Happy pancake day again, everybody! It’s time for my favourite food-based holiday oncemore and, this time, I’m featuring not just one syrup but two. Two different flavours from the Chilli Brothers:
Not that you can tell the pair apart at first glance. Or even second or third.
No, their weapons-grade bottles are identical in all but the ingredients lists, making it real hard to know what you’re grabbing off the shelf. And, unfortunately, I can’t help you with that.
What I can help you with, though, is knowing what each variety brings to the table. So that you at least know which one you should be grabbing for your pancakes, if any.
The two that I have today, like the rest of the Chilli Brothers’ syrup line, are both naga-based and carry just a hint of smoke, from the red “morita” chipotle. Yet, despite their shared selection of chillies, the pair appear quite different on my spoons:
The blueberry, on the left, is midnight purple and opaque, while light shines through the dark amber of its lemon & lime counterpart, on the right, rather more easily, giving it the impression of a chilli-infused mexican honey. It’s plain to see that the chillies aren’t the main focus of either but, to be perfectly blunt with you, that’s how I want it.
Yes, I want to feel the heat from their ghost peppers and yes, I want to appreciate the richness brought out by a touch of chipotle but, first and foremost, I want to taste their fruit. To slather blueberry and citrus onto an unusually spicy breakfast.
Their use of fruit as the very first ingredient bodes well, indeed, for such a use. Yet, when it comes to my taste test, they leave me high and dry.
They are, indeed, as berry and citrus-forward as I had hoped but they’re also far more pepper-heavy than I’d expected. To the point where the deep, savoury and slightly floral flavour of whatever naga strain they’re using interferes with my sweet morning pairing. While their sweetness, as syrups, is still too much for most savoury uses.
Chicken, white fish and halloumi are all exceptions, mind you, that make reasonable companions to the peppered-up, unsour lemon notes of the lemon and lime – Golden tones that match the product’s colour and remind me of honey just as much. Perhaps it’d even make a decent addition to pizza.
Yet, whether it does or not, it hasn’t stood out as special on anything that I’ve tried and the blueberry version is even more limited in its usage, pairing only with pork and maybe, just maybe, my Midnight Mousse.
Neither one works well in milk, like their makers suggest, adding far far more fire than flavour – The liquid dairy doing nothing to their high
And ice-cream does cool them down a touch more but it does nothing about the ghost pepper’s savoury taste.
I don’t like these syrups. They don’t do what I wanted them to do, they don’t do what they promised they would and they don’t do much else besides. Plus, what little they do do, they do worse than products half the price.
Though I think they are the first item that I’ve been displeased with specifically because the pepper content was too high. That’s an interesting first, at least.
Here’s what goes into the blueberry one:
Blueberry, Naga Chilli, Morita Chipotle Sugar, Water.
And the lemon & lime:
Lemon, Lime, Naga Chilli, Morita Chipotle, Sugar, Water.