Hi Everyone,

A little while ago David Floyd announced that as the site had reached 1,000,000 page views, it seemed a good time for him to take more of a back seat and step down as Editor. David has worked tirelessly on this site, making it what it is today, a place for the Chilli Community to come and find out information about all sorts of chilli related things.

I think you would all join me in thanking David for what he has done over many years for the Chilefoundry but also the Chilli Community. It is important to state here that David is still owner of this site and will be making sure I do a good job!

 We have been (and still are) working on the changeover, and I, Chris Saunders otherwise known as TheLurch have been appointed Editor for the day to day running of the site and co-ordinating the review team. I will also be responsible for the Twitter account, Facebook page and info@chilefoundry.co.uk email address.

This is a great privilege for me but also quite a daunting one, as with all the team, we fit this around our “normal” work and families so I would kindly ask that you bear with me for the immediate future as I get to    grips with how things work.

New content will be appearing very soon including the events for next year as this is important for all of you, the readership to start planning next years festival season.

Due to various technical reasons, we have had to do a bit of a reshuffle with regard to the Chilefoundry Youtube Channels.

It has been agreed that from now on, we will use Darth Naga’s (Tony Ainsworth) new Youtube channel  for Chilefoundry video reviews.

Tony will obviously be posting his own content as well, but he is gradually transferring all the old classic videos over to his Channel for your enjoyment. So please can I ask all current Chilefoundry Youtuber’s to subscribe to Darth Naga’s channel as there will be no new content on the old channels.

Please click the link and hit subscribe:

http://www.youtube.com/user/darthnaga?feature=results_main

 

 

Darth Naga will continue to do video reviews for the site along with his own content.

Martin ” Scooby” Arnold will continue to do video reviews and some written reviews

David ” Norn Ironman” Kelly will continue to do written reviews along with myself.

It may be that we will require a couple of others to join the review team in the future, this is undecided so please don’t ask, we already have a list of possible candidates, more on that to follow.

So to the suppliers/producers, please take a note of the change of  postal address to send product to, its in the “Contact Us” at the top of the page. If you specifically want a video review please still submit the item to to the Chilefoundry and we will do our best to accommodate this.

Could I also ask those who can, to share this article through their own social media so this news can be spread among the chilli community, many thanks.

And to the many monthly newsletter subscribers, please also bear with me, this will be coming too!

I think that’s about it from me.

Here’s to the future success of the Chilefoundry

 

Chris Saunders – Editor

 

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In deepest Bedfordshire, there is something growing, in more ways than one.

Edible Ornamentals I am of course talking about Edible Ornamentals, the Chilli growing business owned and run by Shawn and Joanna Plumb, who now have the likes of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose on their stockist list.

So what makes this company tick? In early September, my wife and I were able to take part in their “Tasting Tour” of the nursery (I will mention how to book later).

So here’s what I thought and a little background to the company.

Edible Ornamentals started selling and growing Chillies part time in 2001 and made various chilli products until 2007 when they purchased the present site in Chawston, which was an old flower nursery and in significant disrepair.

Edible Ornamentals With a lot of hard work they have built Polytunnel’s to house their range of Chillies all sown and grown by them on site. They also now have their own range of Sauces and Chutneys to sell alongside a vast range of fresh chillies from Padron to the fiery Bhut Jolokia.

Being a Chilli grower myself, I was keen to see how the “big boys” did it.

Upon arrival we were made very welcome by one of the staff, even though they were very busy, it was a Sunday afternoon and they had stalls at a couple of events that day plus the nursery had some casual shoppers looking through the plants for sale.

I was impressed by the friendliness of the staff, who seemed genuinely interested in what they were doing and us as visitors. We were encouraged to have a coffee or a juice in the plant sales greenhouse while we waited for the other tour guests, which was very welcome after our 150-mile drive to get there!

Joanna PlumbJoanna appeared and said hello, I had met her on several occasions at Chilli Festivals and her passion for Chilli’s just bubbles out of her!

Before we knew it everyone was there and we started.

Jo begins by talking about types of chilli and seeds, compost, how to sow, transplant etc, all delivered in a very simple to understand way but in no way condescending. I was pleasantly surprised that I’m doing things the right way at home!

The tour seems to attract a wide demographic of people with a wide mix of questions, all comfortably answered.

After this segment we were taken to the “Pick your own Polytunnel” which is a great concept and as far as I am aware the only one of its kind in the UK. We were given a plastic bag and 5 minutes to pick what we wanted from the array of plants here, I was immediately struck by how well tended the plants were, with lovely dark green leaves.

