Apple

This is the first review I have done of a product from The Chillees, while others have reviewed a couple of their products in the past (HabApple Chilli Apple Chutney & Orangatongue Tingler Chilli Sauce) here at the ChileFoundry for me this is a first.

The Chillees Smoky Jo's Chipotle_smI found this product while visiting the Sherbourne Castle Country Fair a while back. The Chillees is a small family concern run by Nick and Francine Lee who grow the chillies and make the sauces just down the road from us in Taunton, Somerset.

The sauce comes in the standard sized 140ml bottle and as you will see from the picture it picked up a silver award from the Taste of the West organisation in 2014.

Open the bottle and it smells a bit like a chilli style tomato sauce, but once the more volatile aromas have escaped, I can still smell the tomato, but also the onion and maybe a bit of garlic. I am not expecting this to be a hot sauce with only 1% chipotle in the mix, but butternut squash is not something I often find in the chilli sauce, I love using them in soups as they give such a great texture.

The sauce is mild, but you can taste the smokeyness from the smoked Garlic and chipotle chillies, then a bit of sweetness with the onion, red wine and balsamic vinegar, it is not as thick as I expected but the flavour in excellent no single ingredient is overpowering, the combination works very well.

Ingredients: Onion, Tomato, Butternut Squash, Water, Red Wine Vinegar, Red Peppers, Sugar, Apple, Rice Vinegar, Smoked Garlic, Chipotle Chilli (1%), Worcester Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Mustard Seeds, Ancho Chilli, Paprika, Sea Salt.

A few teaspoon later and I can already see this going into some mayo as a mild dip, or mixed into mince before making burgers.. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.. I think we are having a BBQ this weekend..

I can see why this won a silver award, it is an outstanding sauce that would appeal the the whole family.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)


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The Chillees is the playful brand name for a range of chilli-laced foodstuffs produced by Nick and Francine Lee from their base in Taunton, Somerset. They describe themselves as having a small, but growing, range of products, yet a quick look at their website reveals an already satisfying list of goodies. An encouraging note on the website states that The Chillees products are “made for the flavour, not just the heat” – music to these reviewers’ ears – so let’s see how their HabApple (nice play on crab-apple!) Hot Apple Chilli Chutney lives up to the message.

As a review team, one of us is a fan of chutney generally where the other is less so, so we hope that this will give readers in both camps a good idea of whether this is a product for them.

Jar kindly supplied by The Chillees.

First impressions based on labelling are just as important as the product itself from a marketing point of view.  Nick and Francine have done a good job with theirs – it is clear and uncluttered, the brand stands out without being “in your face”, and the text is enough to tell the customer everything they need to know without being wordy.

The jar opens with a satisfying ‘pop’ so that we know the chutney has been preserved properly, and releases a marvellous aroma of habanero along with the sweet apple and sharp vinegar.

This is a chutney with a silky smooth base texture, but without an excess of wetness.  The base apple sauce contains a good amount of sweet vine fruit and slivers of onion, as well as tantalising flecks of chilli.

So far so good… so, what about the taste?

Ingredients:

Apples (52%), sugar, vinegar, onions, habanero chilli (2%), raisins, sultanas, currants, garlic, ginger, lemon, sea salt, cinnamon, cayenne.

Apple is the first flavour to come through, along with sweetness from the vine fruits, all lifted by subtle vinegar sharpness.  This is swiftly followed by a hit of heat and the distinctive flavour of habanero, which lingers pleasantly after the other flavours have begun to dissipate.

The ingredients list includes ginger and cinnamon, but these are not particularly noticeable in the flavour notes.  However, this being apple chutney, these are ingredients that would be more conspicuous by their absence rather than being flavour front-runners.

In taste testing we’ve found that the chutney works beautifully on sandwiches with mature cheddar cheese or sausages, and with gammon steak – and will go equally well with all other usual accompaniments to sweet-based chutneys.  This would also make a wonderful replacement for apple sauce to spice up a pork dish.

Heat-wise, the label suggests that this is a 3-out-of-5 on the heat scale.  We tend to agree that this is a mid-level chutney.  The heat is pretty immediate, possibly due to the inclusion of cayenne, and continues to build to a very pleasant and recognisable habanero burn which is mellowed slightly by the sugars in the fruit.

