2020’s Christmas Recap

Happy thursday, folks! It’s been a while since my last inedible post but, now that we’re heading into december, it’s time for my yearly, pre-christmas recap. That seasonal special where I go over everything that I’ve tried, throughout the year, and tell you which I would and wouldn’t recommend as gifts.

And, speaking of special, I’ve got a brand new special category today:

Sponsored Stuff:

This year, I’ve been working with The Chilli Project and, while we’re still fleshing out the details of my first affiliate link, you can now find my writing on almost all of their individual product pages. Descriptions of each of their items from yours truly.

I’ve been trying out all of their sauces and indian pickles, behind the scenes, and discussing my thoughts on each with the company’s owner, as I’ve done this job. So, while you’ve not seen any reviews of them and you won’t be doing so any time soon, I’ve had the lot and can genuinely vouch for their quality.

Their Garlic & Naga, Brinjal and Scotch Bonnet are three of the best indian pickles that I’ve ever had, positively bursting with flavour, and their old-fashioned brown sauce is just as intense, despite being their mildest, heat-wise. If you’re looking to buy for someone who likes it bold, has traditional british tastes or loves indian cuisine, they definitely have that covered but they also do plenty more besides.

I’ll be going over the lot, through the course of today’s post, but I won’t be going into too much detail on any particular item. Because, well, I’ve already done so over on their website.

Now, let’s get on with today’s recap article.

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Tom’s Triple Threat

Happy tuesday again, everyone! This week, I’ve got another set of freebies from Tom’s Curious Sauces and one of them’s an old favourite of mine:

The blueberry and ghost pepper “Purple Pain” that I tried in 📽️one of last year’s christmas videos📽️. Now wrapped in a fresh new label to further emphasise its connection to the artist known as “Prince”.

But what are those behind it? A couple of christmas specials perhaps?

I can’t say for sure but that Cranberry certainly does sound seasonal and the Angry Ass has the appearance of a tacky gift sauce. Though, knowing Tom, I suspect that both will taste a lot better than the bargain bin products which his Ass resembles.

Yes, I have high hopes for this new pair and I’m really rather excited to test them out. Yet I’m also just as eager to see what the Purple Pain is like when I’m not all frazzled from a vile extract item.

Will it still be as delicious and mild as I remember?

All three of today’s sauces have high bar to live up to, so let’s get to the review.

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The Christmas Spirits

Merry christmas, everyone! Or christmas eve, I suppose, but it’s the closest that I’m going to get, what with my weekly, tuesday upload schedule. And I’m doing a themed post either way!

Why? Because I don’t make a penny from my blog work. I do this all for my own enjoyment. My passion for my craft and for others’ craft sauce.

It may seem cheesy to some of you but it’s a tonne of fun, for me, to break from the norm and force my writing to fit a secondary topic. Be it a holiday, a recent film or just a game that I’m into. And it’s even better when I get to explain a lesser known celebration, like walpurgis nacht.

I’m going to keep doing these seasonal specials and I’ll try my best to make them as topical as I can but today’s something of a weird one.

I can’t show you something all christmas gifty or suited for xmas eating, because no small business is going to offer next day delivery on the biggest holiday of the year. It has to be something that’ll still be relevant in the months to come, so here’s what I’ve come up with:

3Ghosts

The three ghosts of christmas.

Only, instead of past, present and future, we have Hot-Headz, Morrisons and Meat Lust. All three making full use of the legendary first superhot, yet each bringing its own flavour, texture and price point to the party.

Read on to see what I make of them.

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Chipotle Snaps

Hey folks, do you like brandy? I don’t.

And yet, for some reason, it’s almost everywhere at christmas time. In puddings, cream, butter and biscuits, to name just a few of its applications. So, today, I’m going to be taking a common brandy recipe and taking the brandy out of it.

ChipotleSnaps

I’m going to be making some chipotle snaps, with the help of Burning Desire FoodsSyrup.

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2019’s Christmas Recap

So it’s thursday again, everybody and it’s the first thursday of december. Finally time for my yearly, pre-christmas recap. And, unlike with my previous lists, I’m not going to be changing the format up at all.

Ordering by type, so that readers could skim to the section(s) that most suited their gift giving, has proven itself rather more work than ordering by time or heat but, personally, it’s what I’d rather read. It’s a much more useful sorting method.

