Spanish Superfruit

What’s up fiery food fans? My name’s Coran Sloss and, if this sounds like the start of a Youtube video, I’m very sorry but there is a good reason for it.

You see, today’s product is one that’s going to hold a special place in my heart, whether I wind up liking it or not, so I really aught to give you a bit of backstory to explain why.

As you’re hopefully all aware, this is a UK-centric recipe and review site, for the simple reason that I’m from the UK. More specifically, though, I’m british. British through and through.

I was born in scotland, I grew up in england, my humour is both pun-based and cynical and I speak only one language fluently. Yet my name is anything but typical of the country or countries that I call home.

My given name, Coran, comes from my mother’s irish heritage and, while similarly celtic, my surname is from my dad’s side, by way of america.

Both of my parents were well travelled and, between the two of them, they spoke more or less every major language in europe. And a few beyond.

It is from them that I have picked up my rudimentary german, french, italian and spanish – Enough to read an ingredients list, even if I can’t manage much more – and my interest in other cultures is likely their influence as well. My interest in weird fruit, though? That comes from slightly further afield.

In recent times, it has been spurred on by anime, my love of fruity hot sauce and a friend that I made on youtube but, even back in high school, I was buying dragonfruit, horned melons and yellow tomatoes to see what they were like.

And, before that, I had a grandma with a house in spain. One with a garden that grew something that you’ve probably never heard of. Nesparos – The key ingredient in today’s sauce and a fruit that I’ve not had since childhood.

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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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Spirit of the Caribbean

Happy tuesday again people, it’s time for us to return to wales and experience a second sauce from Chilli of the Valley. One with the same pineapple and coconut flavours that ruined Saucey Lady’s Fireman’s Watch for me but one that gives them the centre stage, instead of pairing them badly with other, more savoury fruit.

This one is their Calypso – A sauce designed to mimic the classic piña colada cocktail’s flavours, with pineapple, coconut and rum.

Calypso

And this time, I see no reason why they won’t work.

To be truly sure, though, I’m going to have to put this sauce to the test.

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Mayan Sunshine

Speaking of finishing off things from last year, my chilli eating friends, it saddens me just a touch to tell you that today is the last we’re going to see of Opal’s range. It was, after all, a real pleasure trying her original and lime sauces.

Yet all good things must come to an end and I do, at least, have this one last bottle to try: Her Mayan Mango.

omm

And, despite habanero and mango being the two ingredients named on the front, it’s not going to be quite the usual blend. You’ll see what I mean in a second.

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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.

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Combustable Lemons

Happy tuesday oncemore everyone. This week, before I review anything, I’d like to take a brief moment to talk about spelling.

There are several ways to spell the word “chilli”. There’s the common UK spelling I use but also the one L version, “chili”, popular in parts of the US. Or “chile”, a variation that I pronounce like “child” without the D when I have to remember web addresses.

That one’s my least favourite, since it doesn’t work within the (rather inconsistent) rules of my native language and can lead to confusing it with the country.

But today I have another for you. A fourth spelling, pioneered by a company I found at Reading:

The Chillees.

lemonman

Their name, featured in illuminated red font above that of their marmalade, combines the double L of the english with the E ending of the country and even the extra E before the S when one of the first two get pluralised.

Yet that’s not where it comes from. In reality, it’s just a pun. A play on the last name of Nick and Francine Lee, who work together to produce the range.

And it’s not the only pun on their “Twisting My Lemon Man” – A title that simply swaps two letters around in a popular phrase.

Nor is it the only item I intend to show you today.

earlgreymarmalade

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Jalapeño Jerky

Hello again heat eaters, today I intend to bring you a couple of things from Cowley’s Fine Foods but, for starters, let’s just look at their mild and flavourful Sweet Potato and Jalapeño Jerky.

It’s an interesting combination of flavours that isn’t clarified at all by its packaging.

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