From the South West comes this Hickory Smoked Chipotle Sauce, courtesy of Dartmoor Chilli Farm, who are located in the heart of the National Park. They have quite a range of sauces from the extreme Dynamite to the relatively mild Mango and Pineapple. The Chipotle Sauce sits in their medium designation.

The label on the outside is functional rather than trying to be funny and witty as many of these tend to be, with a summery photograph of the Devonshire countryside.

The innards of this 150ml bottle are dark brown in colour and given the apple content, the sauce mixture is a little pulpy though has no chilli seeds within it, but it still pours freely from the bottle.

Ingredients: Apples, Onions, Tomatoes, Sugar, Molasses, Cider Vinegar, Hickory Smoked Fresh Chillies 4%, Lemon Juice.

On the nose there are no huge chilli vapours to burn the sinuses, simply a sweet smoked aroma which is really rather pleasant. Once the flavour hit your tongue, there’s the earthy and smoky flavour that exudes across the mouth.

There’s a hint of heat, but a mass of flavours, it’s meaty, almost like eating a steak. At £3.50 a pop, Dartmoor Chilli Farm’s Chipotle Sauce represents good value, though it’s easy to get through a bottle rather quickly, it’s one I enjoy heaping on rice dishes for a little bit of pick-me-up chilli smiles, so fans of this type of sauce will want to give this one a look – and while you’re there make sure to check out the chilli chocolate which can be fiendishly heat deceptive.

Bottle kindly supplied by Dartmoor Chilli Farm

 

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (5/10)
Overall
(8/10)

 

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We at Chilefoundry reported back in November 2011 about this mysterious “HP22B” pepper which seemed to suddenly appear on the scene with apparent consistant lab test results showing its heat at an average of 1.5 SHU’s. I am obviously talking about the Carolina Reaper pepper as it is now more commonly known, developed, bred and grown by Ed Currie and his company The Pucker Butt Pepper Company  in the USA, this pepper is well on course to take the title of the Worlds Hottest Chilli.

To create a stable new variety takes many seasons of growing the plant, selecting the seed and re growing, and Ed has been doing just that. New varieties dont just appear overnight as the plants have to have the ability to grow “true” to the original parent, in plant growth, pod shape and heat levels. That all takes time.

The Carolina Reaper has now been released and seeds are available to buy, but from only two stockists,

Ed himself at The Pucker Butt Pepper Company  and also Pepper Joe

So why hasnt this pepper been awarded the world record yet? Well that takes time too, and money. It is being processed as we speak. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this pepper, lots of people have been doubting whether it was for real.

We do like to sample these type of things before giving our opinion, its the only way to get a true understanding of whether the hype is justified or not.

So I was lucky enough to try a pod just before FFUK a few weeks ago, these were brought over by Ted Barrus F.B.I, having received them directly from Ed.

I will state now that I didnt try a whole one, I had about a quarter but that was enough! It was truly brutal and the burn was honestly like nothing I have experienced before from a Chilli, the burn was all over my mouth in seconds and a vicious throat burn to it, I swear I could feel the small piece I ate going down my throat and could feel it sitting in my abdomen very quickly, and just like others have said, there is definately a sweetness to them.

As you can see from the images above and below, these Chillis are gnarly and ugly, the skin is so rough, reminiscent of a 7 Pot Primo but different. I saw a selection and they were folded in themselves with little crevices all over and a little spike on the bottom.

So anyone who wants to doubt the effect these chillis have, please dont, they are the hottest natural thing I have eaten and if you dont believe me, have a look here, where our own Darth Naga is joined by Ted Barrus and Danebear to sample their delights,

WARNING: this video contains vomit, swearing and people in pain, you have been warned!

And here’s Leo “HomeGrownUkChili” Scott’s take on them:

So I for one am growing them next year, whether I can achieve the same heat levels with the UK Climate remains to be seen, but Im looking forward to trying.

And will it get the world record? Only time will tell.

 

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Chillies are very versatile, we all know that. There are now so many varieties in different shapes, sizes, colours, heat levels and flavour. People are always looking for new ways to showcase the Chilli in its best light, so what better way to showcase the heat and flavour by making Candied Chillies and thanks to Fairy Fee ( Fee Campbell ) she is sharing her method here;

 

 

 

 

“Choose a chilli with a good thick flesh and tough skin as they have to withstand quite a bit of cooking.  I used Bulgarian Carrots grown in the Fairy Fee greenhouse.

Slice your chillies to the desired size always mindful that they will ‘shrink’ a bit during cooking.

For every 1 cup of prepared chillies add 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water and slowly bring to the boil stirring all the time until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the chillies and simmer gently until all the stock syrup is absorbed (this takes a few hours) taking care not to allow it to burn.

