The Chillees

In this review I have a bottle of The Chillees Indian Fire kindly provided to me for tasting

The Chillees Indian FireI have had the pleasure of reviewing a few of the other sauces produced by The Chillees. Orangatongue Tingler is one sauce you have to have in your collection! Revisit my review from 2014 for the Chile Foundary here

The Chillees are a husband and wife team creating award winning products including spicy chilli sauces and preserves from their home grown chillies, fruit and vegetables. Their current range is ever growing and for them “It’s all about the flavour as well as the heat. No Extracts used here” so this is a real invite to foodie chilli heads like me.

Ingredients: Mango, onion, vinegar, sugar, orange juice, lime juice, jamacian jerk chilli (5%), Fire chilli (2%) water, mustard seeds, mustard, salt and Indian spice mixes.

The label I think is very professionally done, their trademark string of chillies down the side and the hot sauce name in logo style on the front. Noticeably on this bottle you will find a shiny blue and bronze sticker with ‘taste of the west bronze’ award showing you already that this sauce must be worth picking up. Behind the label is a dark mango coloured thick looking sauce inviting you in too. The Chillees rate this sauces heat level as a four out of five on the label of the bottle so I’m eager to dive in and see what combination of power and taste they have pulled together this time. I am especially pleased to see that the Chillees have been creative and not just gone for the usual (although always tasty) scotch bonnet or habanero used in the main stream of sauces.

The aroma on opening the bottle is sweet and citrus like to my senses although this sauce is names Indian fire one of the initial thoughts running through my mind is that of a Chinese curry smell, though this is doing the sauce a disservice. Many of my favourite sauces from the past that have disappeared from market used mango so I’m a real fan of this ingredient, I believe it is an excellent fruity base to a hot sauce. It is quite hard to describe the taste of this sauce, it hits so many parts of your mouth, there is a lot going on. First hit I love it then I think again is this too much flavour, but then the chilli hits and you forget the initial complexity until you are left with a long slow gentle heat leaving you wanting more. Though not listed as an ingredient there tastes like a hint of cumin in the background to me too whether present or not. The mustard and mustard seeds overlay another dynamic of heat too. Not too much but the different style of heat provided really ads to the depth of the sauce. This in my opinion is another winner in their range

The Chilees website suggested using this sauce as a marinade and, best with red meat; Beef, Water Buffalo, Bison and Venison. Also a fan of not just sticking to the basic supermarket foods I’m pleased to see different types of meat listed and I would agree I can see the sauce complementing these perfectly. With its depth of flavour this sauce would also be great to add some extra heat to your curries, stews, casseroles and hotpots too.

Finally, as I have mentioned in a past review, with the clever spelling of the work chilli as part of their company name I fear there is a chance their good work may get lost in the internet search world. It took a couple of attempts to find their homepage originally but after the first taste of one of their sauces I never forgot. I hope this review has helped you find them

Check them out at http://www.thechillees.co.uk/ or on Twitter @thechillees

A Standard 140ml bottle of any of their sauces will set you back around £3.50 so there’s no excuse not to check them out.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(7/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(7/10)

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This is the first review I have done of a product from The Chillees, while others have reviewed a couple of their products in the past (HabApple Chilli Apple Chutney & Orangatongue Tingler Chilli Sauce) here at the ChileFoundry for me this is a first.

The Chillees Smoky Jo's Chipotle_smI found this product while visiting the Sherbourne Castle Country Fair a while back. The Chillees is a small family concern run by Nick and Francine Lee who grow the chillies and make the sauces just down the road from us in Taunton, Somerset.

The sauce comes in the standard sized 140ml bottle and as you will see from the picture it picked up a silver award from the Taste of the West organisation in 2014.

Open the bottle and it smells a bit like a chilli style tomato sauce, but once the more volatile aromas have escaped, I can still smell the tomato, but also the onion and maybe a bit of garlic. I am not expecting this to be a hot sauce with only 1% chipotle in the mix, but butternut squash is not something I often find in the chilli sauce, I love using them in soups as they give such a great texture.

The sauce is mild, but you can taste the smokeyness from the smoked Garlic and chipotle chillies, then a bit of sweetness with the onion, red wine and balsamic vinegar, it is not as thick as I expected but the flavour in excellent no single ingredient is overpowering, the combination works very well.

Ingredients: Onion, Tomato, Butternut Squash, Water, Red Wine Vinegar, Red Peppers, Sugar, Apple, Rice Vinegar, Smoked Garlic, Chipotle Chilli (1%), Worcester Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Mustard Seeds, Ancho Chilli, Paprika, Sea Salt.

A few teaspoon later and I can already see this going into some mayo as a mild dip, or mixed into mince before making burgers.. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.. I think we are having a BBQ this weekend..

I can see why this won a silver award, it is an outstanding sauce that would appeal the the whole family.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)


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In this review I have been given a bottle of The Chillees Orangatongue Tingler chilli sauce. Before I say anything else, hats off to the name awesome! The Chillees are a recently new small family business producing spicy chilli sauces and preserves from their home grown Chillies and other fruit/veg. Their current range is small but so far they have caught the attention of many at markets and festivals with their fresh tasting small batch approach to sauce making. For the Chillees “It’s all about the flavour as well as the heat. No Extracts used here” so this is a real invite to foodie chilli heads like me.

