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.
Simon 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.
So 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.
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.
Next 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.
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 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.
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
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