Cottage Delight Speciality Foods – Naga Chilli Sauce review

Review by Clare Cameron – bottle from Cottage Delight Speciality Foods

When I see the Cottage Delight products I immediately think farm shop. Therefore I was surprised to find that they have a whole range of hot sauces, the bottle follows the usual Cottage Delight uniformed shape and the label is a classy white on black number. The flames and Naga chilli image make this stand out from the rest of the Cottage Delight Crowd.

The sauce is heavily peach based (26%) and although fruit flavours often compliment chilli I did find this a bit overpowering and therefore had to be quite selective when deciding what to have this sauce with. I found it had a good thickness for a dipping sauce but was a little bit syrupy. It goes well with chunky chips and especially well with pork. Although I didn’t try it as a marinade I could imagine this going well with chicken as a sort of sticky chicken type of dish.

Ingredients: Peaches (26%) Tomatoes, Onions, White Wine Vinegar, Sugar, Water, Cornflour, Salt, Garlic puree, Concentrated lime juice, Dried Naga Jolokia chillies.

The sauce has a great aroma, first the warmth of the chilli hits the nostrils then the sweetness of the peaches and the garlic comes through. When sampling this sauce the first thing that greets your taste buds is a punch of Naga which tingles the back of the throat and is followed by the intense sweetness of the peach. I wouldn’t say this is a sauce you could smother your food in but when paired with the right dish this sauce works really well.

If I was to award marks out of ten for originality this sauce would get top marks as so far I haven’t tasted or seen anything similar, Habanero is often paired with fruit flavours but in my experience Naga not so much. The Cottage Delight sauces range in price from £3.45 to £3.85 there is also a set of five sauces available to purchase. To find out more check out their website.

Flavour 7/10
Heat 7/10
Packaging 8/10
Value 8/10
Overall 7.5/10

Thousand Hills Mild Tomato Chilli Review

Review by The Shepsters – Jar kindly supplied by Thousand Hills.

Thousand Hills is a Portsmouth-based producer and importer specialising in products and recipes from Rwanda – the central African nation which also gives the company its name, coming from the traditional name for the country “Land of a Thousand Hills”.

The focus on Rwandan produce is down to the experiences of its owners – Stephanie Kayirangwa, a Rwandan who now lives in the UK, and Natt Boarer, who spent several years living and working in Rwanda.

The products which they manufacture in the UK comprises of the “1000” range of sauces, and the one we have for review here is the mild tomato chilli.

The sauce comes in a compact jar with attractive labelling that features clearly readable text and on which the brand and product name are prominent.  The product itself is pretty to look at in the jar too, with plenty of texture on show and red-stained oil pooling in gaps between the paste.

Ingredients: Onion, Tomato Puree, Vegetable Oil, Citric Acid, Scotch Bonnet Chilli, Salt, Sugar, and Other Spices.1000.Tom.Chilli

The aroma when cracking the seal on this lovely little package is essentially ‘pasta sauce on steroids’ – spicy, but unmistakeably a tomato-and-onion based sauce; pretty much as would be expected from the list of ingredients.

The texture on spooning out is thick, paste-like, with attractive chunks of soft, chopped onion in there for good measure.  The best way we can think to describe it is that it has the appearance of a thick, home-made, chunky pasta sauce.  The oil content is clearly quite high in the sauce, and it
collects around the spoon when it is left in the jar.

The flavour of the sauce is rich with tomato, chilli, and onion, and is not at all sweet.  Surprisingly, given the visual prominence of the vegetable oil, the sauce doesn’t taste oily, nor leave any unpleasant filminess in the mouth.

We tried the sauce as both a relish and as a pasta sauce, both instances in which it worked very well indeed.  However, we did note that the bitterness that is sometimes associated with Scotch Bonnets became much more pronounced when we used it on the pasta – but then we were using it ‘neat’.  Unless you have a particular fondness for that unique bitter flavour, we would suggest that maybe it would be better to use a spoonful to give additional muscle to a base pasta sauce instead (plus it would last longer used that way).

Thousand Hills rate this as their mildest product.  While that may very well be the case in their specific product range, we would not recommend this as a mild product to chilli newcomers.  Rather, we would consider this to be a mid-range heat level for regular chilli-heads, and on the hot side for anyone else.  The bonnet heat is quick to hit and lingers for some time due to the oil in the product helping spread the love around to all areas of the mouth.  It should be noted also that heating the sauce – i.e. when we used it on the pasta dish – increased the chilli heat level considerably from when it was used as a cold relish.

