Dorset Naga

This August why not take a drip to sunny Dorset and how about visiting Sea Spring Seeds, the home of the Dorset Naga, and take a look at their nursery, talk to them about their seed trails.

Sea Spring Seeds

Michael and Joy Michaud are some of the most knowledgeable growers of chillies you will find, they are also happy to help answer any question you may have (I have asked a lot). They also have a great selection of seeds you can buy ready for next year or why not a few plants already covered with chillies.

The Drop-in days are every Wednesday in August 2015 (5th, 12th, 19th and 26th) between 10:30am and 9:00pm so set your GPS for DT2 9DD (Sea Spring Seeds, West Bexington, Dorchester, Dorset. DT2 9DD. Phone 01308 897898 email info@seaspringseeds.co.uk or www.seaspringseeds.co.uk

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Each year Sea Spring Seeds runs its Dorset Naga Challenge to see who can grow the most pods on a Dorset Naga plant, in 2013 it was won by Michael Price with 401 red chillies from a single plant, but this was nothing when compaired to the 2014 winner Torbjorn Hogberg who managed 2,256 red chillies on a single plant.

Joy and Michael at Sea Spring Seeds have also themselves managed to harvest 2,407 red chillies from a single plant in 2013, that was nearly 10kg of chillies.

If you would like to have a go at growing a Dorset Naga for the 2015 competition visit their web site to see the rules

They have also published a video with how they did it, worth watchinh if you fancy ago.

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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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Joy from Seaspring Seeds has been in touch to draw our attention to their challenge they are running with their world famous Chilli variety, the Dorset Naga. Now everyone wants the best yeild from their Chilli plants but can you beat Joy and Michael?

Heres Joy to explain all:

THE CHALLENGE: How many chillies can YOU grow on one Dorset Naga plant?

In 2011 we picked 781 chillies off the Dorset Naga plant at the bottom of the page, and last year we counted 766 chillies on another plant (see video below).

But we think we can do better.

This year we are aiming for 1,000 ripe chillies!

We will grow our plant in a large pot using peat-free municipal compost. It will be kept well watered and given plenty of fertiliser. The plant will have as much natural light as possible and be kept in warm conditions throughout its life – heated greenhouse when young, then in a polytunnel from April onwards. Can we get a thousand chillies on one plant? We will see.

Can you do better?

THE CHALLENGE

We challenge all chilli growers to see who can get the most red chillies off one Dorset Naga plant. The winner will get £15 worth of seeds. BUT if you get more chillies on your plant than we do we will double the prize to £30 of seed.

The plant can be grown from seed or a plug plant, but it MUST be a Dorset Naga, so if you didn’t get the seed from us you will have to tell us where the seed came from, and convince us it really is Dorset Naga (there are a lot of fakes around). Older plants, i.e. ones that are more than a year old are not accepted in the challenge.

Any growing method can be used, i.e. it can be grown hydroponically, in a pot or in the ground. Fruit can be picked regularly, or all at the end of the season.

This competition is based on trust. Keep records, take photos, do a video.

End date is 15th November 2013.

dorset

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