Ingredients:

Carrot, Vinegar, Lime, Onion, Orange Habanero (7%), garlic and sea salt

Bottle kindly supplied by The Chillees

The bottle you get is like the mainstream shape of many bottles and a standard size of 150ml. The label is done well with clear print and oem nice chilli graphics but nothing to really draw your attention in. Apart from the name of course, once again Orangatongue Tingler, this drives my curiosity and describes in one made up word the tastes to come hopefully. Behind the label is a vivid orange pulpy looking hot sauce no doubt driven by the carrot and Orange habaneros.

Opening the bottle the freshness I had heard about rings true, helped along by the choice of the ingredients a sharp fiery fruity aroma meets your senses. You cant smell an overpowering heat but this is clearly not the intent with this sauce and with only 7% Habanero its not to be expected.

The pulpy goodness I poured onto a spoon and it’s like a summer chilli party starts in my mouth. The citrus comes through, the well known fruitiness of the Orange Habanero burns slightly and builds gently. The vinegar is not too strong thankfully and there is a hint of garlic which would lend this sauce well to not just being a dipping sauce but for cooking too. Perhaps do something different with it and add to a salad or use on fish? I used the sauce on one of my regular weekend Mexican breakfasts Huervous Rancheros using the heat and the lime to cut through the runny eggs.

The only thing that would let the sauce down is maybe the label; there is nothing wrong with it but due to the simplicity of design if it weren’t for the cool name people may pass this one by. I would also like to see maybe the same sauce produced with a hotter version containing a higher percentage of the Orange Habanero. The Chillees have reached what they wanted with the 7% and I’m always more for a flavour heat balance then just heat. However for a change I would love an option that kicks in the endorphins too from the Orangatongue too. Special edition run maybe…..

Finally with an awkward but clever spelling of the work chilli as part of their company name I fear their good work may get lost in the internet search world. Indeed it took a couple of attempts to find their homepage. The Chillees have a nice range building which  continues the balance of flavour and heat, demonstrated clearly by their naga sauce which claims to have a 4/10 heat rating. Think I need to pick some up and see

A Standard 150ml bottle will set you back only 3.50

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)

 

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The Chillees is the playful brand name for a range of chilli-laced foodstuffs produced by Nick and Francine Lee from their base in Taunton, Somerset. They describe themselves as having a small, but growing, range of products, yet a quick look at their website reveals an already satisfying list of goodies. An encouraging note on the website states that The Chillees products are “made for the flavour, not just the heat” – music to these reviewers’ ears – so let’s see how their HabApple (nice play on crab-apple!) Hot Apple Chilli Chutney lives up to the message.

As a review team, one of us is a fan of chutney generally where the other is less so, so we hope that this will give readers in both camps a good idea of whether this is a product for them.

Jar kindly supplied by The Chillees.

First impressions based on labelling are just as important as the product itself from a marketing point of view.  Nick and Francine have done a good job with theirs – it is clear and uncluttered, the brand stands out without being “in your face”, and the text is enough to tell the customer everything they need to know without being wordy.

The jar opens with a satisfying ‘pop’ so that we know the chutney has been preserved properly, and releases a marvellous aroma of habanero along with the sweet apple and sharp vinegar.

This is a chutney with a silky smooth base texture, but without an excess of wetness.  The base apple sauce contains a good amount of sweet vine fruit and slivers of onion, as well as tantalising flecks of chilli.

So far so good… so, what about the taste?

Ingredients:

Apples (52%), sugar, vinegar, onions, habanero chilli (2%), raisins, sultanas, currants, garlic, ginger, lemon, sea salt, cinnamon, cayenne.

Apple is the first flavour to come through, along with sweetness from the vine fruits, all lifted by subtle vinegar sharpness.  This is swiftly followed by a hit of heat and the distinctive flavour of habanero, which lingers pleasantly after the other flavours have begun to dissipate.

The ingredients list includes ginger and cinnamon, but these are not particularly noticeable in the flavour notes.  However, this being apple chutney, these are ingredients that would be more conspicuous by their absence rather than being flavour front-runners.

In taste testing we’ve found that the chutney works beautifully on sandwiches with mature cheddar cheese or sausages, and with gammon steak – and will go equally well with all other usual accompaniments to sweet-based chutneys.  This would also make a wonderful replacement for apple sauce to spice up a pork dish.

Heat-wise, the label suggests that this is a 3-out-of-5 on the heat scale.  We tend to agree that this is a mid-level chutney.  The heat is pretty immediate, possibly due to the inclusion of cayenne, and continues to build to a very pleasant and recognisable habanero burn which is mellowed slightly by the sugars in the fruit.

HabApple Chutney is available from The Chillees’ online store, priced at £3.50 for a 200g jar.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(6/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (10/10)
Overall
(9/10)

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