For those of you who dont have the time, or the greenfingers to try the germination game but want to grow Chillies (plus Tomatoes and other Peppers). Potters Plants could be for you. Here’s Richard to tell us a bit more about the company;

 

“Established in 2010, Potters Plants was born out of a small family business selling bedding and tomato plants to local people. My Dad (Wilf Potter) has been a keen gardener for some 50 years, selling many varieties of plants lovingly reared from seed at his home nursery in Chesterfield.

I got into chilli’s some years ago, growing several varieties with varying results, but with help and knowledge from Dad I was able to get some good crops, and friends would often ask for the produce ! Being a web developer, it wasn’t long before I had a little website and a eBay page and a few plants listed for sale.

Now in our third year , thriving on the experience from family know how, we’ve got a refined range of sweet peppers, tomato plants and chilli plants available to buy as plug plants from our online shop http://www.pottersplants.co.uk/

We grow our chilli’s organically from seed, in temperature regulated propagators, setting them nice and early so we can make the most of the growing season. Once the seedlings have established, we pop them gently into Jiffy 7 Coco Coir plugs, and grow them on until they have about five pairs of leaves, at which point they are ready for shipping.

We use recycled, recyclable plastic packets which are designed specially to hold the young plant in place, supply light and keep them moist. The packets are small enough to fit through a standard letterbox so you don’t have to worry about waiting in for the postie on delivery day. Simply open the packet, make three holes in your growbag and pop ’em in!

In essence our mission is to give chilli fanatics a head start by doing the tricky germination and supplying healthy, strong young plants which should hopefully produce plenty of delicious chilli fruits, and in the process help reduce some of the impact caused by imported chilli fruits on the environment.

It’s our belief that a home grown fruit tastes a lot better , cost less and just makes you feel all round better about yourself than those on the supermarket shelf !”

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We have today received the Mad-Ass range of Chilli sauces through the post. Mad-Ass are based in Croydon and can be found selling at various London Farmers Markets, they source local ingredients and have a wide range of products to cater for every taste.

Matthew, Tony and Dave who formed the company were fortunate to win a National Chilli Award at Fiery Foods UK, Brighton in September this year with their Dare Ya sauce.

Reviews to follow…..

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Beef Jerky is becoming more popular with the population of the UK, and Billy Franks are doing their best to spread the Jerky love around with their range. They have various different flavours, made in small batches. Here we have three which have been produced in collaboration with The Ribman , Mark Gervaux and use his Chilli Sauces, Holy F*uck, Christ on a Bike, and Holy Mother of God.

The origins of Jerky go back a long way, as a method to preserve meats before freezers were invented. The word Jerky comes from the Spanish charqui which is from the Quechua word ch’arki which means “to burn meat”. Jerky is a healthy and nutritious snack due to the fact that all excess fat is trimmed off as it doesn’t dry well.

Billy Franks was founded by Will Yates. He moved to the US with his parents at the age of 7 months and lived in Chicago and then New York. Jerky is something the American’s have been enjoying for ages and according to Will they do it well. He recently moved back to the UK and decided to show us how proper Jerky should be.

Will’s middle name is Francis after his granddad, and when he was naughty his mother used to call him Billy Frank and he hated it, until he was looking for a name for his business!

So here we have the 3 Jerky’s flavoured with The Ribman’s sauces. The thing about Mark Gervaux’s sauces is he keeps his ingredients list very close to his chest. All we know is they contain Scotch Bonnets and Naga Jolokias for heat. The COAB sauce has 3 times the amount of Nagas than HF and HMOG is hotter again. See here for our own Darth Naga take on the first two sauces.

The standard ingredients for each Jerky are the same, with the addition of the relevant hot sauce to the marinade.

Ingredients:

British Beef, Ribman Chilli Sauce (Chillies, Oil & Spices), Vinegar, Ketchup, Soy Sauce, Honey, Liquid Smoke, Brown Sugar, Lemon Juice, Black Pepper.

Packs kindly supplied by Billy Franks

The packs themselves are vacuum sealed, to keep the beef from oxidising. The quality of the beef is fantastic and the aroma you get as you open the packs is amazing, a combination of the standard marinade ingredients coupled with the Naga’s. They smell sweet and really get the taste buds going.

I have tasted quite a few Jerky’s in the past and these are very good, with the differing heat levels between packs, although even with the hottest, it’s never unbearable heat.

The texture is great too, which is important as you don’t want to still be chewing the following morning!  Some commercially available Jerky is just like eating leather which shouldn’t be the case.

There is softness here but still gives your jaw a nice work out and leaves you craving that pint of lager!

The packs are 40g and are available from Billy Franks

HF priced at £2.99

COAB priced at £3.20

HMOG priced at £3.50

or they are available as a Holy Trinity 3 pack, currently priced at £8.25 (not including postage)

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

 

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Yorkshire Dragon is one of the hotter products from The Chilli Jam Man’s standard black lid range. It is in a smaller Jar than the others at 105g as opposed to the standard 200g jars; it includes ginger, Bhut Jolokia and Birds Eye chillies which all complement each other and aid this jam in achieving its small but mighty flavour.

The red, yellow and white font stand out nicely against the black backdrop. It is the hottest of the black lid range and the packaging includes a hot-o-meter temperature style gauge at the side of the jar showing the strength of the jam purchased, this ranges from 6 out of 10 for the Garlic Chilli Jam to 10 out of 10 for the Ultra Jams, the Yorkshire Dragon is 9.9 on the hot-o-meter scale which maybe suggests why this Jam is named after a fire breathing beast!

It looks more of a specialist Chilli Jam as opposed to a supermarket or mass produced standard ‘hot’ product’.

Opening the jar you can smell the bhut Jolokia and the sweetness from the balsamic and red wine vinegar. It gives a tingle in the back of the throat which makes my taste buds salivate with anticipation and apprehension.

The jam’s heat is instant, hitting the tongue and slowly increasing, it has a lovely sweet flavour with a comforting warmth which spreads around the mouth and to the lips leaving a satisfying smoulder.

I have tried this with tapas style dishes such as cold meats and cheeses it works well in sandwiches and is a good jam to cook with, it adds a punchy sweetness and depth to dishes such as chilli con carne, works well in homemade pasta sauces and soups and can be combined with other ingredients to make a zingy all round dip.

It would be nice if the jar was the same size as the other black jar range but I believe this has been done to keeping the price the same across the selection. I find this a moreish jam with a surprisingly smooth texture, it is a great addition to home cooking.

The range of Jam’s available ensures a great choice and variety to cater for different tastes and can be matched for types of cooking.

There is also a selection of 4 Ultra Jams for the extreme chilliheads and Veggie Jams for the herbivores. I am hoping the range extends further as I enjoyed the unique home cooked taste the Chilli Jam Man creates, with no colourants, preservatives or gelling agents.

As the jar suggests by its printed statements of ‘Pure and Simple’ and Handcrafted with pure ingredients’ these jams have a very personal feel and flavour which creates the image of the Jam being created in a standard kitchen with the creator having slaved away in the kitchen for hours cooking up the batch.

You can grab a Jar now from The Chilli Jam Man  or various other places including Chilli Pepper Pete’s priced at £4.00

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(7/10)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(7/10)

 

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