So I didn’t really want to do this, folks, but we’re seeing the same company two weeks in a row, this month. Because, shortly after I ordered their chocolate, I found out that Wiltshire Chilli Farm had also released this:
A chilli and yeast extract spread with the exact same name as 💀Fire Foods’ old product💀. My review of which has been getting a suspiciously high number of hits, recently. Making it clear, to me, that this is the content that you all want.
So here you go, everyone: My thoughts on Wiltshire Chilli Farm’s Firemite.
The packaging is perfect. A black lid with dark contents and a yellow label, mimicking Marmite’s own branding. Yet with the WCF logo and their iconic action lines, to make the company instantly apparent.
The specific shades chosen for their yellow have rather more elements of golden brown than I’m used to but, instead of lessening the similarity, they simply evoke a sense of something special. Like the gold labels of Marmite’s limited editions. While the black of the text stands out against them just as well.
And, of course, the chillies are held within Wiltshire Chilli Farm’s logo, itself. Cluing us in to what theoretically makes today’s item more than just another competing, yeast-filled spread. But is it really?
It certainly doesn’t look like Marmite, on my spoon. It’s got the same, glossy shine to it and it seems just as sticky. Yet it flows like a thin barbecue sauce, not the usual, tar-like spread. And it’s far lighter, as well, taking on more of a reddish-brown colouration.
This is not just spiced up yeast extract. No matter how much it may smell and even, initially, taste like it. Because, while the first flavour to assault my tongue is intensely dark, salty and almost meaty in its umami, there’s a fair amount of savoury, cooked tomato in the mix, as well.
Along with a
kick which, despite its medium strength, is surprisingly hard to pick out. Masked by the dehydrating sensation of the salty yeast extract, itself.
In the years since I reviewed 💀Fire Foods’ sauce💀, I’ve grown a little more tolerant to that yeast extract taste and feel. So, with the various other elements toning it down in this spread, I don’t actually hate it. Not even on its own, this time.
But I still don’t actively like it, either. Not straight and not over toast, since it’s too thin and heavy on the cooked tomato for that particular application. It is, once again, more of an ingredient, for me.
Something that I’ll add into my bolognese, con carne and udon dishes, as I’m cooking, to give them a wonderful, dark and savoury depth and a most enjoyable, warming afterglow. And it’s that afterglow where I think that today’s product excels.
It feels like Wiltshire Chilli Farm have taken a tiny amount of a very hot chilli – Perhaps even the naga, again – and cooked it for a long time, in order to get an equally long, slow, throaty warmth that doesn’t peak until long after you’re done eating, yet never reaches an uncomfortable strength.
They don’t confirm the chilli on their ingredients list and I can’t really taste it, over all of the marmite and tomato, but that burn makes my spaghetti oh so satisfying.
Here’s the list, as they give it:
Tomatoes, Marmite (Yeast extract (Contains BARLEY, WHEAT, OATS, RYE), salt, vegetable juice concentrate, vitamins (thiamin riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12 and Folic acid) natural flavouring (contains CELERY), Cider Vinegar, Chilli, MUSTARD, Paprika,Sugar, Salt, Turmeric, Rapeseed oil, Xanthan Gum
And yes, they do, in fact, use actual Marmite. As well as some sort of flavouring which isn’t chilli extract, since that wouldn’t contain celery and would give the product a rather different feel. Even if the Marmite could easily hide its unpleasant taste.
No, there are no nasties in here – Unless you have an allergy – just intense flavour, satisfying heat and a little bit of thickener. So there’s no reason not to give the new Firemite a go.