The Chilli Garden - Toheno
Okay, its a lazy Sunday afternoon, I’ve been MAJORLY busy all weekend so better to wind down and relax than with a nice chilli sauce review? The sauce I have here comes from a place very local to me known simply as “The Chilli Garden” (read more about them here), they do a range of products including sauces, jams, pickles, powders and chocolate!
Pete (the head honcho) prefers to put flavour above heat and as such refuses to use extract in any of his sauces, but if I’m honest theres a couple of his sauces that are soo fookin hot, they don’t need extract, and one of them is in my hand right now!!
Ingredients: Thai Dragon chilli & Habanero chilli (52%), Spring Water (28%) Distilled Barley Malt Vinegar (14%) Sea Salt and Xanthan Gum.
And thats it, no extracts, no other random fruits or veg to distract you from the chilli, just good wholesome chilli, spring water and vinegar, and the vinegar contant is very VERY low which is massively refreshing to see! They also use a pepper in this that i have never tasted first hand, the “Thai Dragon” chilli, i was told by Pete that its very hot, possibly on par with some habanero varieties, I *hope* to try one when i go visit Pete a bit later this year, obviously if they are hot enough then perhaps Pete will let me eat one on camera? Anyway I digress!
The sauce is called “Toheno” and some eagle eyed readers may well notice that the title is actually backslang for “Hot One”and what a corker this is!!
The bottle itself has a picture of a Scorpion laying on the Chilli Gardens signature logo, which is bloody impressive in itself and is a far cry from the labels they used to use, the sauce inside is simply red with flecks of light orange throughout and its of a pourable consistency without being runny, very nice indeed!
Upon opening the bottle I immediately smelled the Habanero peppers present in this sauce and its at this point that I became a little scared as Habanero’s tend to hurt me LOL, I could also smell what I assume was the Thai Dragon chilli, which to me has a very savoury smell reminiscent of Cayenne peppers, I decided a spoon was not necessary and swigged this straight from the bottle, swirling it round a couple of times before swallowing and allowing the burn to kick in…
Instantly a beautiful, savoury Habanero flavour crept across my tongue and decided to explode at the back of my mouth WOW!! this sauce has a serious kick to it, its not stupidly hot but it was warm enough to bring me out in a sweat! You can really taste the two chilli’s present in this sauce, combined they create a savoury flavour thats packed with heat but not overpowering at all and with the lack of vinegary taste to it I was on to a winner!
It has to be said right now, I’m throwing the gauntlet down, this is OFFICIALLY my new favourite habanero based sauce, the fresh untainted taste of the chilli comes through without any fruit juice or vinegar flavours to change it, I LOVE THIS SAUCE!!
I think this is perfect for anyone who wants a proper savoury Habanero sauce that does’nt have extract, fruit or a shitload of vinegar in it, and at £6 a bottle over at www.thechilligarden.co.uk its well worth the asking price!! (At the time of writing this the sauce is’nt available on the website yet but DON’T PANIC! You can check out there stockists.
Right time for me to get my grub on, so I bid you all farewell for now, may the sauce be with you, ALWAYS!!