ginger

Image from  www.kentishcobnuts.comThe Cobnut? what is it – I must admit I knew very little about Cobnuts before a visit to the Postash Farm Web site I was amazed to find out that the Cobnut is a type of cultivated hazelnut (Bit like a Bramley is a type of Apple) and during the Victorian era the UK had around 7000 acres of them in cultivation, today that has dropped to just 250 acres.

Handmade Thai Chilli Sauce with Kentish CobnutsPotash Farm grows about 6 acres of Cobnuts, made up of around 1000 trees. Their web site full of products made with Cobnuts, from Cobnut Cosmetics to Cobnut Oil, Cobnut Fudge and Biscuits.

New to the range are a couple of sauces a Smokey Roasted Pepper sauce with Kentish Cobnuts and the one we are tasting today their Thai Chilli Sauce with Kentish Cobnuts. The sauce comes in a tall 250ml bottle with a stylish minimalist label, looks just the kind of sauce you would expect in a deli.

Tipping the bottle you can see that the sauce is quite thin with flecks of the ingredients floating nicely in it, on cracking open the lid, there is a very pleasant aroma of soya sauce, ginger and garlic. The taste is subtle, this sauce is not designed to blow your socks of but enjoyed and to enhance the flavour of your meal.

Ingredients: British Sugar, Water, Cider Vinegar, Kentish Cobnuts (3%), Chillies (7%), Red Pepper, Light Soya Sauce, Garlic, Lime Juice, Ginger and Salt.

Bottle Kindly provided by Potash Farm

I had wondered if you would be able to taste the Cobnuts in this sauce with such strong flavours coming from the Garlic and Ginger let alone the chillies, but I was truly astounded as how the nutty flavour of the Cobnuts was carried by this sauce, while the heat is nothing to such hardened tasters as we have at the Chilefoundry who could probably just swig this direct from the bottle.

As a sauce to use as a dip for spring rolls or as a condiment with some jasmine rice, this sauce cannot be faulted. The great taste of a Thai Chilli Sauce, not sugary and that British twist of Kentish Cobnuts…..

You can order this on-line at their web site at £6.95 for a 250ml bottle, I wonder how well it would go with Turkey this Christmas?

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(8/10)

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YesChilli Pepper and Ginger SauceElizabeth at YesChilli, a new business to us here at ChileFoundry HQ sent us in a bottle of her Pepper and Ginger sauce to review. This sauce has one of the shortest list of ingredients I have seen in the past few years, but I suspect that peppers covers a lot more and it says.

The label may also give away a little more of that is to come, just below the words “Hot Sauce” it says “Pan roasted sun dried dark Pepper and Ginger in oil”. Well on opening the bottle there is a nice smell of sunflower oil with more that just hints of the pepper and ginger, it is a cold morning at ChileFoundry HQ and I think this sauce need to be warmed up a bit to release the aromas so it off to the kitchen for a bit of a play.

A quick spoonful before I start and wow the flavours come flooding out, it is hot and warming, but not in the extreme sense, it a heat that starts a little cough, mostly in surprise at the how will it heats me up, Capsaicin the active ingredient in chillies is an oil so this sunflower oil spreads it quickly around my mouth.

Ingredients: Sunflower oil, Pepper, Ginger and Soya extract.

Bottle kindly supplied by YesChilli

I then warmed a little in a pan, as it gets hotter the aromas start to come to though, but still not as much as I now expected, not to waste this oil in the pan, a little lightly fired egg on toast goes down very well, I can see I need a drizzle top for this bottle, this would work well on Huevos Rancheros (fired eggs on a toasted corn tortilla with avocado and some refried beans)

Next I tried adding a few spoonfuls, OK a good glug into an almost instant Mayo recipe I have been using for the last few years, now this stuff is coming alive, the colour of the mayo is slightly darker, but the flavours from the ginger and chillies transforms this into a gourmet mayo.

This is a much more interesting product than the initial smell led me to think, this bottle won’t last long, I already have plans for a drizzle on my omelet later, and maybe marinading some pork chops

It is hard to come up with a description of this sauce, it is not a oil with a chilli in it, it is much more than that, it is not a blended up chillies chilli sauce, it is not just an ingredient. This was a great surprise an almost unique product (its does bring to mind, David’s Chilli Oils and Germano’s Chilli Sauce as they are both oil based, but the flavour are all completely different. The YesChilli product is very simple with just Ginger and Chilli but the balance between them just seems to work.

The only down side is in terms of presentation, the bottle we have does not do this product justice, I think you should always fill the bottle to the neck, otherwise it looks like some may have leaked in transit. I would also not send out bottle where the cap security cover is so twisted, as that product photograph is going to be seen by 1000’s of potential buyers in the next few months and once on the web it is there for life.

Having had a very minor gripe, the label is good and bright and that combined with the interesting bottle shape makes this very eye catching, so just top up the bottles and sort the capping process and this sauce will not just taste great it will also look the business.

