Happy tuesday, my fellow fiery food fans. Today, we’re taking a second look at the Chilli Brothers.
This time around, however, I’m trying out one of their sauces:
One that’s wrapped in a sleek, stylish and super shiny, silver label with the same logo and lack of information that we saw on their syrups. One that, once again, only gives us the sauce name, in small, above its ingredients list on the back.
That’s bad branding, pure and simple, but at least we can see the sauce around the label’s edges. At least we can make out its browned-apple colour and texture. Even if we can’t see the yuzu that actually got me interested.
Hopefully that yuzu comes through in its taste but, since I wasn’t so impressed with the company’s last pair, I figured I’d bring in a second sauce this week:
One that, sadly, isn’t the same asian citrus but still makes a wonderful, warming flavour from its whole, organic lemons.
This Scotch Bonnet & Lemon Sauce, from Up the Garden, doesn’t present itself much better than the Chilli Brothers’ product but it does show its name. And that, alone, tells us so much more about what’s inside.
For the full picture, though, I think it’s time that I cracked both bottles open:
On the left, Chilli Brother’s sauce is the thick and pulpy, yet still very smooth, apple sauce that it looked like from the outside. Yet, on the right, we see something far less expected.
Up the Garden’s first ingredient is sugar. It’s a sweet chilli sauce, based on the common thai style, but it’s much, much thinner than that implies. The thinnest, most freely-flowing sauce I’ve ever seen in that genre.
And its shreds – The lemon, the chilli and the spices – Are so small that I almost need a magnifying glass. Nothing like the whole seeds that sparsely grace their competitor.
In short, these two sauces could hardly be more different in texture. Yet, when it comes to their taste, they do share a certain vibrancy and a strong citrus tang. As you might have expected, given their names.
For the Scotch Bonnet & Lemon, that tang is full-bodied, highly zesty overtone that forms the highlight of the product. One which tastes strongly of lemon peel but doesn’t have anywhere near the bitterness that you’d find in a store bought, non-organic sort. And it works oh so well with the equally tangy and fruity, sweet red chilli base on which it’s built.
While, for the Apple & Yuzu, it’s the first ingredient that takes the fore. A sweet, cooked apple flavour with an autumnal warmth brought not by cinnamon but by roasted orange habanero and four different acidic fruits. Of which the yuzu definitely plays the biggest role.
Both use their citrus to great effect and both are absolutely gorgeous but the only food that I could see them both working on is cous cous.
For apple pie, ice-cream or treacle tart, Chilli Brothers have you covered. While Up the Garden’s sauce is far more suited to fish, crab and other seafood, the thai-style cooking that matches its sweet chilli base or a fresh, peruvian ceviche.
Plus, I predict that the freshness and brightness of that sauce, itself, will add a lot of life to steamed green veg, like broccoli and beans. Just as the Apple & Yuzu will bake beautifully over pork – Full roast or simply sausage, sauce and onions.
And how about pairing that apple-based delight with a bit of crème fraiche over potato pancakes? Just maybe not my jalapeño ones, since I don’t see their green chilli complimenting its autumn tones.
It’s not as if it’ll need more chilli for most people, anyway, as its habanero makes for a back of the tongue tingle towards the bottom of my
but still well within the range that I’d call “hot”.
Whereas its scotch bonnet counterpart, despite its much stronger chilli taste, provides only a
but one that warms my throat and provides a lingering glow to compliment its bright flavour.
One is spicier than the other but both are just as satisfying, just as delicious and just as worth buying. And, while my bottle of Scotch Bonnet & Lemon claims to be limited edition, that line of red text has been removed from its more recent labels. Both are now just as much of a permanent fixture in their makers’ line-ups.
I strongly recommend that you check both out but, before I go, let me leave you with the ingredients for the pair.
The Scotch Bonnet & Lemon Sauce from Up the Garden contains:
Sugar, Cider Vinegar, Red Peppers, Apples, Lemons, Water, Chillies, Garlic, Ginger, Spices, Salt
While Chilli Brothers’ Apple & Yuzu was made from:
Kent Apple, Yuzu, Habanero, Lime, Lemon, Orange, Rice Wine Vinegar, Sugar,