Welcome back, everyone.
Last week we looked at 🔥 a german sauce brand 🔥 imported into the UK by my friend Russell at Grim Reaper Foods. So, following on from that, I’d like to show you another of his recommendations. One that, this time, he isn’t the one selling:
Prices Spices’ fabulous Pineapple & Dorset Naga Chilli Chutney. Their “India Joywala”.
Apparently a great taste award winner back in 2014 and definitely a great taste, it’s one of the best items that I picked up from Reading but there is something about it that I’m not as fond of and I’d like to get into that first.
Like many chilli producers, Prices Spices have a sense of fun that comes out in their wordplay – A punniness that those of you who’ve gotten to know me will know that I appreciate.
Yet what I don’t appreciate is when a company is misleading – Intentionally or otherwise – and Prices Spices are sadly so with this one.
The “India Joywala” name clearly gets across the company’s style of cooking but it also riffs on “jwala” – An indian word for an intense flame. Or rather, it riffs on “jay-wala”, a common mispronunciation thereof.
For some reason, most english speakers struggle with the Jw, despite having no issue with similar consonant, W, vowel progressions like those in “dwindle”, “twitch”, “swift” or “kwisatz haderach”. And ok, maybe that last one’s a bit of humour of my own but it still proves a point – That we know how to say a Kw, even if our native tongue writes it as a Q.
Jwala is, tough as it might be to get used to, pronounced with only two vowels. Both of which are long “ahh”-like A sounds.
But, setting aside my pronunciation pickiness, there’s more wrong with the Joywala name than that.
You see, I don’t speak any indian language but I do know that word. And not just from doing research for this product and my pronunciation post.
I know the word “jwala” from the pusa jwala – A finger chilli with an apple peel like flavour that’s popular in more traditional indian cuisine. One that isn’t featured in this chutney.
90% of the people seeing this or more won’t get the pun that Prices Spices are going for and those who do are likely to find it confusing, given the lack of the pepper that it references. It’s almost as if the company themselves were the only people considered when naming the product.
A bad name doesn’t necessarily make a bad product, though, and this one more than makes up for it in flavour:
It’s sweet and fruity, certainly, but the pineapple isn’t its main flavour. It’s its base. The source of its soft but grainy, fruit pulp texture and a pleasant undertone beneath and between its heavy blend of herbs and spices.
Turmeric to soften the pineapple’s sharpness, while cumin, nigella and toasted mustard seeds produce an initial taste not unlike a more common mango chutney. Yet it’s the very last ingredient, its curry leaves, that really make it for me.
A bold, dark green, cooked herb flavour that’s at odds to the product’s sweet, pineapple base in just the right way to add contrast. And one that simply could not be present in such strength were the herb not used fresh.
A freshness that Prices spices are even proud enough of to put on their ingredients list:
Pineapple (52.5%), Demerara Sugar, Red Onion, Lemon Juice, Ginger, Dorset Naga Chilli (0.9%), Maldon Sea Salt, Gelling Agent: Pectin, Nigella Seed, Cumin Seed, Ground Turmeric, Mustard Seed, Fresh Curry Leaves
On the other end of the spectrum, however, the taste of the Joywala’s true chilli, the dorset naga, has been completely buried. It only serves to add a slow burn on the low end of my scale’s
and, in my opinion, that says a lot about who its makers are.
Prices Spices are chilli lovers making products for chilli lovers but they’re not just chilli lovers themselves. They seem to be, as their name would imply, as much about spices as they are about spice.
In both this chutney and the 📽️ bombay potato mix 📽️ that I had from them, they’ve used their knowledge of indian spices for flavour and only really used their chillies for heat. But, if you’re willing to let the chilli take that back seat for a bit, those spices really have been blended quite exquisitely.
I thoroughly recommend this item to anyone with the heat tolerance to have it with cheese, popadoms or on the side of a curry and I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t also an awesome glaze for things like pork.
I may not like its name or think too much of its plain, yellow on black packaging but the flavour of the India Joywala is fantastic!