HabApple Chutney is available from The Chillees’ online store, priced at £3.50 for a 200g jar.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(6/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (10/10)
Overall
(9/10)

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South Devon Chilli Farm have been at it for a long while, gaining national publication in all aspects of the media.  Since 2003 they’ve been captivating the chilli scene with their fresh grown produce. Rocking two farming sites between Torquay and Plymouth, their Devonshire homes grow over 10,000 chilli plants and a multitude of fruit orchards filling these delectable sauces. They also have a shop and a cafe on site, encompassing all your local chilli needs in one go! 

Chilli Jelly is never an easy subject.  Do you go for the generic idea of jelly and have it quite hard set?  Do you have bits, no bits? Smooth blended, lumpy?

In their hexagonal 227g glass jars with a figure hugging green SDCF green label packed full with everything you could possibly need to know.  I am glad to see that the Jelly is suitable for Vegans and doesn’t contain any sort of setting agents. Relying solely on careful processing gives this jelly a delightful bounciness and a smooth consistency similar to what you get when you try an american ‘Jelly’ product; slow pouring, but not runny, with enough give to hold itself on a spoon. With me so far?

Ingredients:

Sugar, Apples (40%), Fresh Chillies (1%).

Jar kindly supplied by South Devon Chilli Farm

Sweetly orange tinged with some soft flesh pieces, this jelly smells of apples. The exact smell you would expect from an apple jelly, however, a dusky undertone of heat is present. You know you’re in for a ride when you can feel the heat in your nostrils before you even taste the product.

Rated as a ‘hot’ product, we’ll come back to that. First, lets talk flavour. Wow! sweet, ripe, flowery, Bramley apple taste, an all over spread of punchy goodness, smooth and simple. I was actually shocked when I tasted this jelly. I was expecting there to be little to no heat but don’t be fooled by the apples, they lie!

There is more than you can see with this jelly, and you swiftly find this out after it has knocked your tastebuds for six. Hot is certainly the word.  This little number wallops you right in the chops with an intense Habanero heat that burns slowly in the background afterwards. What else could you want from an apple chilli jelly? Its warming, sweet, full flavoured and smooth.

“The new best thing with pork!” is certainly a phrase from the jar I would have to agree with. Instead of your normal apple sauce with your meats, give this a try. In a hog roast with crackling would be amazing, couscous is also another idea for taste. I personally would have this with felafels for a richer, warmer flavour. As a hot replacement for the Peanut butter/jelly idea, and on top of ice cream for definite. I’d give it a go on just about anything to be honest!

Priced at £3.57 on their own shop website, this will last a while as its bursting with flavours and a heat that keeps going!

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(7/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)

 

 

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Hot Habanero Chutney

Hot Habanero Chutney

The Chilli Company is the business created by Adrian and Denise Nuttall, they became well know after being the subject of the “Build A New Life” program in 2006  showed them converting the 11 acre nursery in to a chilli based business.

Having seen that the first ingredient in this chutney was sugar, I always tend to worry about sugar it is my nemesis as a diabetic, and it is also the ingredient of choice in cheap chilli sauces. But first smell of this chutney was a complete delight, a very fruity mixture of apples and raisins with a slight vinegar overtone.

The Chutney is nice and thick with relatively finely chopped pieces of the ingredients making up most of the mix, at first it is a little on the sweet side for me, but the flavour soon break through. with less than 1% habanero this is not a scorcher of a chutney, more of an every day warmer. The flavour is excellent and on second spoonful that initial slight over sweetness is gone, Now  I can find the apples, onions, raisins and mustard as well as enough habanero to know this is a warm one.

Ingredients: Sugar, Onions, Apple, Pear, White Wine Vinegar, Malt Vinegar, Raisins,  Starch, Habanero Chilli (0.9%), Mustard Seeds, Ginger, Peppercorns, Cloves.

Kindly Supplied by The Chilli Company

Now don’t think being milder than what we oftern get to taste is a bad thing, I don’t want to kill myself with heat every time I eat a sandwich, I like to taste the cheese and the bread as well, and this chutney does just that, it provides a really good flavour.

You can order this an the rest of there range at www.chillicompany.com (When I looked today the site was down for maintenance, but I will update this review once the site is open).

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value
TBA
Overall
(7.5/10)

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