So, pay attention to the bold headings, stop and read if you see something inspiring, poke the product names to see my full reviews and give the company names a click to go straight to their websites (UK brands only and only if they have one). Plus, don’t forget to check my top product summaries at the end for the very best of the best.

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The Craft Hot Sauce 100

Happy thursday again, folks. We’re now into the latter half of november and the christmas season is rapidly approaching but it’s not quite time for my yearly recap yet.

Instead, today sees me focus on somebody else’s list: Bauce Brothers’ Craft Hot Sauce Hot 100.

Bauce Brothers

Now, in case you aren’t aware, Bauce Brothers aren’t just anyone and this isn’t just any selection of sauces. The company specialise in hot sauce subscription boxes – Much like the one that Flaming Licks sent me – giving them a far greater awareness of independent and artisan producers than your any normal food news outlet.

This is the first list of its kind where I feel like the makers have truly held the necessary qualifications but, even so, there’s more to most sauce makers than just a single product.

Today, I’d like to take a little time to look at the producers I know who’ve made the list, whether I think that they deserve it or not and what I make of their wider range.

Perhaps it’ll give you some gift ideas.

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Winter Ginger

Good general holiday season, everyone. I hope you’ve been enjoying it and that the coming turn of the year treats you well.

I’ll be making a vaguely themed review post then (and it’s going to be a goodie!) but, in the mean time, here’s a simple recipe to tide you over.

Not one for christmas food, per se, since I gave you that last month but one for some nice, warming, earthy gingerbread – A seasonal special all the same.

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2018’s Christmas Recap

Hey folks, it’s christmas shopping season again and, while I’m a little more prepared this year, I’m sure that at least a few of you still need my advice. So, this being the first thursday of december, it’s time for the third of my yearly recaps.

Recaps that, for those of you who’re new to this site, focus heavily on the giftability of the sauces and such that I’ve tried that year.

Last year, I introduced the idea of ordering those products by type, rather than time or heat, and I intend to do the same again today. So, if there’s a certain sort of item that your friends or family will particularly enjoy, feel free to skim ahead until you catch the appropriate topic heading. I’ll put them in bold specially.

But, before we get to what I’d recommend as a gift, let’s kick off this year’s summary with what I wouldn’t.

Oh, and click the sauce and company names for my reviews and their sites (if they’re in the UK), respectively.

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Seasonal Chutney

Welcome to december, everyone – The real month of christmas content but also the last week of it on my blog, since there’s no point in me making recommendations if I can’t be sure that they’ll reach you in time.

Today is definitely a seasonal review, though, and it marks the return of Holly and the Ivy, who you’ve seen before under their other name as The Mini Jar Company. Before I try out their little freebie, though, I want to give you a bit of backstory.

I dislike brussel sprouts. I don’t find them bitter so, just as with coriander, I’m not genetically inclined to hate them. I just do. The same way that many kids apparently hate broccoli.

After all, all it takes sometimes is a single bad experience to put you off a food for life. And let me tell you, getting your packed lunch wrecked by schoolyard bullies, only to have it replaced with an almost indeterminable green mush, is definitely a bad experience. A terrible introduction to the traditional veg of the season.

So it’s entirely possible that I’m going to hate today’s product through no fault of its own but, when Holly and the Ivy asked if I wanted to try their Red Onion, Sprout & Naga Chilli Chutney, I realised that I haven’t actually given the vegetable a fair shot in my adult life.

And, since 📽️ Mushemi Fire 📽️ and Cowley’s Fine Food have both proven that I can like even mushrooms if they’re prepared right, I said “yes”. I decided to give their christmas special a go.

sprout

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The Jerk that Stole Christmas

Merry early christmas, everyone. It’s the end of november again and therefore time for another seasonal dessert. This time, a quick and easy take on christmas cake, with a blend of jamaican-style spices.

It’s not going to be a traditional jerk flavour, since it lacks any thyme, but it’ll still bring together the fragrant peppercorn flavour of allspice and black pepper with some christmassy dried fruit and the blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves that both influences share.

A real taste of the season but also of the caribbean.

Plus, I swapped out the chillies in my old “mincemeat” recipe for a couple of scotch bonnets to give this cake a little bit of extra jamaican goodness and I strongly suggest that you do the same. Continue reading