The Second Spirit

Hey folks, don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one ’cause, today, we’re looking at Chilli of the Valley’s Calypso.

NewCalypso

Now it’s been over a year since we first saw this sauce and a lot has changed in that time. It looks far more enticing in its swanky new, pirate-themed bottle but, more importantly, its makers have informed me that they’ve changed the vinegar to a far more fruit-friendly, white wine variety.

So, since the overpowering nature of spirit vinegar was my only issue with its previous incarnation and I do so like to preach the benefits of picking the right acid for your sauce, I think it’s only fair that I reward the company for taking my feedback on board by giving it a second shot.

Yes, folks, this is a thursday special to re-review Chilli of the Valley’s product. Partially to ensure that the info on my site is up to date and partially because it’s an interesting, real world example of just how much difference vinegar type can make.

It would be unfair of me to let it take the normal tuesday spot away from something newer but I do feel like it deserves this metaphorical air-time, nonetheless.

Here goes!

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Red Rival Jams

Happy tuesday again, everyone!

Today marks the first of my july reviews and, with it, the end of my unexpectedly hectic birth month. This week, I get to relax a little and try out two simple chilli jams, from A Bit of a Pickle and The Smokey Carter.

PickleCarterJams

Each using a different, named chilli – One habanero and the other scotch bonnet – but both relying on a base of sugar and red bells to carry them.

Obviously, these aren’t going to be the same sort of breakfast jam that we saw in South Devon Chilli Farm’s elderflower. They’re going to be a pepper forward, somewhat savoury pair that’s better suited to spreading over cheeses and meats. But how much of that pepper flavour is actually going to come from their namesake varieties? And how different will these two be?

I’m very curious to find out.

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Two from Tom

Hey folks, it’s tuesday again and, being the 30th, you might think that we’d be through with my birthday content. But you’d be wrong.

People have been generous, this year, and Tom’s Curious Sauces is no exception, having sent me this pair specially.

TomsPair

The chipotle being Tom’s mildest, yet also my favourite flavour from his range.

But what’s that to the side of it? Something new. Something hot. And something very, very ghost pepper.

It’s the final version of a product that I’ve been helping him taste test. Though it looks rather different from the Honey Ghost that you may have seen, behind me, in recent videos.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s changed, as well as having another crack at his wonderful chipotle blend, so let’s give them both a go, shall we?

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Udon a la Spaghet

Hello again everyone, it’s the last sunday of the month and I’m sure you all know what that means. It’s recipe time!

Now, of course, I don’t always leave my recipes until the last minute like this but, well, my access to ingredients has been somewhat restricted, lately, and I’ve had a lot to do in the last week or two. So, this time around, I’m falling back on a silly suggestion from my friends, mixed in with a family staple.

I’m making udon bolognese – A variation on the classic spaghetti dish using thicker, heartier noodles and a bit of jalapeño-based spice in its sauce.

It’s not traditional and it’s made even less so by the fact that what I know as “bolognese” is actually a twist on spaghetti and meatballs, handed down from generation to generation. Yet it’s still delicious and hey, isn’t that what really matters?

Here’s my take on an italian pasta dish, with just a little bit of a japanese twist.

UdonBolBowl

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The Marmalade Beast

My god, you lot, it’s tuesday and I’ve only just recovered from this year’s birthday post. I’m going to need something extra mild for today’s review. So it’s pretty fortunate that I’ve got just the thing

MildBeast

This is the Mild Beast and it’s from a company who’s sauces I’ve been liking a lot, lately. Yet it shows a very different side of them.

You see, while it might be another Hot Pods product, this particular sauce isn’t the work of Stephen Dixon. It’s made by his daughter – The supposed boss of the company – and it’s made for younger palates, like hers.

The Mild Beast is designed to be heavy on the fruit, light on the vinegar and much much milder. Forsaking the company’s usual chilli blend in favour of a single, not so superhot, pepper.

And yes, I picked it up now because I looked at the calendar and knew that a monday birthday spelt trouble. But I was already planning to try it, anyway, because I find the idea of hot sauce by kids for kids intriguing.

Especially when the label is so clearly their design.