The sauce has a two week shelf life once opened but, being a smaller jar and a pretty versatile product, it’s not likely to sit around in the fridge for that long anyway.  Available from the website at £2.5o for a 110ml jar, it isn’t going to break the bank either.

Flavour 7/10
Heat 5/10
Packaging 7/10
Value 7/10
Overall 7/10

Burning Desire Foods The dark side range: 7 pot scorpion insane hot sauce review with video

Review by Darth Naga – bottle kindly supplied by Burning Desire Foods

Happy Friday chilli padawans! And even happier still because it’s this old pith lords 34th birthday (happy birthday to me, happy birthday … yeah you get the idea). So just to celebrate my birthday in style, I have a very special video review, of a very special sauce, from a very special company that sits close to my heart! (Wow that was a mouthful!). The sauce I review in this video comes to you from the lovely folks over at Burning Desire Foods, my good friend Jason sent me this sauce because he wanted me to video review something for him, and since the video reviews are *mostly* proper hot, he gave me one of his hottest new sauces from his “Dark Side” range, so pin ya lugholes back, open ya peepers and get ya laughing gear round this!

Ingredients: Red peppers, onions, celery, 7 pot jonah and 7 pot chilli, cider vinegar, lime juice, dark muscavado sugar, sea salt.

The thing that’s stands out the most with this sauce (aside from its name) is the professionally designed labels, wrapped around the unusual bottle. The bottles are akin to old school cough medicine bottles from yesteryear, the name of this sauce is quite a tongue twister, its moniker is “The dark side range: 7 pot scorpion insane hot sauce” and looking at the fiery red label, and the orangey pulpy fluid inside, this looks to be a hot one!

You’ll notice in this video I decided to review this sauce with an author by the name of Gideon Burrows, who happens to be writing a book about the chilli industry in Britain, and funnily enough the book is called “Chilli Britain: a hot and fruity adventure”. Gideon is travelling round the UK, visiting different people from the chilli industry, including reviewers, growers, chilli product makers and more, his travels will be chronicled in this new book due out towards the end of the year, and you can learn more about it, and pre-order the book over at http://www.chillibritain.com.

Right, without any further ado, here is the video in all its glory!

And there you have it, as expected I found it pretty darn hot, whilst Gideon didn’t seem too fazed at all! Some people have all the luck (and higher tolerances than yours truly!). The sauce, as mentioned in the video, is bloody tasty and because this was his first chilli review with me, I even gave him the bottle afterwards to go and enjoy at home, so if you’re reading this Gideon, I hope you enjoyed it!

You can all pick up a bottle of this sauce over at Burning Desire Foods for about 5 or 6 quid a bottle, and that’s a pretty darn good price for this tasty, yet punchy sauce that would go well on chips, or even mixed with a salsa for a nice spicy dip!

Right my chilli padawans, that’s all we have time for this week, I’ll hopefully get another video up soon, but it may take a while as I am now without camera and waiting for a tripod and kit to arrive so I can use my nice new spanky smartphone to do my reviews on! So keep your eyes peeled for that!

Have a good one padawans, and may the sauce be with you, always!!

Flavour 8/10
Heat 7/10
Packaging 8/10
Value 7/10
Overall 7/10

Westland Peppers Naga Jolokia sauce review

Jar provided by Westland Peppers – review by Lady C’in

To my knowledge, I have not seen a review for these Dutch guys online within the chilli community. That is a darn shame. So, here is some background info on the company.

1930 is when it all began. Mr. Henry Boekestijn started cultivating fruits and veg near the west coast of the Netherlands (roughly five or so miles from Rotterdam). From here the company developed with the help of his son Piet Boekestijn and his three sons Henk, Dolf and Pieter. They started to grow a great range of peppers and selling their produce locally, thier fresh, home grown peppers can be purchased during the summer. In the winter the peppers are grown in Spain and Mexico by their own growers to keep the same quality they put their name to.

The Naga Jolokia sauce is a simply named sauce, made from fresh blended Naga chillies boasting a whopping five flames on the label, this should be Westland Peppers Naga Sauceone wild sauce.

Ingredients: Naga Jolokia Chillies, Onion powder and Vinegar.

