Hey folks, I hope that you all had a good easter.
I know I did. But then, I always do. There’s just something special about combining chocolate with a treasure hunt so that you feel like you’ve earnt it.
Blog-wise, though, I’ve already done one massively chocolate-themed post in recent months and I have another cocoa-based review coming up shortly. I don’t want to overdose on the sweet stuff all of the time and I certainly don’t want to sicken you all with a lack of variety.
So, instead of a chocolate review this year, I’m looking at the other side of easter. The themes of death and rebirth, often represented by eggs.
Yes, chilli eggs – Pickled ones, even – from a company who specialises in just that.
An item I may never have found, had it not been for someone’s recommendation.
This gift set, coming to me from Purely Pickled Eggs, was suggested not by a reader but by a total stranger on the train as we were both coming home from a christmas get together with relatives. Her husband now enamoured with them, himself.
It’s taken me a while to get round to them, so I can’t say for sure that I’d remember her name if she had given it but, either way, our rousing conversation and the uniqueness of the item has stuck in my mind ever since. Thanks for the inspiration, total stranger!
In terms of its packaging, the set is nothing too special. A black box, cut to show off the jars, with a small label tied on to explain the product. Nothing more, nothing less.
Yet, even so, the sweaty, fire-breathing egg logo on that label and the similarly shaped, white on black british flag on the far right of the box are both very pleasing to see. Little details that clue us in to the spicy but otherwise traditionally british nature of the items inside, while also adding a sense of playfulness.
I feel like there’s a lot of blank cardboard in the middle, of course, but the stuff on the sides says a lot with very little and I can respect that. Unlike the white labels on the jars, themselves, which go the exact opposite direction.
On each of those, I count seven separate pieces of text with four or more fonts between them. The brand name in two different colours, with a third found in the flag that dots its I. The word “wicked” cut out of red flames for their chilli range. The name of each pepper and a little heat rating in a font that’s almost a scrawl The fact that they’re british free range eggs hand pickled in vinegar split up and dotted around the edges in grey. The same sweaty egg logo replacing both of the Gs in the word “Eggs”. And a small drawing of each jar’s chilli shunted to the very bottom, since that was the only place left for it.
The labels on the jars are, to put it simply, as cluttered as the above paragraph and rather less organised. They need work, if you ask me.
But what is cool about the look of these jars is that each one’s contents show a very different colour. Despite them all using the exact same vinegar and eggs. It’s quite impressive, the difference that a little pepper can make.
And, while the eggs, themselves, all look identical, that pepper also makes a huge difference to their taste.
All three varieties may have the same sharp, golden tang with a hint of sweetness that’s characteristic of distilled malt vinegar and all three may possess the mild undertones of hard-boiled egg as their base but each lets the chilli shine through for its finish.
The thai bird’s eye holds a rich, slightly sweet, red pepper quality that would taste dry, were the eggs, themselves, not so soaked with vinegar. The scotch bonnet is fruity, yet sour, with tiny tropical hints. And the ghost combines both that fruitiness and the rich red chilli at first, before its full depth takes hold and lingers alongside the
in my throat and at the sides of my mouth that makes it so obviously naga.
It’s hot and it stays that way but it also tastes of that indian superhot. Has the flavour of the ghost pepper on which it’s marketed. And that, my friends, is what I really like about Purely Pickled Egg’s chilli range.
They aren’t just a range of heats, they’re also a range of flavours. Each of which makes great use of its pepper.
But just because their heat isn’t all that they have going for them doesn’t mean that I can leave you without a rating on the other two. The bird’s eye eggs are a solid
and the bonnets a
making all three a touch milder than their chillies’ typical sauces but still fairly fiery, all the same.
These are some good eggs but, while their vinegar is a little more strongly flavoured than that in ChimuliS’ bonnet sauce, the spices that they’ve added don’t do an awful lot. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the added flavour of the chillies that makes today’s tasters special.
They’re very simple products but that doesn’t hurt them in the slightest. Here’s what goes into them all:
Egg; Distilled malt vinegar (with barley); [chilli]; Spices (including mustard); Salt.
Where [chilli] is replaced with the actual name of the pepper.
I have no suggestions for what to do with these eggs, beyond the normal, but, when you’re so enjoying them, their juices will make a tonne of fun vinaigrettes. Livening up so many salads!
And, in the mean time, I have been rather enjoying that main event. If pepper-pickled eggs appeal to you, these fill that niche well.