 

 

Allow to cool slightly but be careful not to let the chillies stick together.

 

 

 

 

Coat each piece in granulated sugar and place on a rack to dry overnight (or on a very low heat in the oven for an hour or so but be careful because they will burn very easily).

 

 

 

 

Melt some bitter chocolate and dip half the chilli in the chocolate and lay on greaseproof paper to set.”

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it, a simple but slightly different way to use some of your home grown crop and with Christmas fast approaching, giving these in a box or pack would make a great stocking filler for the Chillihead in your life!

 

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There have been many Chilli Festivals to attend this year with the culmination being FFUK which this year was held on 14/15/16th September. This year’s festival was all the more poignant with the untimely passing of Pete Seymour, weeks before the event. He was Godfather of the Chilli world and head of the ChilliPepperPete operation which runs the festival. For the first time, the festival opened on the Friday night to extend the weekend fun. This is my report;

The gates opened on the dot of 5.00pm at the event held in Victoria Gardens, Brighton opposite the rather grand Royal Pavilion.The Friday night entertainment consisted of a “World Record” attempt by some unlucky individual (separate article coming) and the “Man Vs Fire” Buffet both compared by comedian Matt Whistler.

The buffet consisted of a whole host of different snack items including the likes of chilli pizza, chilli cocktails, fresh chillies, Super-hot burgers supplied by Burger off (a local burger restaurant)  Satan’s ashes curry, Chilli Chocloate Brownies and a few other “delicacies’”.Each was labelled with how many Scoville Heat Units were in it and the contestants could collect the labels once they had eaten each one.

 There was a 10 minute time limit too. Our own Darth Naga took part along with 4 others including Ted “The Fire Breathing Idiot” Barrus, who had been flown in from the US for the festival, he may be familiar to some of you, but you can see some of his videos he produced at the event on YouTube here but be aware that some of the things he attempts should not be attempted at home! and there will be some bad language.

It turned out that the eventual winner of the buffet was the only female taking part, Clare Cameron (pictured above with her trophy) who I believed consumed something in the region of 9 million Scovilles!

On Saturday the gates opened at 11.00 and the event started to fill up, the sun was shining, the bar was very popular! There was a great selection of traders including The Chilli Pepper Company, Grim Reaper Foods, Mr Vikkis, Mad Ass, Burning Desire, Chillilicious and China Spice.

I was asked to be a Judge, along with Ted Barrus and Carl Anderson on the National Chilli Awards for the professional sauces which meant us sitting on our own and tasting lots of small containers of chilli products to decide the winners in various different categories.

After that we as Judges were then invited on stage with compare Rob Dumbrill to present the Chilli Awards.

These awards have become very prestigious as previous years entrants in the Amateur category were not only now set up and selling their sauces but also now winning the professional awards too.Congratulations to those that won.

Next was a very moving video tribute to Chilli Pepper Pete which was played on the large screens, you can see it below:

Then at 6.00pm the Chilli eating competition began, 15 contestants, 10 chillies, last man or woman wins.

Rules –

  • Every competitor has to swig a mouthful of beer to start, which washes away any substance they may or may not have secreted in the mouth to help with the burn.
  • The whole chilli must be chewed and swallowed (excluding the stalk)
  • If anyone is sick they are out, even a “burp with substance” counts as Rob so nicely stated

So the competitors progressed through the rounds from the Aci Sivri at about 5,000 SHU’s and topped out at the Borg 9, topping a cool 2 million SHU’s! until there was a winner.

The evening continued with live music and the bar kept serving until the show closed at 9.00pm.

Sunday began with live music again, and the judging of the Amateur Sauce category, this is a much sought after title as previous winners of this have gone on to start up their own companies.

This was won by Karen Willmott who goes under the name “Mrs Chutney”,with her Chilli sauce called Sunrise.

Not only did she receive the award, but by winning she gets to work with ChilliPepperPete on getting her chilli sauce into production.

Also at the show was the National BBQ Network, who were running 2 days of their “Ready Steady Q” which is a take on Ready Steady cook where contestants got the same cut of meat and could choose 5 additional items from their store cupboard and in 45 minutes had to create something on the BBQ to impress the judges, everything was supplied and winners would go through to the final with a chance to win some great prizes.

This was a nice extra attraction on both days and the spectators were able to sample the freshly cooked food

But before you could say Habanero, it was time for the 2nd Chilli eating competition…3…2…1…chew!

And then sadly the festival was over for another year.

I think it was very fitting tribute to Pete Seymour.

The festival will be seen again albeit in parts, on television as ITV and the BBC were at the festival filming for different TV shows.

All I can say is bring on next year!

 

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