ wing seasoning: Salt, Sugar, Paprika, Onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cinnamon powder, baking powder, bhut jolokia chilli powder.

Next up, Flip the bird. Considering I am not a mustard lover at all I was surprised I liked this. Well actually I loved this. The mustard flavour I am getting is so mild as mixed in with the tomatoes and spices. Packs more of a punch than the dry rub alone but the mustard/tomato combo offers a completely different flavour and the sauce gives a great slightly sticky messy touch that a wing should really have.

Ingredients for Flip the bird: Tomatoes, Mustard, Vinegar, Water, Paprika, Garlic powder, Celery seeds, Salt, Black pepper, Cayenne pepper.

Moving on to what I would say is of similar heat to the Flip the bird but the flavours in my opinion are taking to an even higher level is Teryaki wizard. This one over all is my personal favourite. Pretty hot but not a killer. The soya sauce and honey are main flavours than pull through and these are a real sticky messy treat. Very fruity on the palate and again with our good friend Mr Naga Jolokia supplying the warmth. Without a doubt my number 1 sauce here.

Ingredients for Teryaki Wizard: Soya sauce, Tomatoes, honey, orange juice, sugar, balsamic vinegar, Sesame oil, Naga jolokia chilli, Fresh ginger, Garlic.

And last but not least, El Diablo. Your immediately thinking that this sauce will be milder as having Scotch bonnets in, but then you see the Naga Morich and finally, CHILLI FLAVOUR. Could be interesting. Straight in with first wing. And already I can feel the heat. First to drop is Alex, then Scottie. I’m hanging on and get through two wings before hitting the milk. Again a very sweet and slightly bbq flavour with an insane kick. Lips are on fire and I actually got some lovely chilli burn too, looks like I’m wearing red lipstick. Well it is the weekend after all 😛 You can see my reaction to the wings, hot hot hot. The rub and first 2 sauces are for the normal chilli head, the last is for the mentally insane. So I will definitely be buying more haha.

Ingredients for El Diablo: Scotch bonnet chilli, Naga Morich, Vinegar, Salt, Spices, Garlic, Chilli flavour.

Follow Geds way of cooking them and apply the sauce as he says and you will get one hell of a payoff. These really are a treat. And at £2.50 for the rub and £4.00 for the sauces you can’t go wrong. They go a long way. Take a look today at www.chileseeds.co.uk

Until next time, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out. Scooby out.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(3/10) to  (11/10)
Packaging
(7.5/10)
Value
(8.5/10)
Overall
(9/10)

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Blairs Sudden Death Sauce with Ginseng

Blairs Sudden Death Sauce with Ginseng

Well here it is guys, my chance to get a video done for a review on a Blair’s product. Have tried lots of Blairs products in the past so I’m pretty sure I know to expect, a big burn!! The sauce I’m reviewing today is ‘Blairs Sudden Death’. Not noted as being his hottest sauce but looking at his site http://blairshotsauce.com/ its looks to be up there. I have today with me Clare from www.curry-with-love.co.uk and the usual numpty Forkhandle.

Straight away we love the packaging. Coffin shaped shaped box with a skull keyring attached to the bottle inside. Pretty good glossy label to which is consistent with his sauce range with a posing fiery looking skull. Of course it would not be blairs without a few of his usual witty warnings like ‘use only a microdrop at a time’. Pah, warnings are there to be ignored for the better hey? Mind you my parents ignored the warnings of contraception and ended up with me so maybe warnings should be listened to hehe.

Sauce itself looks evil dark red with the odd seed and chilli remnant and an aroma that matches its appearance. I immediately get a smell of heat with a mix of Habanero and Cayenne while Forkhandle straight away picks up the extract. Straight away the alarm bells ring and Forkhanle’s face drops when I tell him to use it a drop at a time, not a spoonful but hey ho. Only live once.

Ingredients: Habanero peppers, Cayenne peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Honey, Natural flavour, Corn starch, Garlic, Lime juice concentrate. Ascorbic acid, Ginseng and Spices.

Bottle kindly provided by Hot-Headz

Not a fancy list of ingredients but some killers in there none the less, especially a dollop of ‘Flavour’. Lets cut the chit chat and get tasting.

Swirling it round the mouth is fine, bit metallicy and bitter from the extract as backing up what Forkhandle said about the vinegar smell. The burn is pretty intense. It is definitely not one of his hottest but it sure does pack a punch. Tears and hiccups flowing nicely. Clare is manning it up a treat while Forkhandle has a near death experience I think. Habanero and Cayenne taste pulling through but for me, I’m afraid its all a bit too metallic. Great for a kick as an additive to your fish and meat dishes for example, but not on its own as a dipping sauce ect. I think this will be a sauce you either love or hate in a marmite style relationship. But as I say if you want a blast of heat, then you have it here in a bottle.

To get your hands on one of these go to www.hot-headz.com . £6.95 a bottle seems a bit up there in the financial stakes but with this heat it should see you nicely into the next century if used as advised with a drop at a time.

So until next time guys, from Scooby, Clare and Forkhandle, ‘If it burns going in, it will burn coming out.’

Flavour
(3.5/10)
Heat
(9/10)
Packaging
(8.5/10)
Value
(7/10)
Overall
(6/10)

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