The Second Spirit

Hey folks, don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one ’cause, today, we’re looking at Chilli of the Valley’s Calypso.

NewCalypso

Now it’s been over a year since we first saw this sauce and a lot has changed in that time. It looks far more enticing in its swanky new, pirate-themed bottle but, more importantly, its makers have informed me that they’ve changed the vinegar to a far more fruit-friendly, white wine variety.

So, since the overpowering nature of spirit vinegar was my only issue with its previous incarnation and I do so like to preach the benefits of picking the right acid for your sauce, I think it’s only fair that I reward the company for taking my feedback on board by giving it a second shot.

Yes, folks, this is a thursday special to re-review Chilli of the Valley’s product. Partially to ensure that the info on my site is up to date and partially because it’s an interesting, real world example of just how much difference vinegar type can make.

It would be unfair of me to let it take the normal tuesday spot away from something newer but I do feel like it deserves this metaphorical air-time, nonetheless.

Here goes!

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Red Rival Jams

Happy tuesday again, everyone!

Today marks the first of my july reviews and, with it, the end of my unexpectedly hectic birth month. This week, I get to relax a little and try out two simple chilli jams, from A Bit of a Pickle and The Smokey Carter.

PickleCarterJams

Each using a different, named chilli – One habanero and the other scotch bonnet – but both relying on a base of sugar and red bells to carry them.

Obviously, these aren’t going to be the same sort of breakfast jam that we saw in South Devon Chilli Farm’s elderflower. They’re going to be a pepper forward, somewhat savoury pair that’s better suited to spreading over cheeses and meats. But how much of that pepper flavour is actually going to come from their namesake varieties? And how different will these two be?

I’m very curious to find out.

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Two from Tom

Hey folks, it’s tuesday again and, being the 30th, you might think that we’d be through with my birthday content. But you’d be wrong.

People have been generous, this year, and Tom’s Curious Sauces is no exception, having sent me this pair specially.

TomsPair

The chipotle being Tom’s mildest, yet also my favourite flavour from his range.

But what’s that to the side of it? Something new. Something hot. And something very, very ghost pepper.

It’s the final version of a product that I’ve been helping him taste test. Though it looks rather different from the Honey Ghost that you may have seen, behind me, in recent videos.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s changed, as well as having another crack at his wonderful chipotle blend, so let’s give them both a go, shall we?

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The Marmalade Beast

My god, you lot, it’s tuesday and I’ve only just recovered from this year’s birthday post. I’m going to need something extra mild for today’s review. So it’s pretty fortunate that I’ve got just the thing

MildBeast

This is the Mild Beast and it’s from a company who’s sauces I’ve been liking a lot, lately. Yet it shows a very different side of them.

You see, while it might be another Hot Pods product, this particular sauce isn’t the work of Stephen Dixon. It’s made by his daughter – The supposed boss of the company – and it’s made for younger palates, like hers.

The Mild Beast is designed to be heavy on the fruit, light on the vinegar and much much milder. Forsaking the company’s usual chilli blend in favour of a single, not so superhot, pepper.

And yes, I picked it up now because I looked at the calendar and knew that a monday birthday spelt trouble. But I was already planning to try it, anyway, because I find the idea of hot sauce by kids for kids intriguing.

Especially when the label is so clearly their design.

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Pineapples and Pain

It’s monday, dear readers, and, while it might not be my usual blogging day, it is, in fact, my birthday. The day where I turn a year older and I mark the occasion with something stupidly hot. An extract-based sauce or two to make me suffer for your entertainment, as well as the entertainment of those who craft such fearsome concoctions.

As I mentioned, last week, this year’s post is dedicated to Dan Reed and his company, Chilli of the Valley. A company who kindly supplied me with one of their hottest natural products as an appetiser.

Yet I kind of suspect that that’s all that Dan meant for his Black Death to be. Because it may have been hot and tasty but it sure didn’t pack the unnatural punch of a sauce like this:

PhwoarBottle

His Phwoar Koff and Dai.

