2019’s Christmas Recap

So it’s thursday again, everybody and it’s the first thursday of december. Finally time for my yearly, pre-christmas recap. And, unlike with my previous lists, I’m not going to be changing the format up at all.

Ordering by type, so that readers could skim to the section(s) that most suited their gift giving, has proven itself rather more work than ordering by time or heat but, personally, it’s what I’d rather read. It’s a much more useful sorting method.

So, pay attention to the bold headings, stop and read if you see something inspiring, poke the product names to see my full reviews and give the company names a click to go straight to their websites (UK brands only and only if they have one). Plus, don’t forget to check my top product summaries at the end for the very best of the best.

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Harissa – Hot & Hotter

Happy tuesday again, everyone. Today, we’re going to be carrying on our african theme, from the weekend’s jollof recipe, but we’re going to be moving up north for a more tunisian treat.

HarissaPair

In this week’s review post, I’m going to be taking a crack at some artisan harissa, from Burning Desire Foods and Carringtons, to see how it compares to the simpler, more traditional sort that I once stuffed peppers with.

It’s quite easy to tell which is going to be closer, though. The free sample that I got from Burning Desire uses the same blend of red bell peppers and serenades that I’ve used in my own harissa attempts, while Carringtons does away with anything so mild, in favour of a ghost, scorpion and reaper mix.

It’s pretty obvious that they’re going for heat over tradition but how will that same mellow pepper mix that we saw in 📽️ Mad Dog’s Gold Edition 📽️ impact the flavour of a harissa paste?

I can’t quite picture it but I’m certainly excited. For both of today’s products, since Burning Desire Foods have a long history of quality that we’ve seen many times on this site.

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Party Rice

Hey folks, it’s the last weekend of the month and it’s time to party. By which I mean it’s time to replicate a dish that I discovered at an afro-caribbean birthday barbecue.

That’s right, if you couldn’t tell from the title, this week’s recipe is the mildly smoked “party rice” version of west africa’s traditional “jollof”. A heavily spiced rice dish made for sharing, that can be the side for your main meal but, more often, acts as the ballast alongside a tonne of fried plantain, jerk chicken and coleslaw. To name just a few of its common accompaniments.

It can be served warm or cold at just about any time of the day and, while not exactly hot, it carries a wonderful tomato, thyme and scotch bonnet taste that makes it all but impossible to mistake its native region.

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Festive Fury

So it’s been a long and busy week, at least for me, dear readers, but tuesday has finally found its way back around. Which means it’s time for another review.

Today’s piece features the last item in my backlog from Prices Spices and it does so for good reason. Just look at that jar:

HornersHand

Sure, it looks small, dark and evil but it also says “Plum & Moruga Scorpion Chilli Preserve” in light, pinky-purple text. Text that, to me at least, implies dark red fruit used to create a rich yet vibrant, cranberry-esque jam for the christmas season. A jam that would be just perfect over equally flavourful roast meats and cheese that’s either tangy or pungent.

Sadly, this isn’t that product but, as december draws ever closer, I’m going to shine a spotlight on it, anyway, so that you can see what the Horners Aftermath Chilli Jam really is.

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Loquat Topped

And yes, I’m posting on sunday, as well, everyone. I’m keeping busy this week.

For this particular recipe, though, it’s not just me that you have to thank. Its inspiration comes from Hot Ones and my own comments section.

You see, just over a week ago, I was watching Kristen Stuart eat wings and, despite putting on a good performance, I didn’t feel like I could relate to her like other guests. Until, that is, she hit wing seven and the big food question dropped.

As it turns out, Kristen is a forager. And not a ramson, elderflower and bilberry forager, like me. She forages for loquats.

Now, if you’ve read my review of Ibiza Chilli Co’s Magnificent 7, you’ll know that I’ve got a lot of love for the citrussy, slightly mango and apricot-like, loquat. So, naturally, I got excited to try her crumble.

Unfortunately, though, loquat season ended several months ago. I couldn’t get the fruit fresh and nowhere sells it dried or frozen. All I could get my hands on was another bottle of that glorious spanish hot sauce, with which to try out Glempsto’s crazy-sounding loquat drizzle cake suggestion.

