salt

From Unique Fine Foods we have a green harisssa paste from their UniqueArabia range to sample and review. I have to say I have tried many red harissa pastes but never a green one before so I was interested to see if there was any real difference.

Unique Foods Green Harissa Paste

On the label “A delicious hot paste, a little goes a long way! why not try spreading over chicken before cooking or stir into a dip to add a kick” The label is that of a standard cooking condiment easily stored with your other spices. The jar is mini at only 90g but most harissa pastes are of a similar size so this is not a negative

Ingredients: Green peppers, green chilli (41.5%) olive oil, garlic, salt, spinach, caraway seeds, coriander, mint, lactic acid.

My first thoughts, is that’s a very precise amount of chilli listed in the ingredients, will the 0.5% make a difference? On opening the jar you are greeted with a combination of fresh aromas as if this was recently blended but they soon die away to the predicted processed dullness that is necessary to keep products like this alive. With the list of ingredients of was expecting a bouquet of flavours to hit my taste buds. Unfortunately not much happened, not wishing to do the product injustice I experimented for a couple of weeks adding to lamb kebabs, basting chicken and creating dips alongside bread and olives. I have to say this greatly improved the flavours. I believe it would also not be too overpowering on a nice fresh white baked fish. As for heat, I couldn’t detect any at all, not even gentle background warmth you generally get on consumer products. So this is not one for the chilli heads but one for the experimental cooks.

Unfortunately the Unique Fine Foods website is built and appears active but has virtually no content at time of checking in December 2015 see for your self as things may have changed by the time this review is posted http://www.uniquefinefoods.co.uk/ There is also a facebook group but the last post on this one is February 2015. I’m hoping the organisation is still going as they appear to have several brands. None of which I recognise but they cover a variety of interesting foods from around the world and appear to offer the service of getting new products onto the UK market.

I can’t find any current stockists but located a historic mention on Sainsbury’s with a mini review of “Good for lamb & other meats, & for vegetables. Can use in soups & stews. Interesting flavour profile that’s worth a try”

In Sainsbury’s the price was £1.60 so I’m guessing if you can still find it the price should be around there.

Flavour
(4/10)
Heat
(0/10)
Packaging
(4/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(4/10)

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Chillilicious, A mother and daughter team from deepest darkest Fife and Scotland’s 1st Chilli farmers, started making chilli chutneys back in 2011 when they decided to try and grow the spicy fruit on their 2.5 acre farm, which has since grown to include 2 large poly tunnels, where they nurture over 4000 chilli plants, farm shop, glass art studio, a commercial kitchen and a biodiversity pond walk that serves to express and compliment their core values of fresh organic local produce.

Monkey Punch from ChilliliciousThe family team have won numerous awards since then and travel all over the UK to chilli festivals and specialist markets selling their creations.

Having tried a few of their products in the past I was looking forward to trying a new one, Monkey Punch harks back to the company’s beginnings being a chutney full of hearty chunks and deep rich flavours.

The name derives, I guess, from the use of banana as the main ingredient but rather than being the base flavour it acts as the fragrant after-note of the onion and sweet vinegar you’d expect from a more traditional chutney.

Ingredients: Bananas, kiwis, lemons, apples, dates, onions, allspice, salt, tumeric, white wine vinegar, sugar, jalapeño extract, lime extract, cayenne chilli.

Rather than being a mushy condiment as you may think you’d get from a banana based product, Monkey Punch has been expertly crafted and not over cooked so the texture of the apple, onion and other ingredients gives a satisfying bite that would work wonderfully served with a cheese board or plate of cold meats.

Heat wise the label promises an “explosion” but is, for me at least, a gradual warm glow that’s builds with every bite to a comfortable lingering finish, the chutney uses a jalepeno extract and dried cayenne, both of which are masked by the other ingredients so only provide the warmth. Although Chillilicous have hotter products in their varied range, their ethos is to concentrate on producing a well balanced and flavoursome accompaniment to food rather than trying to melt the face of the most hardened of chilli heads.

The packaging of Monkey Punch still has the homemade feel about it and the labels look like they could still be applied by hand, the printing isn’t glossy but a honest attempt and a fun design. (This may be a 1st run jar and the labels may improve during production as the company has recently been tweeking the brand design).

As with their other products you can choose to purchase a small 40g test jar for £1 (great for creating gift hampers) or the full size 270g jar for £3.95 which should last you one dinner party or a month of ordinary meals.

Gluten free and Vegan friendly

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(7/10)

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Lets try this Habanero based sauce with a simple ingredients list we look forward to giving our verdict and where better than to do this, yep we use Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament to give our decision on this chili sauce.

Ingredients: Red Habanero Peppers, Garlic, Vinegar, Lime & Salt.

Made & available from: Mr Saucy

Priced at: $7.95 (Price correct at time of publication)
Bottle size: 5 Fl Oz (148ml)

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Question: Summertime means one thing BBQ’s and what do you need to go with a BBQ?
Answer: A great chili sauce, so we crack open this sauce made by Mr Vikki’s named after his son ‘Harry’ it is called Harry’s Roast Chipotle BBQ Sauce so lets get it open and see how it tastes.

Ingredients: Tomato Paste, Vinegar, Roast Hickory Smoked Chipotle 14%, Molasses, Honey, Golden Syrup, Onion, Garlic, Cornflour, Salt, Soy Sauce, Mustard & Spices.

Made by & available from Mr Vikki’s

Bottle 280g Priced at £4.50 (Price correct at time of publishing)

About Mr Vikki’s: ‘A small bespoke Indian Fusion pickle producer in the beautiful Lake district Cumbria. Dedicated to using fresh natural ingredients, that contain no wheat or dairy. Many products using specific chillies, and keep very well once opened and unchilled due to the low water content achieved through ancient methods of preserving.

All recipes are unique and made by Adam Marks.’ Courtesy from http://www.mrvikkis.co.uk

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