Bhut Jolokia

From the Capsicana Chilli Company comes the Bhut Jolokia Chilli sauce and is the second hottest sauce in their range. Capsicana are relatively new to the chilli scene having been around for about three years, but they sport a good range of products; along with the hot sauces the website offers whole and powdered chillies,  beans and seeds, herbs and spices, recipe kits and a whole host of chilli recipes so is worth a browse just for those alone.

Although the sauce is monikered Bhut Jolokia this makes up 2% of the ingredients, but is bolstered by an additional 39% of a non-specific chilli mix.

Ingredients:

chillies (including 2% bhut jolokia) 41%, water, barley malt vinegar, spices (including mustard), salt, cornflower, stabiliser and xanthan gum.

The sauce comes in 150ml bottles at a very reasonable £3.80 a pop. The label designs are very professional looking with a deep black background and a clean white font giving the name of the sauce. Beneath this is a chilli heat rating in red chillies; this one is rated at 5+chillies and gives the overall impression that this might be quite hot. The label describes the style of the sauce as rich and fruity and also offers some rather broad suggested uses, from marinade to condiment.

The reddy brown sauce is quite thick with number of seeds visible through the uncovered portions of the bottle (which adds to the impression of heat). Once the lid is removed the overriding aroma is that of pungent bhut jolokias; it’s also sweet smelling. Despite the small content of Bhut Jolokias, it gives the impression there’s more packed in there and that they are of good quality.

On the spoon the chilli seeds are a bit more obvious but there are not so many of them that it impacts on the texture. The initial hit is very intense and burns everywhere it touches, there is no mistaking that there is Naga in this sauce it almost takes your breath away initially. Then something strange happens; normally Naga based sauces continue to build, but this one levels off quickly and begins to fade leaving a really gorgeous fruitiness with a brilliant lingering tingle on the tongue.

This is a great value everyday usable sauce for those that like some spice with everything they eat. I could happily dip my Friday lunch chips in this one and add it to my cheese and marmite sarnies. It certainly impressed enough to urge me to go and seek out the other sauces Capsicana have in their range. You should do the same.

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

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Good morrow chilli heads. Scooby here with another sauce to titillate the taste buds of all you fellow chilli craving lunatics. Today’s sauce is Hot Bhut Jolokia from Capsicana Chilli Co Ltd which looks to be their hottest sauce on the shelf with a given rating on the bottle of 5++.

Capsicana Hot Bhut JolokiaWe have got a good sized 150ml bottle which looks pretty damn sexy with its black label and sealed top and a very stylish font being used and great rich red band that makes it stand out from the crowd.

The sauce itself is a nice mix of slightly pulpy, but at the same time fairly easy to pour. It has a just off red colour with a touch of orange, and you can see the odd spec of chilli and seed rambling inside the bottle.

But one thing I love about this sauce is the smell. I’ve found at times that some chilli sauces can give a sometimes overpowering aroma of fresh chilli, but not always a nice one. This being a hot sauce with fresh chilli, I am surprised that it smells quite tame. I’ve got a feeling that this is a bit misleading though!, after all it is called Hot Bhut Jolokia sauce. We all know Bhut’s are hot but to put in the title???? Their second hottest sauce is just called Bhut Jolokia sauce. Scared now.

Ingredients:

Chillies (including 4.5% Bhut Jolokia) (43.5%), Water, Barley malt vinegar, Spices (including mustard), Salt, Cornflour, Stabiliser, Xanthan gum.

Bottle kindly supplied by Capsicana

Spoon out so off we go.

Immediately I get a rich fruity flavour and a pretty mild tingle on the tongue. It’s a beautiful flavour but low heat so I tip another spoonful out, but just as I put the spoon to mouth it feels as though someone is fanning the flames of a fire just started in my mouth. The heat is increasing at a fairly rapid rate and for a non extract sauce it is pretty damn impressive on both heat and flavour. With a mild aroma, and low heat initially I could have quite easily blown me balls off if I had taken the second spoon. Damn you Capsicana, that is some good sauce and it’s pretty awesome how it works with the impressive build up of heat.

When this kicks, it kicks. Its one of these rare sauces that I can see being used in pretty much anything at the dinner table. I can see it working really well on top of cheese on toast, in a pasta dish, as a dipping sauce, as a marinade. The list is pretty endless, and the beauty is that you wont need a load of it to get the flavour and heat. All you need to do is wait 15 seconds before the full package arrives and takes you on a roller coaster of tingling sensations.

