The combination of chilli and chocolate isn’t something that is a recent gastronomic discovery. It’s a winning combination that’s been around since ~2500BC when the Mayans first mixed the two ingredients. Now whilst the Mayan’s hadn’t developed the know how to produce their own bars of chilli chocolate back then, thankfully this manufacturing process has long since been mastered. This bar of Stinger chilli chocolate comes crafted from the Upton Cheyney Chilli Company with assistance from their master Chocolatier – Gorgeous Georges in Bristol.

Ingredients: Ecuador Dark Chocolate (Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Cocoa butter, Flavouring; Natural Vanilla), Naga Chilli (0.25%) Min 71% Cocoa Solid

Kindly supplied by The Upton Cheyney Chilli Company

Packaging is kept minimalistic with large chocolate shards packaged in a cellophane bag with a simple label but the image of the scorpion on the label certainly helps to grab your attention.

The ingredients label on the underside of the packet indicates that this chocolate is made from Ecuadorian cocoa. Ecuador is one of the top-producing cacao countries in the world and its cocoa beans are renowned for their distinctive tasting notes.

Opening the packet and inhaling I get a rich cocoa smell with subtle sweet floral tones, which remind me of jasmine flowers. In Ecuador many of the varieties of cocoa trees cultivated bear flowers and this may help to explain this aroma.

Without even tasting the products it’s also very clear that there’s chilli within the product as I begin to feel a slight warmth in my nose and at the back of my throat – an after effect of inhaling too deeply from the bag!

Taking a shared out of the bag and breaking it, it has a good sounding snap and it breaks cleanly – two sign signs of a good quality chocolate. Popping a piece into my mouth I can taste the richness of the cocoa solids, and then slowly the warmth from the chillies comes through as the chocolate begins to melt.

Despite the high percentage of cocoa solids the taste isn’t at all bitter as sometimes can be encountered with chocolate using a high percentage of cocoa solids. This chocolate has a smoother chocolate taste with pleasant vanilla tones.

There’s a good balance between the sweetness of the chocolate and the flavour of the Naga chilli. Initially the heat from the chillies starts mildly in the spot where the chocolate is but soon the Naga kick becomes more apparent at the back of my mouth and throat. At only 0.25% Naga this is not going to be a killer heat, but there’s a noticeable sting in the tail and the effect builds in intensity as I take several more pieces.

At £4 for 100g this may seem a little bit more expensive compared to some other specialist chilli chocolate bars available on the market but it’s clearly evident from tasting that this is a premium quality chocolate and I wouldn’t have any hesitation in recommending you buy & and try it for yourself.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)

 

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Even though the 2012 growing season is only just coming to a close for most of us, now is the time to be looking to source seeds for next years “grow”. Some of the more organised people will already have their seeds for next year, but if you are new to trying to source seeds, we thought it might be useful to compile a list of chilli seed suppliers in one place.

This list is not exhaustive, nor do we recommend one site over another.

You can of course buy chilli seed from one of the large national vegetable gardening catalogues but you will be very limited in choice.

One important thing to point out especially to the “newbie” chilli grower, is that you may find yourself on places like Ebay searching for seeds, now although there are a few reputable seed sellers, there are also a lot of people who will try and cash in on the prices that some of the hottest chilli seeds command.

You might think you have a bargain for 10 Butch T seeds, but its a long time to wait to find that the Butch T seed you planted in January turns out to be a very common Jalapeno! You have been warned!

So here are some of the more well known Chilli Seed Specialists.

UK:

Simpson’s Seeds

Matt Simpson runs the company, and sells other types of seed but does specialise in Chillies. He is very well known in the UK Chilli business and others have reported great germination rates.

Seaspring Seeds

Joy and Michael Michaud run Sea Spring in Dorset, they also sell other vegetable seed but Chillies are at the heart of their business, they develop new Chilli varieties and created the Dorset Naga.

The Chilli Pepper Company or Chileseeds.co.uk

Gerald Fowler runs the company, his business is split between hot sauce products and the seed side of the business, he developed the Naga Viper

Chilli Pepper Pete

Miranda and Rose sell seeds from the main website, and at events, the website selection is expanding, feel free to contact them if there is a particular variety you are after.

Nicky’s Nursery

Quite a wide selection of Chilli seeds available here, and also other vegetable seeds.

Seeds of Italy

The home of franchi seeds, the oldest family run seed company in the world,  7 generations still in the same family since 1783. They have Vegetable seeds including Chill seeds.

Chillies on the Web

Steve Alexander runs this site which sells seed but also other chilli products.

 

Outside the UK:

Bountiful Seeds  (France)

Ivor Davies heads up the company, selling 100’s of varieties shipping worldwide.

Capsicums  (France)

Matthieu Le Gal runs this site, selling seeds but also various other spicy goodies.

The Hippy Seed Company  (Australia)

Neil Smith, YouTube video reviewer runs this site with the help of his new wife and Luke, extremely quick service from these guys.

Refining Fire Chiles (USA)

Jim Duffy, owner of RFC selling Chilli and other seeds, some rarer varieties can be found here

Pepper Lover  (USA)

Judy runs the company, very friendly and quick service, she has various rare and wild varieties plus the usual but also sells collections of a particular variety.

Jungle Rain (Australia)

Grant Hustler is the main man here, a great place if you are looking for some rare and new hybrids to experiment with.

Chili – Pepper  (Switzerland)

Based in Switzerland, the site is in German so if your German is not up to scratch, google can translate for you. Various rare varieties/hybrids.

The Pucker Butt Pepper Company (USA)

Ed Currie runs this company and is most famous for the home of the HP22B or Carolina Reaper Pepper, he sells the seed plus quite a few other varieties. This is only one of two places you can buy Carolina Reaper seeds.

Pepper Joe (USA)

Pepper Joe has been in the business for over 20 years, and the only other place to buy the Carolina Reaper seeds.

Old Barn Nursery (USA)

Mid West Chiliheads (USA)

 

Hopefully this will give you a hand trying to find a particular seed. The other way of obtaining seed is by joining some of the many facebook groups dedicated to chilli growing and the huge number of forums all of which have a “trading/swapping” section.

 

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I know I mentioned it in my first post as Editor of the site, but Darth Naga has produced a video to explain the fact that ALL new Chilefoundry video reviews will be posted here from now on, Darths own Channel.

This is the last video that will be uploaded to the original Chilefoundry Channel, so make sure you click above and subscribe to the new one, if you dont want to miss all the new video reviews Darth produces ,

I’ll let Darth tell you in his own words:

So we will hope to see you there on the new channel.

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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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