South Devon Chilli Farm have an interesting range of hot sauces and they like to keep things fairly simple on the ingredient list, preferring to let the chillies they grow there do the talking instead. The range runs from the Extreme Bhut Jolokia to the humble Jalapeño. The one on review here is the Aji Chilli Sauce.
Fresh Aji Chillies (60%), Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice and Salt.
Bottle kindly supplied by South Devon Chilli Farm
That’s it, no exotic fruit or spices, instead just keeping it simple and there’s nothing wrong with that. The Aji chilli originated in the Americas and is used a lot in Peruvian cuisine; it has a citrus flavour with a medium heat level to it.
SDCF sauces come in smaller 100ml than are usually used and sit at around the £3.57 mark – if you want to try the six different sauces in this range, including the interesting 15 (a sauce made with no less than fifteen different chilli varieties), there’s a multipack for £18.
The bottle tells you all you need to know about the sauce with some suggestions to try it on chicken and fish. The label is clear and simple, just like the ingredients with a picture of a single Aji chilli on the front. It is a muddy orange colour and quite thin making pouring it out an easy affair.
Once the top is off the bottle the aromas that escape from the neck mostly seem to be the cider vinegar – there’s also a slightly sweet smell to it. On the spoon there are some seeds and flecks of chillies but not for long.
In the mouth there is initially a sweet flavour, quickly followed by a bitterer citrusy sting. The heat level is middling, it certainly won’t challenge the hardened chilli head, but it is a pleasant tongue tingle that soon mellows off leaving quite a refreshing almost fruity aftertaste with little hint of the more vinegary nose.
Given this sauce is very thin it doesn’t make much sense to be using it as a dipper but it would make a great ingredient for those dishes where a citrus zing would add just enough heat and flavour, such as the suggested fish dishes. In heartier cooking, the delicate flavours would probably get lost. Overall this is an interesting sauce and a worthy addition in the range – it’s nice to see simpler styles on the market so definitely give this one a go if you get the chance.