The sauce is made in small batches and with fresh ingredients so quality and care is assured. The xanthan gum has been used in a perfect way so that you get the slight thickening of the sauce without a slimy aftertaste, Thats a win, win win scenario.

Definately look up these guys at the address above and check out some of their other products too. This is not a sauce for the pussy boy, this is man’s sauce through and through, and at £4 a bottle is not the most horrific price tag in the world. I’d prefer to see it a touch cheaper but then again this comes across to me as a kind of farmers market luxury product so maybe its just me being picky. But definitely worth a try regardless. Enjoy.

If it burns going in, It will burn coming out.

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

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Simon Barrett is The Chilli Jam Man, a larger than life character who manages to draw quite a crowd at the shows he attends. He is from Yorkshire and if you were to cut him in half, like a stick of rock, it would say ‘Yorkshire’ ‘Chilli’ & ‘Jam’. If you meet Simon, it’s very clear he has a passion for what he does. At Chilefoundry we reviewed some of his range before, his early Oak Smoked Chipotle Jam, the Ginger Chilli Jam, the newer Smokey Chilli Jam and his Jamonnaise.

ultra jamsSimon started the company in June 2009 and has gone from strength to strength doing what he loves, adding to his range of Chilli Jams. There are now around 20 products in the range, including the latest additions, the Ultra Jam Signature Series. These are a set of 3 Jams which stand out from the crowd and are quite special, each one has roots with one of the original range, but have been given some special treatment and a boost in the heat level through various additions but one key feature is that each jam has whole Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Chilli) Pods in the jar to enable the jam to develop more flavour and heat over time.

podfatherSo here we have each Jam with it’s own review starting with the first Ultra Jam, ‘The Podfather’

The Podfather has been developed from Simons Yorkshire Dragon Chilli Jam with the addition of Bhut Jolokia Flakes and whole Bhut Jolokia Pods. Looking at the jam through the glass, it looks very similar to the other standard jams, nice and red with chilli seeds visible. The label really works with it’s black & white graphics keeping it simple and the familiar red name alongside.

Ingredients:

Tomato, Sugar, Red Wine Vinegar, Garlic, Ginger, Chilli (Bhut Jolokia, Birds Eye 6.7%) Balsamic Vinegar, Thai Fish Sauce (Anchovy Extract, Salt, Sugar)

Now I am expecting this to be hot, so on with the tasting. Removing the silver lid I can see the thick jam, a deep red, almost brown. The aroma hits my nose and gets my taste buds going so I brave half a teaspoon. Wow, there is certainly heat here and for a non extract product it is incredible but somehow still allows the garlic and ginger to come through. The burn is intense as you would expect with Bhut Jolokia Flakes and whole pods just adding to that. My saliva glands have gone into overdrive and the heat is an all round heat, mouth, throat, lips and tongue. They are all getting an equal share!

My only criticism is that the Jam is not very sweet, I just feel it needs a little more sugar to cut through the intense heat.

But all in all, a great flavour and amazing heat.

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

 

MOJONext is the Second Ultra Jam in the series, MOJO

MOJO is based around Simons “Hot Smoky Bhut” Chilli Jam, but again with the addition of smoked Bhut Jolokia Flakes and whole Bhut Jolokia Pods.

Once open, this jam is a lot darker in colour to the Podfather and has a great smoky aroma, and sitting there staring at me is one of the whole chilli pods! The taste of this is different and not just the smokiness, a quick look on the label and I see there are Sichuan Peppers present. These give their own unique twist to anything they are added to. The heat is just as ferocious as before, but the jam seems sweeter than the Podfather.

Ingredients:

Tomato, Sugar, Red Wine Vinegar, Garlic, Ginger, Chilli (Bhut Jolokia, Birds Eye 6.7%) Balsamic Vinegar, Thai Fish Sauce (Anchovy Extract, Salt, Sugar) Sichuan Peppers, Poured over Smoked Bhut Jolokia Flakes & Pods

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

 

GINJA NINJAAnd finally comes the Third Ultra Jam in the series, GINJA NINJA

GINJA NINJA is based around the Hot Ginger Chilli Jam and like the other two Ultra Jams, has the addition of Bhut Jolokia Flakes, whole Bhut Pods & whole Sichuan Peppers. The ginger comes through the heat nicely and so do the Sichuan Peppers, more so in this jam than the MOJO, they really give the mouth numbing and tingling effect coupled with the burn of the Bhut makes a very unusual sensation! This will be due to the fact that whole Sichuan Peppers have been added as well.