In a 116ml hexagonal glass jar, you can see all the beautiful finely blended red Naga flesh and seeds. The label is printed to look like a natural paper with their orange company name across the top with 100% pure smaak (100% pure taste) just beneath. Despite my fluency in German, some of the Dutch is similar (please don’t hate me for that comment!) as I said, below the name of the sauce there are five little fire symbols. As we all know the heat of the Naga pepper, and the fact that this sauce is almost all Naga, I am prepared.

Upon opening the jar, the heat escapes right up the nostrils straight away. Trying to not be bowled over by the empowering scent of Naga, it almost smells like fresh tomatoes; that fresh fruity scent. Consistency wise, it’s like a finely chopped salsa, as such it doesn’t pour at all. I jammed my teaspoon into the jar and it is really thick and the spoon stands up on its own.

I put a few small pieces on my spoon and immediately I received the sweet fruity taste of the Naga and within two or so seconds, the immense heat drops in to engulf the mouth; back of the tongue, insides of the lips and back of the throat. The onion, whilst I’m not able to smell it, you can often taste it, as the sauce is very fine, you get seeds and skin and bits of onion in each spoonful, varying the flavour of every taste. I either overestimated this sauce in heat, or underestimated my own tolerance for capsaicin. I started with a few small fleshy pieces on my teaspoon, and now I am eating it by the teaspoon without too much trouble. This I do not recommend unless you really appreciate both the flavour and more importantly, the heat. The sweetness of the onion balances out the usual bitterness of the Naga, to a point where this sauce is all sweet, and no bitter. The few seconds before the heat you can really enjoy the blending of onion and Naga, and the different textures between the soft flesh and lumpy seeds.

What would you do with this sauce? Well, I would personally not call this a sauce per se. I believe sauces have some sort of runny consistency, or drip or flow. This does none of these. I would call it more of a relish / thick paste. As such, I would utilise it perhaps sparingly on a burger bun with a nice juicy beef burger at a barbeque. Mix a little with salsa for a perfect combination of sweet and heat for chips, tortillas. Use it as an additive for any cooking you want hot. Literally anything! The Naga is so versatile a chilli; you will only get a hot sweetness with none of the awful bitterness associated with this pepper. So use your imagination and give this ‘sauce’ a try. To be honest, I was worried about the heat. If you’re a seasoned Naga lover, this will be a great sauce for you to enjoy in larger quantities. If you want to really appreciate the flavour of the Naga, and think perhaps the heat is a bit too much for you just yet, it is still very much worth trying, you will get the amazing flavour without too much heat if you use it sparingly.

Available from the web shop for €3.95, a price you have to love for such a strong flavour and quality of heat.

Flavour 8/10
Heat 9/10
Packaging 6/10
Value 7/10
Overall 7/10

The Cambridge Chilli Sauce Company’s Smoked Scotch Bonnet & Red Pepper Sauce Review

Review by James Fowkes – Bottle Purchased from: The Cambridge Chilli Sauce Company.

The Cambridge Chilli Sauce Company is a true family affair with authentic small batch sauces made with heart. Tim and Susan Murphy @CambChilliSauce came up with the idea for a hot sauce business in October 2008. In January 2009 Tim and Susan sowed the first chilli seeds and thanks to a good crop they were able to begin trading in July 2009 as Cambridge Chilli Farm. After four years of growing their own chillies, it became apparent that Tim and Susan didn’t have enough time to do this and meet the increasing demand for their tasty products. So although they no longer provide all their own chillies for their sauces, in May 2013, Tim and Susan’s business became ‘The Cambridge Chilli Sauce Company’.

I have a bottle of their Smoked Scotch Bonnet and Red Pepper sauce to review. I will usually have a bottle of this sauce buried somewhere in my scotchbonccfcollection at anyone time. Often forgetting I have it, then smiling when I uncover it buried amongst the stash!

The bottle is a standard 150ml with a label that is basic but nicely done. Saying exactly what you are getting and occasionally accompanied by a nice little graphic but nothing too fancy. On this bottle you will also find the description:

“Our Smoked Scotch Bonnet & Red Pepper Sauce is a fantastically fiery condiment for all kinds of food……. its incredibly versatile; use with sausages, burgers, ribs, or have as a sauce on the side with an omelette”

Ingredients: smoked & roasted red peppers (35%), smoked scotch bonnet peppers (17%), tomatoes, onions, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, black pepper, spices.

