Review by The Shepsters
Pink’s is a modern producer with links to a historic preserves company from the days of the British Empire. This is reflected in the “winged orange” logo used by the company, an homage to the advertising poster for E & T Pink’s orange marmalade dated to 1890, which was founded by the one current Pink’s partnership’s great-grandfather. An interesting pedigree, it must be said.
Pink’s produce a range of condiments – jelly, chutney, and pesto – using locally sourced ingredients where possible, and “made by hand in small batches, using open pans to ensure their quality.”
The product which we received for review is the ‘Red Chilli Jelly’. Jar kindly supplied by Pink’s.
First impression based on the packaging is that this is an appealing product. The branding is prominent and clearly identifiable, and it is easy to pick out which product is which from the colour-coded labels. There is a huge amount of information printed on the label, but most of it is of a very small font size and in pastel colours, meaning it is not easy to read – especially for someone with visual difficulties. On the plus side, the jar is squat with a wide opening, making the product very easy to get to.
Ingredients: Sugar, water, lemon juice, garlic 4%, red chilli 4%, ginger 2%, acidity regulator: lactic acid, gelling agent: apple pectin.
The immediate hit on opening the jar is of garlic, the scent of which is so strong it can be tasted before anything even hits the tongue, followed by the sugar sweetness of the jelly.
The product looks very pretty – it is a semi-set jelly with a good amount of chilli flakes, seeds, and minced garlic clearly visible suspended in its depths.
Serving suggestions are to “use for dunking Thai Prawns, Prawn Toast or Thai Fishcakes. Spread thinly on Tortillas before filling or spice-up your Cold Meats and Cheeses”, so we tried using the jelly in several different ways to see how it works.
Cooked with fresh king prawns, it gave them a nice, sticky coating and the garlic worked very nicely with the dish. However, despite the amount of chilli flakes visible in the product, neither the chilli, nor the ginger, was noticeable in the flavour notes at all.
Tried cold with cold meat and cheese we found the jelly to be excessively refined-sugar sweet, and the amount of garlic was overwhelming, lingering on the tongue in combination with a residual sweetness for much longer than was pleasant. Again, the chilli and ginger were completely missing, both in terms of taste and heat. The best taste experience for us was actually when pairing the jelly (sparingly) with goat’s cheese.
The product is described as a “red chilli jelly with garlic and ginger”. We would describe it more as a sugar-and-garlic jelly with red chilli flake decoration, a combination which did not tickle this review team’s taste buds at all.
That said, Pink’s have been awarded a “Taste of the West” Silver medal (2011) and “Great Taste” (2013) accolade for this particular product, so clearly it is a hit with other people – just not with us. Perhaps it’s one of those “marmite” products that each person needs to try for themselves to see if it works for them.
Pink’s ‘Red Chilli Jelly’ is available from their online shop priced at £4.00 per 220g jar.