Happy tuesday heat eaters, it’s now January and we’re nearly done with my product samples.
There’s one more heat left of The Chilli Alchemists popping candy but we’ll save that for next week. Today, we’re looking at something from ChimouliS again.
“But wait,” I hear you cry, “didn’t we see their last sauce last month?”
Indeed we did, avid reader, but sauces aren’t all the company produces. As you may remember from my brief overview of them, the first of their products I discovered and the one they have become most well known for is a salted caramel spread. A chilli salted caramel spread.
ChimouliS make this spread in four flavours; coffee, mild chilli, carolina reaper and plain. I received both the chilli one and the heatless plain variety so I can tell you exactly what the chilli brings to their creation but I will not be properly reviewing the plain one as it isn’t what my blog is about.
Before I get into tasting this spread, though, I’m going to go over its packaging. Its tiny little wedding favour packaging.
The sample I’ve been sent comes in a wonderful miniature version of those classic hexagonal jam jars. A traditional jar shape that so many companies, both big and small, still use to this day.
It does a great job of keeping up the air of old worldy tradition we’ve seen across ChimouliS’ other products. A feel that is only further enhanced by their continued simplistic labelling on parchment-coloured backgrounds.
In this particular instance, however, they have left out the faded map we saw on their sauces. The fake parchment is plain and shows only the ingredients, company logo and product name, the last of which has just the faintest hint of red shadowing to its black letters.
There’s really not much to this label and most of what there is has already been seen on their sauces but that simplicity is what gives it elegance. At least for me.
Opening up this pretty little jar, I find I can’t get my teaspoon all the way in, meaning I can only show you the small amount I could scrape off the surface. Not that you should have any trouble, since butter knives can reach the full contents just fine.
At cold, winter room temperature, this spread is thick and just a little granular. It doesn’t, if I’m honest, look as appetising as I might like but it tastes just great. Like the rich, buttery caramel it is, with a creamy mouth feel that hides most of that graininess.
Warmed up even slightly (just holding the jar for a bit will do), the grains disappear and this product becomes entirely smooth and spreadable. Placed on something hot, like toast, it practically melts, making it all the more gorgeous to eat.
Quite frankly, though, once it’s picked up enough warmth to become smooth, I could just eat it straight out the jar.
The salt is far from overpowering but it really brings out the flavour of the caramel itself. Just the way it was when the idea first caught on in France all those years ago.
But I’m not just reviewing a salted caramel spread. I’m reviewing a chilli salted caramel spread. What does the addition of chilli powder bring to this little treat?
Well, for starters, it brings a good little fieriness at the very top of what I’d call a
that isn’t immediately obvious when not eaten straight but slowly builds with each bite to a warming tongue tingle, perfect to start a cold winter morning.
It’s undeniably mild but not so much so that its small fire is wasted, even on someone with my degree of chilli tolerance.
Yet there’s more to the addition of chilli than just its heat.
While I enjoy this version, I find the plain one completely unpalatable. It’s just too buttery for me.
I don’t think it’s a bad product or anything, it’s just not to my personal tastes. Most people are a good deal more into butter than I am.
But, regardless of how into butter you are, I would still recommend the chilli version over the plain every time.
The added flavour from the chilli powder is subtle and certainly doesn’t stop this product from being both rich and buttery but it does take the edge off a little. That small shift in the balance of flavours makes the salted caramel less overbearingly fatty and far more well rounded.
Suddenly, the richness supports the dried chilli taste, instead of purely furthering the strength of the product’s dairy notes.
I went into this review sceptical, expecting the touch of chilli powder to bring very little to the taste of ChimouliS’ spread. Instead, I’m left thinking that maybe it wasn’t ever meant to be a non-chilli product because it just seems to work so much better with it than without.
It’s perfect for toast, as I’ve already mentioned, but supposedly also great melted into coffee. I could also see it on cakes or baked into fruit-based deserts. Heated a little first, it would even pour wonderfully over ice-cream, pancakes and waffles.
It’s not quite as versatile as some of ChimouliS’ other items but it doesn’t have to be. It’s delicious and has some very clear and simple uses that everyone can enjoy. Well worth trying!