Most of us are used to chipotle smoked sauces and now increasingly various forms of smoked Naga sauces; but there aren’t too many smoked scotch bonnet sauces out there. Having some kind of smoky hot sauce in your collection is a must in my opinion, especially in the summer BBQ season! Before opening the bottle you can see a rich dark sticky sauce within that looks like it will have no problem attaching itself to your chosen food. You can even see some of the spices and the occasional chilli seed as part of the mix. The first challenge with the bottle was getting into it! Although sealed in a standard way there are no perforations in the plastic coating. This of courses resulted in me having to find the largest knife in the kitchen just to get through the seal.

When finally making it into the bottle with all fingers intact you are rewarded with, as you would hope, a rich sweet sticky aroma. You can’t quite pickup any chilli aroma but there are underlying tones of something lurking. With 17% scotch bonnets in the sauce there is no delay to the heat like you get with a BBQ sauce. The chilli hit is instant, peaks quickly, and then leaves you with a beautiful peppery smoky aftertaste, which if left long enough turns back into a gently heat. Though I guarantee you won’t focus too long on the aftertaste before you notice yourself reaching for more to keep the mini endorphin rush going. This is a very satisfying sauce indeed, the Cambridge Chilli Sauce Co. also smoke there own Scotch Bonnet and sweet red peppers over Maple wood which would account for this rich depth of flavour. I can definitely see myself smothering this sauce over ribs to make an awesome rack. As part of the testing too the smoked scotch bonnet compliments a scotch egg perfectly although I haven’t personally found it as good with an omelette as the bottle suggests. To change anything in this sauce is to mess with near perfection but if there were some way to prolong the initial chilli hit then it might appeal more to the chilli heads who are all about the Jeremy Clarkson approach of “more power to any sauce”.

A 150ml bottle of this Smokey goodness will set you back £4.00 direct from their online shopCheck out which festivals and markets they will be attending this year and if you are lucky you will also get to meet Tim and Susan’s five year old son Harry already very much into the chilli scene making appearance at the chilli festivals, so if you see him, be sure to say hello!

Flavour 8/10
Heat 7/10
Packaging 6/10
Value 6/10
Overall 7/10

Mr Vikki’s Chilli Mafia sauce No.3 ‘The Jamaican’ review

Review by Lady C’in – bottle kindly supplied by Mr. Vikki’s

Adam and the team at Mr. Vikki’s need no introduction to the fiery chilliheads amongst us. Their sauces are numerous with such a variety to try, there is always something for everyone, something you will love and have to have. I have several of these from Adam that every time I see him, I simply cannot be without and have to stock up. His Chilli Mafia range are the same pure quality of the Mr. Vikki’s flagship range so you are guaranteed fresh, handmade ingredients he is proud of.

Ingredients: Scotch Bonnet Mash 50%, Red Jalapeno Mash 10%, Red Savina Chillies 10%, Mustard, Spices and Salt. May contain traces of nuts.

In a tall and slim 145ml bottle, this hot, colourful devil sits staring at you. The label is glossy and black, with flame cut out at the top for a difference. All text sits beautifully on each side, never overlapping or curving around the bottle. It even has a handy little heat ‘o’ meter at the side for guidance on the range; it rests at six out of ten (ten being hot). The sauce is a deep orangey red with plenty of seeds, flesh and spices included for extra texture.

This deep coloured sauce flows gently from end to end as I tip it in both directions. I open the bottle and I don’t get a whoosh of heat like I would expect. In fact, I don’t receive any overpowering scent. What I DO get, however, is an earthy rich smell with several different highlights. I can pick out the slightly smoky scents of the Scotch Bonnet which adds such a variety of flavours. I can pick out a sweet undertone which I’m not quite sure what it is. Adam doesn’t give away his ‘Spices’ recipe very often so I can only make a guess at this point. Needless to say, the aroma of this sauce is making my mouth water.

The heat is immediate with an allover mouth invasion of the Scotch Bonnet, concentrating on the roof of my mouth and the back of my throat. For a sauce that claims to be six out of ten, I would place this as maybe an eight. It is deceptive. After a few minutes you are left with a lovely lip tingle and your mouth watering for more. The consistency is a medium flow sauce, great for pouring. The very fine bits of flesh, seeds and spices are great little pops of flavour. One of the first tastes I get, besides the heat, is a dusky smoky chilli (that will be the Scotch bonnet) with a very soft fruity aftertaste. I feel like there is allspice or cinnamon in this sauce. I may be completely wrong but the little hints of flavour I get. This is a beautifully rounded sauce, combining the heat of the scotch bonnet with its natural sweet flavour, the earthy tones of mustard holding the sauce together with hints of spices I can only guess. As a jerk sauce it has a rich, hot flavour sensation with the subtle sweetness I would expect from a great jerk sauce without using complications such as vinegar.