Not that it’s actually meant to be read as “Phwoar Koff and Dai” but, well, I do try to keep things family friendly on my front page. And I’m sure that we’ll all understand what it really means once we’ve tried it.

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The Reaper’s Plague

Hey folks, It’s less than a week until my birthday and I’d love to celebrate with you all but I’ve got the plague. Though maybe not the one that you’re thinking of.

Today, I’m talking about this little thing:

BDBottle

The Black Death, from Chilli of the Valley. A special little something that they sent to fill the gap before my traditional, yearly suffering.

It’s a sinister blend of carolina reapers and black garlic, intended to serve as the appetiser to next monday’s main event. Something crazy hot and full of darkness, yet also rather more natural and flavour-focussed than what I’ll be doing for my special day.

And, while this one may have been a freebie, I had my eyes on it long before they sent this bottle over. So you’d better believe I’m excited to crack it open!

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Lemondrop Curd

Alright everyone, there’s been a little bit of sweetness in these last few weeks but all the sauces therein were still predominantly savoury. So today, that’s going to change. We’re going to look at something that’s sweet to its core but, for once, it’s not a sauce. Or a jam. Or even a chutney.

It’s something new.

Today, folks, we’re looking at a chilli lemon curd.

LemondropCurd

And this isn’t the first such curd I’ve seen. Several other companies, the chilli pepper one included, produce a spiced up version of the standard spread. Yet A Bit of a Pickle are the first that I’ve found to actually state their pepper.

Albeit only in stickers on the side of the jar, because this product is that new to market.

LemondrpCurdSticker

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A Nasal Monster

Okay, break’s over, people. Time to get right back into the weird stuff, with something mean and green.

Today’s sauce is Rampage – A kaiju-themed creation from Stephen Dixon, at Hot Pods, clad in a label oh so reminiscent of Godzilla, himself. The king of all japanese monster movies.

RampageBottle

Yet, as specific as its referencing might be, you’re not going to need any knowledge of the genre to appreciate the blend of pears, peas and horseradish that makes this sauce unique.

That wild blend is something that we can all appreciate the enormity of. If it works.

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Simply Ají

What’s up my fiery food fans? As you all know by now, I’m a lover of all things weird and wonderful – A freak, you could say – and I started this site to explore the crazy flavours in chilli sauce.

Yet we all need a break, from time to time, so today I’m trying something simple. Something with only three, ordinary ingredients:

SDCFPeru

This is South Devon Chilli Farm’s Peruvian blend and those ingredients are:

Fresh Aji Chillies (60%), Spirit Vinegar, Salt.

It’s an incredibly simple sauce but its purity is high and it highlights a regional pepper strain. So let’s see how different that peruvian variety tastes, shall we?

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Tri-Garlic Time

Hey folks, I’ve had this review in the back of my mind for a while now and, with so much sweet stuff on the site lately, I reckon now’s the perfect time for it. The ideal moment for the savoury garlic comparison that I’ve been planning ever since a garlic sauce proved my favourite in my tri-ginger tournament.

So, let’s meet the contestants, shall we?

GarlicTrio

On the left, we have Torchbearer Sauces’ Garlic Reaper, as seen on Hot One’s eighth season. Probably the hottest of the bunch and definitely the palest, creamiest looking.

Then, on the right, we see Fire Foods’ Fire Garlic, with its equally to the point name and the bold, yet uninformative, branding that we’ve seen on all of the company’s products.

And finally, in the middle, lies Chilliscrumptious’ First Date. A sauce who’s packaging could say everything or nothing, depending on how much you’re willing to turn the bottle. Here it is from a couple different angles to show you what I mean:

FDPair

The art, company name and sauce name are all on different sides, making this bottle a real pain in the neck to display, but the garlic bulbs in the background certainly ram home what it’s all about and I did love their coffee sauce.

So I have to know, how does this little scotch bonnet number stack up against the ghost and reaper of its equally garlic-themed competitors?

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