Three from the Lab

What’s up everybody? We’ve played it safe these last couple of weeks but, today, I think it’s time that we branched out to someone new, once again. A company so fresh that they don’t even seem to have a website yet. But they still feature prominently in my local hot sauce shop.

Meet Heat Lab. A small, york-based business with three different flavours and a science-themed aesthetic that’s very much after my own heart.

The wrinkled heat shrink around their bottle necks may show their lack of experience but it says nothing about the quality within. And honestly, I have high hopes for this trio.

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Dalston Double

Hello again, everyone. Today, we’re looking at a sauce that’s been gaining a lot of traction, lately, but that I still hadn’t heard hide nor hair about until it arrived on my doorstep. A gift from my aunt, in london, to whom this week’s product is quite local.

This is Common Sanity’s Dalston Sunshine – The name of the sauce telling you exactly what borough its company are based in and their own hinting at an interest in mental health. With a portion of the company’s profits going to charity for that very reason.

Yet the common “Common Sanity” name, as a whole, is apparently a play on commensality, the act of communal eating. Not anything to do with the word “Common”. Which is just as well because, as much as it may look like a common caribbean mustard sauce, their Dalston Sunshine’s main ingredient is actually the fatalii chilli. An african relative of the habanero which, despite growing popularity in recent years, is still far from “common”.

And it’s not today’s only unexpected fusion flavour, either, since my little care package also contained a second item from the company:

Not a sauce, this time, but a chinese or filipino-style crispy oil. Filled with mexican chillies, seeds and nuts for a beautifully rich sounding, yet equally unorthodox blend that they call Fuego Greeze.

I’m very eager to try them both out.

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Coming in to Port

Hey folks, how’s it going? It’s tuesday again and, honestly, things have been a little rough for my blog work lately. I’m doing a lot of other things on the side and it’s been a bit of a struggle to keep up with even my weekly reviews. Let alone all of the weekend recipes and random thursday things which I feel like I aught to be doing.

But, while I might not be able to offer you any of those extras, right now, I can at least provide you with a bit more than the norm in today’s post. Not the usual one or two sauces. Not even three.

No, the full on five of Spice Island Chilli’s entire range:

Each one a different heat and flavour, wrapped in its own tale of maritime history. Yet the whole lot hailing from a single portsmouth company, with a distinctive style throughout. Meaning that I’d probably just say the same things five times if I were to review them all separately, anyway.

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Dew-Over

Welcome back, everyone! This week, I’d like to return to one of our old favourite suppliers, the Chilli Alchemist. Because they, in turn, have returned one of my old favourite items – The 💀Philosopher’s Dew!

Now known simply as their “Dew” and focussing rather more heavily on its citrus content, so I’m eager to see just how much it’s changed. But, same sauce or not, it won’t be alone in today’s review.

Russell, the current company owner, has added another new product to the range, alongside it. And this one appears to be all his own:

A “Gold” sauce which, rather than taking after the old 💀Aurum, promises to be a fruity, pineapple sriracha. Much like the redone Dorset Punch.

Let’s take a closer look at the pair, shall we?

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Fixin’ it Up

Hello again everyone and happy white day! I know I’m technically a day late for japan’s most chocolate-themed holiday but that’s just how my schedule panned out. And don’t worry, I’ve got the goods:

Boom Sauce’s Fix Up D’Heat chocolate and the trinidadian-style hot sauce from which it gets its name. Based on an old family recipe.

Today, I’m going to start with that sauce, so that I really know what I’m looking for when I taste it in the chocolate. So it only makes sense to take a closer look at its bottle:

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Scottish Syrup

Another week has arrived, dear readers, and it’s time for another review. But, this time, it isn’t just any old tuesday. It’s shrove tuesday – Now more commonly known as pancake day – and that’s my favourite food-based holiday. So you’d better believe I’ve got something special, sweet and spicy to slather over my breakfast, lunch and dinner:

This is Mack Chilli’s Ginger Ninja and, as much as it may look like a thai sweet sauce, the label assures me otherwise. Because it is, in fact, a chilli syrup, made from the pride of Mack’s home country and mine. The bright, orange, scottish soda that is Irn Bru.

With its appropriately orangey and almost bubblegum fruit flavour, the Bru might not be my favourite fizz but it certainly is an iconic one. And one that I still very much enjoy, despite its touch of bitter quinine.

Yet a huge part of its identity comes from that very quinine and how the subtle bitterness is brought out by the drink’s bubbles. In order to provide a sharp quality which contrasts with its sweet base flavour.

Can today’s chillies do the same?

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Bonnie Bit Hotter

Happy tuesday again, everyone! Today, I’d like to welcome back to the stage The Bonnie Sauce Co., who previously wowed me with an excellent and unexpectedly herby Smoky Chipotle sauce.

This week, they return with something (or things) a little bit hotter. Two more products which, just like in last week’s review, highlight the difference between scotch bonnets and habaneros.

But, as you can see from the photos above, these are not the same yellow pepper sauces and their use of red chilli changes the equation quite considerably. Let’s give them a go and find out how, shall we?

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Psycho Bonnet

Hey folks, this one’s a little bit of a last minute review. Not because I didn’t have anything to show you – I’ve got plenty of products in reserve – but because I only just realised that my last two purchases from Pembrokeshire Chilli Farm might not be a great fit for the dry january that some celebrate. Not when they’re two of the booziest hot sauces that I’ve ever tasted.

So their return can be something for you all to look forward to, come next month, but, today, I’m focussing on another former feature: Doctor Burnörium’s Psycho Juice.

And, this time around, the good doc has graced us with something a little bit different. A beautiful-looking sauce that’s more bonnet than scotch and far from his usual, red shade.

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One Two Punch

Hey folks, welcome back to another of my rare thursday reviews. Reviews that I do specifically when I have an exciting item not sold in the UK, something which is claimed to be inedible or something that has undergone a major recipe change.

Today, I believe that what I have for you falls into the third category. Though the situation is a little weird, this time, because our new, fruit-based “Punch” doesn’t quite share its name with Dorset Chilli Shop’s old one. And the ingredients and design are so vastly different from that 💀“Dorset Punch”💀 that it could easily be considered a whole new product. Even if it doesn’t seem like its makers actually see it that way.

To show you what I mean, here’s a brief look at the bottle before I get into what’s changed:

And I should probably also mention The Chilli Alchemist‘s new Gold, which seems like it very may well be the same sauce in a bigger, prettier bottle.

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Indian Fruit & Fire

Sup folks, it’s tuesday again and, I’ve held off on this pair for a little too long already. So, today, we’re going to see a couple more mango sauces, from Alkemio Kitchen and Hop’t:

Two rather unique takes on this fruit and chilli combo from two very experimental companies. One featuring green jalapeños, red scotch bonnets and citrussy hops, while the other’s more focussed on indian spices, including turmeric, cumin and nigella seed.

Neither sounds quite like what I’m used to but that’s part of the fun of running a blog like this. I get to try a tonne of unique flavours and, hopefully, find something which I truly love.

Now let’s see if I’m going to do so today.

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