I would suggest using the sauce as a marinade for chicken, lamb, tofu or veggie substitutes. This would be great marinated on a steak and then grilled. I would also use it perhaps as a hot salad dressing for those summer spicy barbeques, as a dipping sauce for chips – I can imagine dipping pineapple in here.  This sauce has ticked every box for me. It has a great heat to flavour ratio, a beautifully printed and shaped label containing everything I could ask for, it has versatility that you can use on pretty much anything in any way and still get all the flavour.

It is available from thechillimafia.co.uk website at £4.50 a 145ml bottle and it’s worth every penny and a great marinade to have. Expect high quality and you won’t be disappointed.

Flavour 10/10
Heat 7/10
Packaging 9/10
Value 10/10
Overall 10/10

Mr Vikki’s Chilli Mafia Number 2 Sauce – Piri Piri Review

Review by James Fowkes – Bottle kindly supplied by Mr Vikki’s

Mr Vikki’s is a small bespoke Indian Fusion pickle producer in the beautiful Lake District Cumbria. His range of chilli products have been awarded an impressive sixty nine great taste awards in seven years, including thirteen great taste awards in 2013. I wonder how 2014 will be for this powerhouse of a producer.

I have one bottle in a new mini range of sauces to review on behalf of the Chilli Fiends. The Chilli Mafia sauce No2 Roast Piri Piri.

The first thing I note with this bottle is its shape, different from many bottles on the market currently and almost like a ketchup bottle. I have admitted before that I am possibly a bit of a sucker for stupid names and cool graphics on my hot sauces and have not been drawn to other labels in the Mr Vikki’s range before (admitting this was a mistake) I like this design of this one, as always the flames are a nice touch at the top of the label ChilliMafia2and the colour scheme suits the theme of the set very well. As with all products in the range, there is a lot of helpful and professional information displayed including the Mr Vikki’s Heat ‘O’ Meter. This sauce is rated as ‘Hot’. I also like that the label covers only half the jar so you can see the contents too. In this case you can see a deep natural red with visible chilli seeds and spices!

Finally on the label you will find the quote “A flavoursome Piri Piri Birds Eye Chilli Sauce, fiery and great on all foods. Use like ketchup, marinade or Stir Fry with”

The ingredients are: tomatoes, sugar, roast birds eye chillies (15%), vinegar, chipotle chillies, salt and spices.

Cracking open the bottle you get a real aroma of the tomatoes and you can also smell that the contents have indeed been roasted. There are not too many ingredients combined to make this sauce and as a result the overall flavour is not too complex either but this is a good thing. The smokiness of the added chipotle mixes with the roast birds eyes in a wonderful way keeping your taste buds guessing. The tomatoes don’t come across too sharp or out of balance with the added vinegar either.

This all combines in a constantly changing wonderful flavour combination with a pleasant warming kick to the sauce. In the occasional mouthful if your lucky you will get a chilli seed supplying a mini burst of heat and adding more texture to the overall taste experience. I like this sauce; it won’t blow your head off but provides a satisfying kick. The flavour may not be what you are expecting compared to some commercial Piri Piri sauces available but the Mr Vikki’s has more soul and depth of flavour proving a much more satisfying taste. As the bottle suggests I can see myself using this direct as ketchup and definitely as a marinade for BBQ meats. I’m not too sure about the stir fry suggestion but with the right combination of ingredients it certainly won’t disappoint. Now if you will excuse me I have to go and meet the rest of the family.

This 145ml bottle of Roast Piri Piri from the Chilli Mafia will cost a mere £4.50 on the website currently. My advice is not to stop here check out the entire new Chilli Mafia family.