If you visit the YesChilli web site you can find a list of local suppliers and also make a purchase via eBay, at £3.99 + £2.80 delivery (reduced since review) this product now represents excellent value for money.

Flavour
(8.5/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)

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The Great Dorset Chilli Festival - Official Festival SauceNow you can only get a bottle of this sauce if you attend  The Dorset Chilli Festivall this weekend, I was lucky to get sent a bottle to review before the event, but I will still be going on the Sunday.. so say Hello.

This sauce is a very limited edition made by The Upton Cheyney Chilli Company just for the event, I have a very soft spot for Louise who has made one of my favourite sauces of all time The Upton Cheyney Oak Smoked Chipotle Sauce which scored an 11/10 for flavour.

On opening the bottle there is an aroma of apples and ginger, the sauces pours very well being slightly thickened with the cider apples and the initial taste comes from the apples, then this is swept aside by the Ginger and Garlic, but mostly the Ginger. This is not a searing ginger type heat, the combination of the sugar and the tart cider apples mellows the ginger nicely.

The chilli heat from the sauce is also tempered by the sugar and provides a nice warm glow, this is a dipping sauce, not like a sweet chilli dipping sauce it is not that sweet and sticky, this is much more grown up.

Ingredients: Sugar, Cider Vinegar, Cider Apple, Water, Ginger, Garlic & Chillies (Dorset Naga and Super Chillies).

Bottle kindly supplied by  The Dorset Chilli Festival &  The Upton Cheyney Chilli Company

Use this to add flavour as a condiment, sauces like this do not do well when cooked with there unique flavour works best as a contrast the the dish, dip your spring rolls  or you Thai fish cakes, or use on some packed salmon with some stir fried veg and this would be in its element..

I would expect this to retail and about the £4.00 area like most of the Upton Cheyney sauces and you are getting a very good sauce for you money, Louise has a definite talent for making sauces.

So now it is Friday today, so get your self ready for a trip to the The Dorset Chilli Festival tomorrow or Sunday and if the weather is clear you are in for an exceptional day out.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value
(7/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

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Bim's Kitchen Coconut Relish

Bim’s kitchen has recently played a pretty big role in my kitchen with their products based on ‘modern, African-inspired cuisine’. Husband and wife team James ‘Bim’ and Nicola are at the wheel on creating some masterpieces in the kitchen. Using exotic produce like Baobab fruit, alligator pepper and Cubeb to create some culinary treats for all, and I mean all, take a look below:

HRH001

HRH Prince Charles receiving a selection of Bim’s Kitchen products from Bim and Femi at the 2012 Ideal Home Show. Bim’s Kitchen was exhibiting alongside other select artisan producers within the new Prince’s Pavilion sponsored by the Prince’s Foundation.

And today I bring you another delight from their prize winning, great taste award 2011 product list. African chilli coconut relish.

Ingredients: Onion, Coconut milk (20%), Dessicated coconut (15%), Sunflower oil, Garlic, Lemon juice, Soy sauce, Tomato puree, Demerara sugar, Alligator pepper, Paprika, Ginger, Salt, Red chillies (1%), Thyme, Parsley, Marjoram, Cumin, Cinnamon.

Jar Kindly provided by Bim’s Kitchen

Alligator pepper is an ingredient in West African cuisine where it imparts both ‘heat’, ‘pungency’ and a spicy aroma to classic West African ‘soups’ and ‘stews’. A close relative to the ‘grains of paradise’ only the Alligator pepper comes as a complete pod with seeds. Every days a school day hey.

The label keeps in the usual Bim style with an image of Africa in the background and the title clearly in bold. Although the label is pretty basic, its grabs your attention and then you notice the relish. This looks pretty damn good. Shredded coconut by the bucket load which sits motionless in a reddy orange oil. Presumably it’s the red chilli and paprika aiding the colour on this. And the smell is remarkable too. Like a Korma in a jar only the aroma is ten times better. It does not smell as sweet as many Kormas do, but seems to feel a lot smoother to the nose. Very warming smell with a very clean crisps coconut tone.

So straight in and no messing, in goes the spoon. WOW. This relish has heat, flavour, soft texture, firm consistency. Very interested in trying this alligator pepper as I very much doubt that 1% of red chillies could produce this level of heat. To be frank it caught me off guard a bit, but most definitely not in a bad way. Very smooth due to the oil and the amount in this is bang on. It gives it just the right fluidity to enjoy. This relish has it all going for it. Bim suggests to use it on fish and meat, add it to a stir fry, jacket potato, sandwich filling or add to coleslaw. Well I’m afraid to say I must disagree. Your list is far too small. This will honestly, hand on heart go with so many other things I doubt you’d fit them all on the jar. Thumbs up on all aspects on this one guys. Great job.

This 190g jar is not for sale! But you can pick one up from www.bimskitchen.com for a crazily low £4.00. For a relish that goes with pretty much anything you have a complete bargain. This one goes up there with my all time favourites.

I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do so until next time, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out.

Flavour
(10/10)
Heat
(3.5/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value
(9.5/10)
Overall
(10/10)

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