Tropical Green

Hello again everyone, I hope you’ve had a great week. Mine was comparatively quiet but it’s been a good one, if a tad too heavy on the salsa near the end.

Why? Because I recently stumbled upon a discussion of certain a mexican restaurant in the states and what exactly went into their tomatillo salsa. I had no vested interest in the outcome, having never visited Abuelo’s and living roughly 6 timezones away from it, but I was curious about some of the recipes that came up.

Green chilli, herbs and pineapple have always piqued my interest as a combination and adding tomatillos only makes it more enticingly out there. But what if that were kiwi?

Well, I set to work testing out a few variations and kind of overdid things but here’s what I found out:

Continue reading

Beardy Mary

Greetings, everyone. Today, we have an item that you probably knew was coming – A salsa from Gingerbeard’s Preserves, flavoured with bristolian vodka and made to resemble a bloody mary.

As its label should give away.

MaryJar

After all, why else would we see a red-skinned, tomato-headed, salsa dancer arm in arm with a limbed alcohol bottle?

The artwork for this week’s product is both rather fun and pretty self-explanatory. Which is good, because its title font is a little too stylised to read with just a quick glance.

The lines through some (but not all) of the Os, Ts and Ds definitely increase the time that it takes to recognise the symbols and the way the midsection of its M crosses makes it appear almost nordic. As letters go, they aren’t exactly the most obviously english.

But that’s not to say that I don’t like this font. It’s stylish. It’s artistic. And that runic look is actually pretty cool. I just don’t know if it belongs on today’s jar.

Even if it doesn’t, though, it’s just one aspect of the packaging and everything else about the label is great. From the two dancers in the artwork to gingerbeard’s own logo and even the simple, to the point, black and white one of their collaborators – Bristol Vodka.

So, with that out of the way, let’s see what awaits us on the inside.

Continue reading

Badger’s Beginnings

As another year comes to a close, it’s time to turn my sights to a new company:

Badgers Artisan Foods

2018-04-05 14.10.17

A fairly recent one, started in 2016 with some home-grown chillies and this very sauce.

You might think, therefore, that they’d call it their original, but you’d be wrong. The peach and orange packaging and cheeky badger logo may look friendly and inviting but this is their Reaper Sauce.

It takes a bold chef to start a company with a world record but what I want to know is whether the taste can match the implied burn?

Continue reading

Lemon Spice Salsa

Hey there everyone, do you like mango, citrus and salsa? If so then I’ve got the perfect recipe for you!

Today’s is exactly that, with lemon, lime and the lemon spice jalapeño that I recently found all building on a smooth and fruity mango base. Naturally a little sweet but so fresh and tart that it’s definitely not dessert.

Instead, this recipe is an excellent dip for tortilla chips and samosas, a great way to liven up a salad or bean burger, a terrific topping for tacos or the perfect accompaniment to oily fish. Among other uses that I haven’t yet discovered, I’m sure.

And, while it does use a particular numex chilli that I found at challock chilli fest, you can make some substitutions if you don’t have access to it.

I don’t see the lemondrop/aji limon working here because, while it would compliment the citrus, it lacks the yellow pepper and jalapeño-specific notes that help it stand out. Instead, I would recommend the milder, 📽️ regular yellow jalapeños 📽️ if waitrose has them ripe again, orange or yellow habaneros if you want a bit more fruitiness and heat or any of the roxa family of peppers if you can get them, because they, too, are delightfully fruit flavoured.

Continue reading

Spicy Italian Salsa

Hello everyone, please welcome Simpson’s Seeds back to the stage. Without the accent of their last appearance but all the same lacklustre labelling:

arrowhead

Today’s bottle is clad again in plain paper, with nothing but black text printed on it. And, as you can see, you can’t even read it all from one angle.

It’s a problem that we saw before with The Unusual Chutney Company’s Fiendfyre but that sauce at least had art. The only thing this one has going for it, visually, is a gold trim to its shrink wrap.

Here’s the thing, though: I got this sauce from Reading Chilli Fest. I tasted it before I bought it. I know its looks aren’t representative of what’s inside this “Arrowhead Salsa”.

Continue reading

More Minis

Hey everyone, you remember The Mini Jar Company, right? Well today I’m featuring them and them alone, with a couple more little jars from Reading:

2018-05-18 13.27.49

To be more specific, I have for you their Pineapple, Chilli And Mint Salsa and their Ginger & Wasabi Chutney, the latter of which doesn’t actually contain any chilli.

Between the mint in the salsa and the rhizomes in the chutney, though, both of these items focus on the sensation they create, along with their flavour. These aren’t heatless like that one marinade that Mahi sent me. They’re just a little different from the norm.

And that, my friends, is what I try my best to represent. Spice products after my own heart.

So, let’s get into the review.

Continue reading

Verde Blood

Hello again spice lovers, this week we’re going to look at another of my samples from Chilli Pepper Pete and, like the Zhoug, it’s one of their milder ones.

Emphasis on the “er”, of course, because, as I mentioned back in my overview, Chilli Pepper Pete doesn’t actually do anything below medium. Which makes today’s offering rather hot when compared to other, similarly coloured sauces.

That’s right, it’s a green one. And, unlike the Zhoug, it’s not getting its colour from fresh herbs.

No, it’s using tomatilloes and green chillies to make a salsa verde. One that I’m sure you’ll agree, once we talk about its other ingredients, is far from ordinary.

DB Green (2)-500x500.jpg
Image provided by Chilli Pepper Pete.

Continue reading

The Lick My Dip Box

Hello again everyone, I hope you’re having a great thursday.

You may have noticed that my review this week came from a monthly subscription box called Lick My Dip.lmd-logo-y

Their mission is to make proper, artisanal chilli sauces more obtainable to the masses. Something they achieve in part by collecting them all in one place to reduce shipping fees and in part by simply taking the work out of finding them all.

And they do, indeed, find an absolute tonne of exciting products. Some hot, some mild and some insane. Some well made with fairly standard ingredients and some that are a little more out there.

Continue reading

Cooking with the Ancients

Another happy tuesday spice lovers, get ready for a long one.

I’ve reached the end of my Chilli Pepper Company review box and, for the last tuesday of the month, wanted to bring you another recipe. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to cook though. I had a few ideas but nothing really stood out. Until I went to york.

At their recent food festival, I found a stall called La Picanteria, a purveyor of mexican dried chillies and related ingredients. Seeing my chilli themed t-shirt, the owner asked me “Do I have anything you don’t know?”

He had anchos, pasillas, habaneros, red chipotle, cascabels and several others besides, but only one that really stood out as something new. The chilhuacle negro, or black ancient chilli as its nahualt (that’s aztec) name translates.

Continue reading