White Wonder

So, as I mentioned in last week’s restaurant review, I went to Brighton’s Fiery Foods festival the weekend before last and got to see a whole bunch of new sauces. Some from newer companies and some from old favourites.

Today’s review is of the latter but I didn’t actually get it at the event. I picked it up a few days prior, on my stop over in london, because I didn’t want to risk its maker having run out. It is, after all, a very special limited edition:

Nuzu

And it’s the most exciting thing to come out of Burning Desire Foods since their chipotle syrup.

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High-Class Crisps

Hey folks! It’s been a long time since 💀my last restaurant review💀 but, today, I’m coming to you from all the way out in london’s trendy soho district to feature the craziest establishment that I’ve ever seen.

HipShop

HipChips – A sit down or take away restaurant dedicated to providing the most gourmet version imaginable of a dish that I call “chips and dips”. But no, there aren’t any wide fries here. Every slice of potato is a wafer-thin crisp with a tonne of crunch.

It’s not usually a complex or well-balanced meal but it’s a darn good snack and I’m ever so curious to see what they’ve done to improve it. To spice it up, if you will.

And alright, they’ve provided a free lunch to entice me in but, honestly, I doubt I could have stayed away anyway. It’s just such a wild idea for an eatery!

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Beardy Butter

Hello again, everyone, and welcome back to the last of my Gingerbeard reviews. At least for now, since I’ll probably be picking up something new when I go back for more of their fabulous piccalilli.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves too early, though. That product may have been a real winner but today’s was always the one that I was most looking forward to. And the one that sounded most representative of the company, themselves.

This Gingerbread Satay may be another of their many collaborations but it’s the only one to give their namesake spice and company logo a starring role.

GingerbreadSatay

Plus, are those almonds chasing down the gingerbread man? Could this perhaps be a little more indian and a tad less thai than its “satay” name implies?

Well, the label’s light-green, bamboo-patterned background does say asian but I’m intrigued, either way, and, as always, I intend to get my answers in the form of a taste test.

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Hot Ones Round Three

Happy thursday, folks. Today, we’re back for round three of my Hot Ones-style line-up.

Hot Ones

Because, given the popularity of the show, I feel like it’s worth making an annual tradition out of. Especially when importing some of their actual sauces can be quite the struggle.

So here I am, yet again, to provide you with a more brit-friendly alternative, comprised entirely of sauces that are available in the UK. Sauces that I have featured on this very site and know will make for the most enjoyable and entertaining of challenges.

You can read all about last year’s choices in my previous post but, this year, I’m going to be refreshing most of the line-up, oncemore. So, as with the last time, read on to see which old sauces have stayed, what new ones have made my list and why I’ve made the decisions that I have.

Or watch 📽️ my YouTube videos 📽️ to see me tackle a line-up of real Hot Ones sauces.

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The Eleventh Hour

Happy thursday again, spice lovers. Today we’re looking at a sauce, despite it being a bit of a departure from my regular upload schedule.

Why? Because, like with The Chilli Pepper Company’s second Dragon’s Breath, it’s not a new sauce. It’s a revision of an older item using a possible “reaper killer” pepper.

Of course, the situation isn’t quite the same here. Today’s isn’t a new “reaper killer”, or even one that wasn’t in the sauce before, but this latest version of Burning Desire’s Critical Mass uses significantly more FG jigsaw than the old. And it was already a ten out of ten last time.

CriticalMass2

You can see the increased chilli in its colour – Now much nearer red than its old, yellow-tinged orange – and I’m a tiny bit scared. If this sauce is even a smidge hotter than it used to be, it’s going to be the hottest non-extract one that I’ve written about and I’m going to have to change my entire numbering system to account for it.

But, much as I expect it to hurt, I’m still grateful to Jason for sending this to me. For including it with my birthday purchase.

Why? Because his Critical Mass isn’t just pure chilli. It’s also a delightfully tropical, passion-fruit and mango concoction that I’m happy to have on hand for my cooking, oncemore.

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More Black Salsa

Hey folks, how’s it going? Today, I want to take a look at a rather more mainstream company.

You’ve probably never heard of Salsa Tamaƶula but I’d be amazed if you’ve never heard of their signature product. After all, this “Valentina” hot sauce is the mexican staple, on almost every restaurant table across its home country.

ValentinaBlack

So it comes as absolutely no surprise that MexGrocer stock it, along with their more obscure sauces. Any importer worth their salt should.

