General Information

Dear Readers,

As we very rapidly approach the festive season I would like to take this opportunity to thank the readership of Chilefoundry from around the world for visiting us and reading our articles.

I would also like to thank the team, Darth Naga, Marty “Scooby” Arnold, David Kelly, Marty Greenwell, and new recruits Rob House, Clare Cameron and Chris Whitehouse for giving their time to review and write for the site, and for the help given to me taking on the Editor role. Hopefully I have been doing the site justice.

Some of you may not realise that none of the team, including myself gets paid, we all have real jobs to pay the bills and this is a hobby for all of us which we love. So if there are times when there are no new articles for a few days, then please bear with me. I have a 50 hour fulltime job and with all the team family and life sometimes get in the way!

From Saturday 22nd December until the 1st week in January there will be a break of published articles, I may have time to publish the odd article, time permitting, but we are all going to have a well earned rest over the festive season (even though I am working!) and return in the New Year with all the latest chilli reviews and news from around the world. I will however try to get the events diary up to date during this period.

So from all the team at Chilefoundry, I would like to wish everybody a very Happy Spice filled Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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For those not aware, Capsicana are a supplier of authentic spices, dried Herbs and Chillies. They also post some fantastic recipes on their website. Ben runs Capsicana and heres a little bit about him written by him;

I founded the Capsicana Chilli Co because I love chillies and authentic world cuisine.

My earliest memory of spicy food was when my parents gave me some bombay mix when I was about four – I think I must have been harassing them for some and they thought that I’d stop pestering them after the chilli powder hit my taste buds. Well I loved it and for ages afterwards they would get me a packet of bombay mix on every Saturday shopping trip and I would sit on the living room floor with my spicy snack and glass of milk just in case it got too hot!

And so the obsession continued! We would frequently prepare delicious world food recipes particularly indian and south east asian and the kitchen became my favourite room in the house.

When I was a teenager my Dad started to get into Mexican cuisine so we would often have a Mexican food night and occasionally I’d get a bottle of Sol or Dos Equis if I was lucky! I became truly captivated when I discovered the immense variety of chillies and the unique qualities they each possess from size, shape, colour and most importantly FLAVOUR – and I suppose this is the main drive that kicked Capsicana into being; I want everyone to enjoy the flavours of chillies and think of them as something more than that which imparts heat”

You may be aware of a series currently being aired on C4 called Spice Trip where a professional chef and a spice blender travel the world uncovering spices and cooking fantastic recipes.

To celebrate this, Ben is offering all his customers 20% off all products using the code SPICETRIP and is valid until the end of the year and in addition to that, you will get a FREE pack of their Smoked Bhut Jolokia Dried Chillies.

There is also a competition running on the site to win a copy of the book that accompanies the TV show, details are available here

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Ged Fowler, owner, grower, sauce maker and purveyer of pure pain at The Chilli Pepper Company  has been in touch with Chilefoundry for us to tell you about two Christmas specials he has available for a limited time.

Firstly we have the following new product which is very limited edition;

Triple XXL is an EXTREME special Limited Edition Hot Chilli Powder

Very hot chilli pepper powder blended from some of the hottest and rarest dried pods known to man. This special blend contains ONLY – 7pot, 7pot Barrackpore, 7pot Primo, Bhut Jolokia, Big Bang Chocolate Naga, Black Naga, Chocolate Bhut Jolokia, Orange Bhut Jolokia, Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, Trinidad Douglah, Trinidad Moruga Blend and Brain Strain. We use a special drying process to maintain full taste.

8g of ultimate Pain £3.00

It is available from The Chilli Pepper Company website now

We at Chilefoundry haven’t tasted it, but if it is anything like a lot of Ged’s other products then it will certainly pack a punch!

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And next we have an old favourite of ours;

16 million SHU Capsaicin Crystal in a 0.4g vial.

As a special offer Ged is selling this tube of evil crystal on a multi-buy offer.

Available for £12.00 but for a limited period, Buy 3 and get one free

Ged has sold this for quite a while, and it is still legal to buy and sell it in the UK. This is sold purely as a collectors item, 0.4g of pure Capsaicin. It is only soluble in alcohol, and there are plenty of warnings on the website warning of consuming this stuff. But no one in their right mind would drink vodka with this stuff in it, would they? surely not….hang on there is someone….take a look at one of our favourite Chilefoundry videos with Darth Naga….

This stuff will be banned at some point so another ideal stocking filler for that special Chilli Head.

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Jon Doody is man who is undeniably passionate about Chillies, there’s no doubt about that. But his specific passion is cooking Chilli and Chilli Cook offs. This is a staple activity in the US and has been for ages. Jon has now set up the UK Chilli Cook-off Association.

We in the UK are somewhat new to the scene but Jon is doing his best to change things. There are a few UK teams now who compete at the likes of Grillstock and take things very seriously indeed. One such team is the Royal Q Pit Crew headed up by Steve Heyes, these guys have got a formidable reputation already.

Now, if you are thinking that cooking a Chilli in a competition is simply a case of just throwing in some mince, tomatoes and chilli powder, then you are wrong. Things are a lot more technical and the ingredients lists are usually somewhat longer and each teams recipe is a closely guarded secret!

I was able to witness the 1st Upton Cheyney Chilli Cook- off this year and was very impressed by the effort put in by the teams, even down to the costumes worn and the displays at each teams stand.

I think I am right in saying the 1st event was organised by Jon was the Reading Chilli Cook-off which was a resounding success and now we have the UK Association to spread the Chilli love to all corners of the country.

The rules for these competitions are very strict too, the basics are that the teams have 4 hours to prepare and cook their chilli, it must be at least 1 UK Gallon in volume, but the rules go much further, and can be found here

One key thing to point out is, although the competition is serious, it is done in a fun atmosphere as is the case with the Chilli industry and also will continue to raise lots of money for charity as spoons are sold at events for the public to sample a Chilli once the Judges sample has been taken with the procedes going to various charities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Jon’s plans are to have regional events going on in the UK and there are already events planned for 2013 including;

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

North East Chilli Cook- off – 7th July (Part of North East Chilli Fest)

The Great Dorset Chilli Cook- off – 18th July (Part of the Great Dorset Chilli Festival)

The 2nd Upton Cheyney Chilli Cook- off – 14th September (Part of the 5th Upton Cheyney Chilli Festival)

So you can visit the UK Association website and register a team ahead of any competitions you may like to enter next year, you can follow developments via twitter @UKChilliCookOff or on facebook here : http://www.facebook.com/UKChilliCookOffAssociation

There is no doubt that Jon has a passion for cooking Chilli and we are going to see a lot of him next year.

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