You may have read in the national press about the Komodo Dragon that is being commercially grown in Bedfordshire by Salvatore Genovese who is one of the UK largest suppliers of fresh chillies to the supermarkets.

Salvatore Genovese and the Komodo Dragon (Image © Tesco) Salvatore Genovese and the Komodo Dragon (Image © Tesco)

The Komodo Dragon is reported to come in at 1.4M SHU (Scoville Heat Units) and is expected to retail at £1 for a 45g pack, and will be on the shelves in 500 Tesco branches until November.

Originally a specialist cucumber grower Salvatore Genovese took over his parents business and started growing chillies 15 years ago, the business has now grown to the point at which they harvest about 1 million pods per week (that is about 15 tonnes) just for the UK.

The Hottest chilli tested in the UK was the Katie grown by Matt Simpson of seed company Simpson Seeds that provisional tests results puts at 1,590,000 SHU

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This years Great Taste Awards have produced a large crop of winners for products based on or flavoured with chilli. Sadly only one as far as we could find was a 3 start winner, but some exceptional products have won 2 and 1 start awards (18 two Star Awards and over 100 one star awards). I believe Mr Vikki’s now has now over the years won awards for all his products

Maybe it is time we had a UK awards scheme just for the UK chilli producers, that worked in a similar way.

*** Star Winners

** Star Winners

* Star Winners

You can see a complete list of winder this year at Why not enter your products next year?


This August why not take a drip to sunny Dorset and how about visiting Sea Spring Seeds, the home of the Dorset Naga, and take a look at their nursery, talk to them about their seed trails.

Sea Spring Seeds

Michael and Joy Michaud are some of the most knowledgeable growers of chillies you will find, they are also happy to help answer any question you may have (I have asked a lot). They also have a great selection of seeds you can buy ready for next year or why not a few plants already covered with chillies.

The Drop-in days are every Wednesday in August 2015 (5th, 12th, 19th and 26th) between 10:30am and 9:00pm so set your GPS for DT2 9DD (Sea Spring Seeds, West Bexington, Dorchester, Dorset. DT2 9DD. Phone 01308 897898 email or

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This weekend we have two events :-

Chilli Fest 2015  Chilli land

Chilliland Chilli Festival – Lowestoft

August 1st 9:30am to 5pm

Taking place at Pontins Pakefield, you will find a selection of regional chillies companies including, Suffolk Naga (Chilli Seeds, Plants, Gifts and More), Chilli Monster (Chilli Chocolate), The Happy Chili Co (Chilli Sauces), Saucey Lady (chilli sauce, chutney and preserves), Sylken Homebrew (Everything Homebrew), Eastern Foods (Ingredients from around the Globe), East Anglian Air Ambulance Charity. DoodleMan . (Chilli Themed Gifts Coming Soon), Norfolks Finest Foods (Pickles and Chutneys), Norfolk Chilli Farm (Plants, Seeds, Fresh Chillis and Sauces), MiriPiri (Local Chilli Jams, Sauces and More), East Coast Cakes & Preserves (Chilli Jams, Preserves & Cakes).

The Great Dorset Chilli Festival – Wimborne St Giles

August 1st and 2nd 10am to 5pm

Great Dorset Chilli Festival 2015This is the 5th Great Dorset Chilli Festival, does not seem like it has been five years. This year you can enjoy not just the stalls, but also watch and possibly taste the regional Chilli Cook-Off, there is also a talks from Matt Simpson on Chilli folklore, Joy Michaud talks is about tips for chilli growers as well as cooking demonstrations from Mat Follas and Yayu Slocock.


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