Flavour 7/10
Heat 6/10
Packaging 7/10
Value 8/10
Overall 7/10

Mr Vikki’s Chilli Mafia #4 Bangkok Sriracha Sauce Review

Bottle kindly supplied by Mr Vikki’s – review by Marty Greenwell

For many years the Flying Goose has been synonymous with Sriracha hot sauce and many a chillihead has turned his or her nose up at it. Sure it’s mass produced and not particularly hot, it has E numbers in it and probably isn’t all that natural. However for quite a number of people, along with Encona, this is often their first try of a hot sauce and it’s always nice pulling new people in to the fold.

What about those folks that kind of like the sauce style but want something a little bit more all natural ingredient then? Well, as part of the Chilli Mafia range of sauces, Mr Vikki’s has decided to try his hand at producing something that might appeal to the afficiando – we have Sauce Number No 4 Bangkok Sriracha
Four Bangkok Sriracha.

I have tried a couple of different versions of this sauce; Adam is always revising and improving his recipes and they get better with time and this is definitely an improvement over the original mix. The container is in keeping with the rest of the Chilli Mafia range with this kind of very tactile bottle that isn’t quite round and isn’t quite square and you get 145ml for your £4.50 – perhaps a little bit more than the mass produced stuff, but given reported potential shortages due to smelly factories, this is a much better bet given the all-natural status.

The sauce is a nice deep red-brown colour and is silky smooth texture wise. You can see speckles of garlic through the sauce but it is very well pureed looking quite Rooster like, but certain not as bitty. On the nose there’s not a lot there, you can pick out quite a heady garlic aroma, but it’s definitely not a smelling sauce. This is largely irrelevant though because the taste is something completely different.

The nicely pureed sauce pours easily onto the spoon for sampling and the initial taste on the tongue is very garlicky; there is a hint of smokiness here too. Sriracha can sometimes be a bit salty (traditionally so), but Mr Vikki’s has balanced this one very well to avoid it overpowering the other flavours.  Heat wise this is typical Sriracha; it’s fairly mild and definitely one to introduce the burn timid with – that said there is a lingering mild burn that lasts longer than I expected it would.

This is a great addition to the Chilli Mafia range of sauces and sits nicely at the mild end. It’s tasty (as per usual) and is something you could happily use as a ketchup replacement. I love using it on cheese on toast, bacon sarnies and eggs with cheese. It’s not hot, but then that’s not what this style of sauce is about – it is however likely to be the most tasty Sriracha style sauce you’re ever going to taste.

Flavour 10/10
Heat 2.5/10
Packaging 8/10
Value 7/10
Overall 9/10

Mr Vikki’s ‘The Chilli Mafia’ No 1 Capo Di Tutti Sauce

Review by David Kelly – Bottle kindly supplied by Mr Vikki’s

Making a great tasting chilli product that proves popular with chilliheads can be difficult enough task but making an entire range of some forty plus items that consistently achieve that, well that takes a heck of a lot of skill, knowledge and expertise. However it’s something that seems to come readily to Adam Marks. Adam is the gastronomic mind behind the Mr Vikki’s brand (based in the Lake District area) that is known to many on the UK chilli scene. Having won numerous awards over more than seven years, including thirteen Great Taste awards and several Fiery Foods UK awards, Adam is never one to rest on his laurels The Chilli Mafia Capo Di Tuttiand regularly undertakes new product development.

His latest creations to be launched are a range of ketchup style sauces under his ‘Chilli Mafia’ brand. There are four sauces being released in the Chilli Mafia sauce ‘family’ each with differing themed flavours: ‘Capo Di Tutti’, ‘Roast Piri Piri’, ‘The Jamaican’ and ‘Bangkok Sriracha’. Adam has kindly sent us some for us to review here at Chilli Fiends and so I’ve been able to sample the number 1 sauce in the range: Capo Di Tutti.

For those who understanding of the Italian language doesn’t extend further than some keywords like ‘Ciao’, ‘Cappuccino’, or ‘Lazio’, ‘Capo Di Tutti’ translates as ‘Boss of all Bosses’ and this seems very fitting given the Chilli Mafia branding. The design of the labelling / logo is also befitting of the brand name, having a simple black & white design and strikingly Godfather-esque choice of font. The small banner of flames at top of the label, give a nice simple splash of colour and clearly indicate that this is a hot sauce.