Ingredients:

Tomato, Sugar, Red Wine Vinegar, Garlic, Ginger, Chilli (Bhut Jolokia, Birds Eye 6.7%) Balsamic Vinegar, Thai Fish Sauce (Anchovy Extract, Salt, Sugar) Sichuan Peppers, Poured over Smoked Bhut Jolokia Flakes & Pods and whole Sichuan Peppers

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

So there you have it, the Ultra Jam series from The Chilli Jam Man. These are extremely hot and I defy anyone to spread one of these on their morning toast. I think these would work really well as a marinade or a glaze for roasting/BBQ’ing meat.

One thing I haven’t touched on is the price, these jars are £10 each or all three for £27, and that makes these the most expensive jams I have reviewed, but as a little goes a very long way due to the heat and also the contents are premium ingredients, I think the price is justified but then the customer will ultimately make that decision and as far as I know, these do sell very well.

Jars kindly supplied by The Chilli Jam Man

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Phil and Kay Palmer run the Dartmoor Chilli Farm located in the beautiful Dartmoor National Park, Devon. Unlike many other chilli farms in the UK they grow their chillies in a very environmentally friendly way – running their farm “off grid” using wind / solar power and rainwater harvesting for electricity & water, whilst growing their produce naturally & holistically using no pesticides or herbicides.  In 2010 they won the South Devon Excellence Awards “Best Green Business”

What I have here to review is their most popular product – Dartmoor Dynamite. Although it’s been available for quite a few years, it’s a product which has had a recent re-labelling and tweaking to the recipe.

The heart of the new label is an emblem of a group of chillies connected like dynamite sticks to a detonator, where the question “Dare you take the plunge?” is posed.  The combination of a black background and use of strong green & red colours in this emblem makes for a bold looking product, and naturally I respond to the dare.

Ingredients:     

Tomatoes, Sugar, Red Peppers, Naga Chillies (22%) Cider Vinegar, Tomato Juice, Lemon Juice, Oregano

Bottle kindly supplied by Dartmoor Chilli Farm

Opening the bottle and inhaling, I first get the sweetness from the combination of the red peppers and tomatoes which is then closely followed by the perfume of the Naga & vinegar. I can also detect some herbal notes in the sauce from the oregano. It’s a well balanced aroma with the sweet and sour tones working well in harmony. Although it’s quite a thin sauce, when pouring it onto a spoon I can see that there is some texture to the sauce with some chilli seeds and fleshy pulp therein – the latter I presume coming from the tomatoes used in its preparation.  In a similar manner to its aroma, when tasting the sauce there’s a distinctive dual layer of flavours. At first there’s the hit of fruity sweetness from the tomatoes and peppers before the tangy flavours of the Nagas & lemon juice begins to come through. The array of flavours works really well together and make for a very moreish sauce.

Phil and Kay’s original recipe used just Bhut Jolokia in the sauce but the recipe tweak is that they now use of 3 different types of Naga: the Bhut Jolokia, Naga Jolokia PC1 and the Dorset Naga. The kick from this Naga trinity comes shortly thereafter and hits the back of my mouth. I must admit it seemed quite innocuous to me at first but another spoonful or two later and the Naga effect is in full swing with a blast of pain from the chillies consuming the back of my mouth and throat.

With the great natural flavours from the tomatoes, oregano & red peppers, I find Dynamite to be rather like an Italian passata sauce, so it’s no surprise that Phil and Kay recommend using this as a cooking sauce. To this end I think it would go really well as an addition to a ragu or pizza sauce, in a chilli con carne, or even on its own as a dipping sauce. It could even act as a replacement to the ubiquitous Tabasco® sauce normally added to a Bloody Mary. In trying it myself with some pasta, I found that the cooking process accentuated the natural flavours of the pepper and tomatoes with the flavour of the Nagas receding, though of course their presence was still very much obvious from the heat.

Overall it’s a great tasting product with a generous chilli kick – a winning combination that for me makes this a very addictive sauce. Dartmoor Dynamite is available directly from the Dartmoor Chilli Farm website and, at the time of this review, is available for only £3.00 for a 100ml. This is a recent reduction from its previous price of £3.50 making it fantastically good value for a sauce with a high Naga content and from stock that has been cultivated in the UK too!

My only niggle with this sauce is that due to its addictive qualities 100ml isn’t going to last long (or at least it didn’t in my case) but at £3.00 a bottle you can afford to stock up on it. Alternatively you could always purchase the newly released 150ml version for £4.50 (currently limited stocks).

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(7/10)
Packaging
(7.5/10)
Value (8.5/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

 

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