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Pineapples and Pain

It’s monday, dear readers, and, while it might not be my usual blogging day, it is, in fact, my birthday. The day where I turn a year older and I mark the occasion with something stupidly hot. An extract-based sauce or two to make me suffer for your entertainment, as well as the entertainment of those who craft such fearsome concoctions.

As I mentioned, last week, this year’s post is dedicated to Dan Reed and his company, Chilli of the Valley. A company who kindly supplied me with one of their hottest natural products as an appetiser.

Yet I kind of suspect that that’s all that Dan meant for his Black Death to be. Because it may have been hot and tasty but it sure didn’t pack the unnatural punch of a sauce like this:

PhwoarBottle

His Phwoar Koff and Dai.

Not that it’s actually meant to be read as “Phwoar Koff and Dai” but, well, I do try to keep things family friendly on my front page. And I’m sure that we’ll all understand what it really means once we’ve tried it.

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The Reaper’s Plague

Hey folks, It’s less than a week until my birthday and I’d love to celebrate with you all but I’ve got the plague. Though maybe not the one that you’re thinking of.

Today, I’m talking about this little thing:

BDBottle

The Black Death, from Chilli of the Valley. A special little something that they sent to fill the gap before my traditional, yearly suffering.

It’s a sinister blend of carolina reapers and black garlic, intended to serve as the appetiser to next monday’s main event. Something crazy hot and full of darkness, yet also rather more natural and flavour-focussed than what I’ll be doing for my special day.

And, while this one may have been a freebie, I had my eyes on it long before they sent this bottle over. So you’d better believe I’m excited to crack it open!

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Can I Try Some Mangoes?

So, now that we’re back onto sweet sauces, what do you lot say we take another look at one of my favourite fruit?

CanIPlay

This, here, is Can I Play with Mangos – A product that I promised to talk about back when I tried Rock A Doodle Do’s other, more mythology-themed sauces. Because, while that pair highlighted their irish heritage, the company’s origins lie elsewhere. In classic rock and metal puns.

But, truth be told, I’ve felt no urgency in getting to their Iron Maiden-inspired mango and habanero sauce because, hard as such a pairing is to screw up, Rock A Doodle Do’s last feature didn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

So, just in case they have gone that extra mile somehow, I’m going to throw in another couple of mango sauces alongside theirs. Both with rather more exciting chillies.

Charibbean&Lemon

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Habanero Sunshine Rice

Hey folks, it’s recipe time again but, if I’m honest, this one was actually supposed to go up last week. I had a few technical difficulties with my camera and had to remake the whole thing from scratch.

So, that’s how my week’s been going, how about yours? I hope that you’re all holding up okay in the midst of this crazy modern mess and I hope that you’re all able to find a nice, secluded spot to go stretch your legs and get some sun. Because, as scary as this pandemic is, going outside is still important to your health.

With no end in sight, right now, it’s essential that you have a way to get all the necessary vitamin D and you’re not going to do it through diet, alone. Fresh fish just isn’t that readily available right now.

What you need is sunshine and that, I’m afraid, is not something that I can provide. But I can share with you a thematically-appropriate rice dish, at least, based on the work of Amano Hina – Weathering with You’s 100% sunshine girl.

WwYRice

A simple, yet delicious, one-pan recipe that deviates slightly from the source material but still combines eggs, rice and crisps for a crunchy, warming meal that’ll add a little brightness at any time of the day. Though, personally, I like to serve it for brunch.

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Lemondrop Curd

Alright everyone, there’s been a little bit of sweetness in these last few weeks but all the sauces therein were still predominantly savoury. So today, that’s going to change. We’re going to look at something that’s sweet to its core but, for once, it’s not a sauce. Or a jam. Or even a chutney.

It’s something new.

Today, folks, we’re looking at a chilli lemon curd.

LemondropCurd

And this isn’t the first such curd I’ve seen. Several other companies, the chilli pepper one included, produce a spiced up version of the standard spread. Yet A Bit of a Pickle are the first that I’ve found to actually state their pepper.

Albeit only in stickers on the side of the jar, because this product is that new to market.

LemondrpCurdSticker

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