Ingredients: Tomato puree, Balsamic vinegar, Chill Mash 20% (Chipotle, Roast Habanero, Roast Bird’s Eye, Jalapenos and Naga Chillies), Dark Sugar, Salt and Spices

Although moderately thick the sauce pours quite readily from the bottle. It has a slight sheen to it and is quite smooth in texture though I can see within the body of the sauce that there are some chilli seeds and flecks of pepper. This sauce has a rich smoky BBQ aroma to it. The scent of the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar gives a sweet high tone to the sauce, whilst underlying this is a deep smoky element with a hint of the floral aroma of Naga coming through from the chilli mash.

Initially when tasting the sauce the natural sweetness of the tomatoes comes through tempered by the mild tartness of the balsamic vinegar; the two balance well so that it’s neither overly sharp nor sweet. The flavours of the smoked chipotles and roasted habaneros swiftly follow and give the sauce a richness and added depth. It all adds to a wonderful well balanced taste. Then the warm of the chillies come through. With the mixture of chillies used there’s a multi pronged attack on my mouth. As well as all-encompassing warmth in the mouth there’s also a tingle on my lips, most likely from the Bird’s Eye chillies. The warmth in the mouth builds momentarily before the burn from the Nagas catches the back of my throat and begins to build. The burn though distinct, is not overbearing and recedes somewhat after a short duration.

This is a most definitely a very moreish sauce and the great taste & pleasant burn only encourages me to have more, to the degree that I soon find I’ve easily gotten halfway through the bottle just consuming the sauce neat. I decide to save the remainder of the bottle to try it on some food and given its great BBQ flavour, it’s seems perfectly logical to try this on a hamburger – needless to say it’s a perfect match.

For me this is definitely a great go-to condiment sauce for the chillihead and worthy of a place in your chilli cupboard. It has a nice balance of flavours and moderate heat that allow it to be used with everyday foods such as hamburgers, sausage / bacon sandwiches, ribs, chicken wings without overpowering their natural tastes.

Available from Mr Vikki’s for £5.00 for a 145ml bottle and at the time of writing this review it’s currently on offer for only £4.50

Flavour 9/10
Heat 5/10
Packaging 8/10
Value 8/10
Overall 9/10

CaJohn’s El Chupacabra Review (with video)

Bottle supplied by Hot Headz – review by Darth Naga.

Hi chilli padawans!! It’s Darth Naga coming at you again with another review for Chilli Fiends and this one is a real doozy! The sauce I have for you all today comes from a very well-known sauce maker over the pond in the USA, a company by the name of “Cajohn“, owned and run by John Hard. This company has been around since 1999 and started full serious production in 2002, bringing us amazing products like “Scorch” (my personal favourite) “Black Mamba” and “Mongoose” to name ElChupacabrabut a few! You can pick up his products here in the UK from Hot Headz which, funnily enough is exactly who sent me this bottle!!

Ingredients: Chilli peppers (Bhut Jolokia, Scotch Bonnet, Trinidad 7 Pot, Trinidad Scorpion, Trinidad Scorpion Moruga), carrots, onion, mustard (vinegar, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, spices), distilled vinegar, garlic, spices.

So as you can see from the ingredients list, “El Chupacabra” is no slouch when it comes to utilising ultra hots, in fact I think the list looks like the who’s who of the top hottest peppers, the only thing missing is the Carolina Reaper! This sauce is one of the newer ones in Cajohn’s range of ultra-hot sauces; it’s been around for about a year and seems to be quite popular due to the lack of extract and good use of smokingly hot peppers!

The bottle itself is of the typical CaJohn standard, high quality, glossy foil label, with a slightly cartoon silhouette of a Chupacabra on it, and one of the nicest touches that I have seen yet, CaJohn’s logo has been embossed into the top of the lid wrapper, which adds a nice unique twist to the standard security seals you see on these bottles!

I could go on and on here about the flavour and heat, but I think the video explains it way better than I could here:

So there you have it, another fine sauce from Cajohn, brought to the UK by the awesome Hot Headz, at only £7 a bottle you’d be mad not to grab one, it’ll easily satisfy even the most hardcore of chilli heads and for the hot sauce noobs out there, small amounts will go a LONG way!!

Suggested uses for this from myself would be adding to a chilli (due to the high fresh chilli content), also rubbing this on chicken for a nice spicy dinner, use it sparingly though otherwise your arse mind hand in its notice the next morning!!

Right, it’s time for me to love you and leave you again my chilli padawans, so until next time, I’ll catch you on the flipside and may the sauce be with you, always!!

Flavour 8/10
Heat 9/10
Packaging 9/10
Value 8/10
Overall 9/10