Joanna PlumbJo explained that the watering and feeding is computer controlled and the concentration of feed is worked out by panels, which report how much sun there is so the watering is adjusted all by itself, very clever stuff and not something I can replicate at home unfortunately.

We were then taken to the Commercial Tunnels and were shown a tunnel completely full of Tomatillo plants bursting with fruit.

I had never seen these growing before, and for anyone who hasn’t seen them, the fruit is like a green tomato in appearance covered in a papery husk which splits as the fruit ripens, the fruits stay green and taste a little like a cross between melon, cucumber and tomato, these are used for salsa’s and other Mexican dishes. We were able to pick some of these too.

Next we saw two other tunnels with various varieties in their rows, all described by Jo, the Dorset Naga, Bhut Jolokia, Serrano, Poblanos were just a few, and again we were allowed to pick a couple of each for our bags.

The Edible Ornamentals ExperienceWe then moved on to their commercial kitchen where the sauces are made, bottled and labelled, industrial chest freezers packed with pre chopped up harvest from the previous year. Chillies freeze well for cooking later and do not loose any of their heat, and for these guys, freezing excess is essential, they try to cook with fresh during the cropping period but need to maintain the cooking during the winter months and this is the only way.

Talking of the sauces, our last port of call is the shop, a log cabin which houses their full range of sauces and various other chilli related products. The walls are adorned with press cuttings of Jo with various celebrities who have visited the Nursery, Jo is no stranger to the camera having appeared on a few TV shows including Gordon Ramsay’s current teatime cookery show.

It is here that we get a tasting session going through their range of sauces from mild to hot, then Jo produces a selection of fresh chillies and cuts them up for tasting, gradually building up again from very mild to the Bhut Jolokia.

At no time did I feel we were rushed and there was some great discussion generated as we went along. The tour lasts between one to one and a half hours.

I hear that Jo and Shawn have just received planning permission for a coffee shop too which will only add to the experience.

Edible Ornamentals ProductsSo in summary, this is the perfect place to visit for anyone, from a chilli newbie to a seasoned Chilli head, if you have never grown chillies or are an experienced back garden grower, this tour will teach you something. The guys at Edibles really know their stuff and have a real passion for what they do coupled with a really relaxed laid back approach, which I love.

Tickets are available direct from the website and are for two priced at £35.00 or alternatively can be bought through Virgin Experience Days and then booked online through Edibles own website.

These would make the perfect Christmas gift, and can be booked for later next season. Tours are run from May to the end of September.

Unfortunately the only criticism I could find is that they are located too far away from where I live!

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We have been informed of two special offers running at the moment:

The Wiltshire Chilli Farm - Mango Hot Chilli SauceThe Wiltshire Chilli Farm is offering four of its best selling products for just £12.00

This offer only lasts a few days, so click here to order your pack
 ……………………………..

Hot-HeadzWhile Hot-Headz are running a FREE gift pack promotion if you spend over £30 before the 30th September

The gift pack contains a bottle of each:-

This gift pack would normally retails for £13.00

To get the gift pack you will need to use voucher code EMS-0912 when orderering

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It is seldom that we get a chocolate products in with a name like this. I would not normally associate “the ticker” with chocolate or chillies, but having tasted it I now know why they named it so.

The Ticker

This chocolate combines Chipotle Chillies with Raspberries and quality milky white chocolate and they are a match make in heaven, the chocolate melts in the mouth revealing the freeze dried raspberries delicate flavour, as it melts further the chipotle chilles start to tingle on the tongue (or should I say tickle). This chocolate is almost impossible to put down, 100g just does not seem enough.

Ingredients: Dominican Republic White Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Flavouring: Natural Vanilla), Freeze Dried Raspberries, Smoked Chipotle Chillies (0.5%).  Allergen: may contain Soya Lecitchin. Minimum 31% Cocoa Solid.

Pack supplied by the Upton Cheyney Chilli Company

This chocolate is very seductive, there is not of that oily like that nasty while chocolate I remember from my youth, this is creamy and smooth.

The Chipotle chillies are grown and smoked on the farm for 18 hours and they impart a wonderful warmth with a delightful smoky aroma that again lacks any of the unpleasantness of chemically smoked additives.

This is one of the most interesting products I have tasted in a while, a great use of ingredients, well combined and balanced so that you can taste them all and enjoy them all.

A 100g pack cost £4.00 and can be ordered on-line or purchased at the many markets and events the  Upton Cheyney Chilli Company attends..

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(7.5/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

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