No, today’s big surprise comes in the form of a second bottle. Another sauce from the same brand, bearing their company name in the same white-outlined, green lettering on red and black.

TamazulaBlack

A slightly smaller container of Salsa Picante Tamaƶula Muy Picante, colloquially known as “Tamaƶula Black”.

Why black? Because the Salsa Tamaƶula sauces are more commonly seen in yellow labels, with these darker ones denoting their extra hot variants – That “Muy Picante” on the packaging.

Extra hot might not actually mean “hot”, though, so let’s see what I make of them.

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Return of the Ancients

Hey there heat eaters, do you recognise this chilli?

ChilhuacleNegroCropped

I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t, since it’s been a long time since I last had it and this time was my first time seeing it fresh, too. It is, however, the chilhuacle negro (literally “ancient pepper black”) that we saw dried in my old enchilada recipe, where I was reviewing La Picanteria’s peppers and salsa.

Honestly, though, that salsa was a tad disappointing. The dried chillies, themselves, had a wonderful earthy flavour that was uniquely reminiscent of artisan tobacco and, even way back then, I thought that I could do better with them. Now, I finally get the chance.

So, years on from that first taste, having I finally managed to track down another supplier of the pepper, I’m making myself a superior salsa negra. A black salsa that isn’t quite the traditional sort but uses the proper aztec peppers and tastes astounding.

Like, devour three portions in one sitting and then go out for more ingredients levels of astounding.

But they are hard peppers to get a hold of and, while Yorkshire Peppers had plenty for me, I can’t guarantee that they have enough to go around. If you want to follow along with today’s recipe, you may need to substitute a milder, equally rich chilli like a poblano or a rehydrated ancho or pasilla.

They won’t taste quite the same but they’re the closest easily available peppers that I can think of.

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Choc Chip Cheese

Hello again everyone. This time around, we have something weird and rather horrific-sounding, I’ll be honest, but it comes to me from a company that we’ve seen before. One who’s cheeses I thoroughly enjoyed.

Today, though, we’re looking at the latest from them, The Great British Cheese Company. A much madder creation, if you ask me, because it contains chocolate. Chocolate, chilli and lime, to be precise.

GBCChocCheese

And, while it barely looks any different on the outside, it makes no attempt to hide its uniqueness once I’ve peeled back the wax:

GBCChocNude

It’s a pastel shade of cocoa-brown, with whole chips of chocolate and small flakes of both red and green pepper all throughout.

It’s not the most tempting looking snack, even by cheese standards, but the aroma wafting from it holds far greater appeal – An overtone of something akin to green candy, with subtler notes of smooth, creamy chocolate cheesecake. None of their usual strong cheddar here, just a gentle scent that reminds me of either chocolate limes or a mint aero.

It’s rather enticing but smell can only get you so far. What do The Great British Cheese Company have in store for its taste?

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The Jam Man Cometh

Happy tuesday, folks. Today’s review has been a long time coming.

BhutJamMan.jpg

This particular jar was found at a food festival by my buddy, 📽️ Lord Grim 📽️, but I’ve known about the Chilli Jam Man for longer than I’ve had this blog.

Because, while I don’t know what festival my jar of bhut jam came from, it really doesn’t matter. The Chilli Jam Man is one of the biggest names in artisan fiery food, possibly even the biggest, and you can find him and his “jambassadors” at just about every food-themed event this side of london. His coverage is a wonder to behold.

But it’s not just the one jar that I have from him, today. No, I picked up a couple, myself, to round out the range and better showcase his brand:

GroupJamMan

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Lantern Fruit Gulab Jamun

Hey folks, I’m back again for another recipe and, this week, it’s something special from my childhood. Not, this time, anything involving the nesparo from my summer holidays in spain but, instead, something both closer to and further from home.

Today, I’m going to be making gulab jamun – An indian dessert that I grew up sharing with my muslim neighbors and one that is, in fact, named for its similar appearance to another regional fruit.

Yet I’m not making them just to relive my childhood. No, I have indian supermarkets near me if I need a quick fix of those sweet milk dumplings. And they’d be rather more traditional than mine.

What I’m making are, in fact, the “lantern fruit” gulab jamun from one of my favourite cooking games, Battle Chef Brigade. And I’m going to be using some rather more authentic ingredients than the other recreations that I’ve seen. Properly highlighting the flavour of fire that the in-game dish is known for, without sacrificing the fictional fruit’s lighter, more refreshing qualities.

Gulab

Before I get started, though, I’m sure you’re all wondering what exactly the “lantern fruit” really is.

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