Bonfire Brew

Hey there heat seekers. Today, we’re celebrating bonfire night, and the start of november in general, with a selection of roasted coffee bean products.

One from the ever-famous Queen Majesty, of former Hot Ones fame. One sent by my buddy Jason, of Burning Desire Foods – A company that I’ve featured plenty of times. And the last, a name that’s completely new to me: Chilli Scrumptious.

CoffeeThree

All three are heavily themed around their use of coffee and spice but Burning Desire’s is a little bit different. In part, because it’s a rub but also because it was free to me. A review sample, not a purchase.

I feel a little bad about including it in a comparison post, alongside sauces that I’ve paid for, but it was that or make my thursday reviews a regular feature. Which I’m quite simply not prepared to do.

Last week’s was a one-off holiday special.

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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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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 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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South Indian Chutney

Hello again, everybody. We’re finally nearing the end of my Reading Chilli Fest review backlog but, rest assured, some of the best are still to come. As well as one of the weirdest:

Manjira

Today’s product is a pachardi – Something that I’d never even heard of, before the event. Looking into it, though, it appears to be akin to a chutney or pickle and is traditionally either served as a side or used as the base of a curry. Much as an achari would use a regular chutney or one might use Mr Naga, if they’re looking for serious heat.

Where the pachadi sets itself apart, though, is in its high coconut content and the use of oil, rather than acid, for preservation. And, when made fresh, it’s often blended with yoghurt to form the keralan equivalent of a raita.

So, that’s what Manjira’s set out to popularise, here in the west – Quite literally a different side of indian cooking. But how does her “Hot Garlic” version of the “South Indian Chutney” hold up?

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Summer Fruit

Hey folks, I hope that you’re all enjoying the summer sun.

Today, I have for you some rather summery sauces that I picked up a little over two summers ago. A pair of highly fruity products that I tried all the way back at Reading Chilli Fest and have been just waiting to post my review of.

But, between freebies, newer items and the fact that I wanted to spread such fruity sauces out, it’s only now that you’re finally seeing this pair. The final pair, in fact, of Mango sauces from that event:

BurningChillees

Both from companies that we’ve seen before and both from companies who’s fruitier items have impressed me in the past.

How will these two, in particular, compare, though, to the oodles of other mango sauces on the market?

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Curry in a Bottle

Welcome to june, everyone. To kick this month off in a rather special way, I’m looking at a pair of imported hot sauces that harken back to the dreams of my youth.

Coconut.jpg

Byron Bay’s Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce, imported from australia by my good friend Matt Tangent, of Aussie Hot Sauces. And Hell’s Kitchen’s Rockin’ Rasta from the US, first imported by Russel of Grim Reaper Foods but, more recently, picked up by the UK’s largest importers, Hot-Headz.

And, if you’re one of my UK readers, you might recognise the coconut sauce on the left. It may be made in australia now but, until about a year ago, Byron Bay had a partner company producing it over here, as well. Matt actually brought this one over at my request, since I really wanted to talk about it. Thanks dude!

Yet, as excited as I am for the return of the Byron Bay range, theirs isn’t the only sauce on display today. Or even the only coconut one.

Neither of today’s items are quite the korma in a bottle that young me wished for but both are delicious, creamy, rich and sweet, coconut-based, curry sauces, all the same. Ones that my ten-year-old self would have been overjoyed to own.

So the question is: Do they still hold up to the more refined tastes of my mid-twenties?

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Easter Pickles

Hey folks, I hope that you all had a good easter.

I know I did. But then, I always do. There’s just something special about combining chocolate with a treasure hunt so that you feel like you’ve earnt it.

Blog-wise, though, I’ve already done one massively chocolate-themed post in recent months and I have another cocoa-based review coming up shortly. I don’t want to overdose on the sweet stuff all of the time and I certainly don’t want to sicken you all with a lack of variety.

So, instead of a chocolate review this year, I’m looking at the other side of easter. The themes of death and rebirth, often represented by eggs.

ChilliEggs

Yes, chilli eggs – Pickled ones, even – from a company who specialises in just that.

An item I may never have found, had it not been for someone’s recommendation.

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Hot Todd

Hello again spice lovers, today I’d like to look at Russell from Grim Reaper Foods’ latest:

Todd

Terracotta and black, with his classic flame patterning and smoothed-foil, metallic finish. It’s unmistakeably one of his but this artwork feels a little busier than the rest.

The twin sets of flames behind its skeleton are more complex than his usual sort and the figure has traded in its smooth, rounded cloak for the harsh lines of a shirt and waistcoat. Attire that fits with his character, of course, but it’s the cut-throat razor, dripping with blood, that actually sells his identity.

The undead form of Sweeny Todd.

Everything else just overcomplicates the label to the point where, for once, I’m not thrilled by Grim Reaper Foods’ design. I actually prefer its other label – The simple one made for Whitbread’s Cookhouse and Pub restaurants.

GrimBonnet

Which brings up an interesting point. This isn’t just a Grim Reaper sauce. It’s a Grim Reaper sauce made for a mainstream food outlet.

How will that affect the bottle’s contents?

Well, Russell claims that this is his mildest sauce yet but I think we ought to judge that for ourselves, don’t you?

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