Now, I took a few liberties with the recipe, as you’ll see in a moment. I wanted to highlight the fruit’s citrus qualities and the sauce’s spices, not just replicate a lemon drizzle. And, while I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, I absolutely adore the resulting sweet and tangy cupcakes.

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The Craft Hot Sauce 100

Happy thursday again, folks. We’re now into the latter half of november and the christmas season is rapidly approaching but it’s not quite time for my yearly recap yet.

Instead, today sees me focus on somebody else’s list: Bauce Brothers’ Craft Hot Sauce Hot 100.

Bauce Brothers

Now, in case you aren’t aware, Bauce Brothers aren’t just anyone and this isn’t just any selection of sauces. The company specialise in hot sauce subscription boxes – Much like the one that Flaming Licks sent me – giving them a far greater awareness of independent and artisan producers than your any normal food news outlet.

This is the first list of its kind where I feel like the makers have truly held the necessary qualifications but, even so, there’s more to most sauce makers than just a single product.

Today, I’d like to take a little time to look at the producers I know who’ve made the list, whether I think that they deserve it or not and what I make of their wider range.

Perhaps it’ll give you some gift ideas.

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Salty Seconds

Greetings again, fiery food fans. Today’s feature comes, at least in part, from one of you. So, if you’re reading this, Verminskyi, thanks for the suggestion!

But, that said, I didn’t want to bring you all just one product this week. I’m not just showcasing the requested Wiltshire Chilli Farm salt.

No, I’m pairing it with a second product from an equally well known brand. Another naga salt, similarly-spiked with peppercorns to enhance both heat and flavour. This week, we’re looking at The Chilli Jam Man, too:

WCFCJMsalts

A second salt-based showdown to test Wiltshire’s “fearless flavour” oncemore and see how they fair against a more mainstream opponent.

Will their second salt knock it out of the park, like their milder chipotle sort, or will the Jam Man prove himself the fiercer rival? Read on to find out!

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Hot Root Sauce

Hope you’re having a great tuesday, everyone, ’cause it’s about to get just a little weirder.

Why? Because today’s hot sauce is one of the craziest yet. One that, as a lover of all things unusual in food, I absolutely could not pass up.

I didn’t find a lot of sauces at Challock Chilli Fest but the few that I did buy were all something special. And I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to unveil this one, in particular.

So, what exactly is it that’s on display today? It’s Karimix’s Teriyaki Wasabi Sauce:

TeriyakiWasabi

An asian-style spicy sauce unique in its complete and utter lack of chilli.

Click on to find out what does go into it.

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Bonfire Brew

Hey there heat seekers. Today, we’re celebrating bonfire night, and the start of november in general, with a selection of roasted coffee bean products.

One from the ever-famous Queen Majesty, of former Hot Ones fame. One sent by my buddy Jason, of Burning Desire Foods – A company that I’ve featured plenty of times. And the last, a name that’s completely new to me: Chilli Scrumptious.

CoffeeThree

All three are heavily themed around their use of coffee and spice but Burning Desire’s is a little bit different. In part, because it’s a rub but also because it was free to me. A review sample, not a purchase.

I feel a little bad about including it in a comparison post, alongside sauces that I’ve paid for, but it was that or make my thursday reviews a regular feature. Which I’m quite simply not prepared to do.

Last week’s was a one-off holiday special.

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Trick or Trinidad?

Happy halloween, my fellow heat freaks. It’s trick or treat time and I’m really hoping that today’s seasonal special is the treat that I was promised.

CauldronSauce

This “cauldron” sauce has come to me, quite last minute, from the lovely folk of Brighton Hot Stuff. Too late to make my usual tuesday timeslot. Yet the company’s previous products have earnt my respect through their flavour and I’m willing to fit them in, where I can, with that rare thursday review.

There is, however, a nagging voice in the back of my mind which can’t be ignored. One that’s more sceptical of this sudden freebie, thinking “This would be the perfect time for a company to prank you with another Hell Unleashed.”. And it’s not just BHS’ work, either. It’s a collaboration with a company who I can find very little about online. One by the name of Lazy Scientist.

So, while it’s likely no more than my own paranoia, I’m going to be taking things a touch more cautiously with today’s review.

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