Burning Desire Foods Chipotle Hot Sauce Review

Review by James Fowkes @jamopepper review – Bottle kindly supplied by Burning Desire Foods

Brighton is where Burning Desire Foods hot sauce company calls home. Started in 2011 they have been making tantalizingly delicious hot sauces ever since. The sauces are all made in small batches with emphasis on both flavour and heat. Some are mellowed to develop a unique and distinctive flavour, slow cooked for a deep intensity, while others go straight for the chilli hit. All of the sauces are completely natural and vegan. Plus none contain any artificial colourings, flavourings, or preservatives.

2013 was a very exciting for Burning Desire, with a range of new products that came out in spring, and Jason also planed to expand into a larger kitchen and production unit. The chilli butters made a successful debut, as did a spice range. Both contributed to him being awarded Best UK Hot Chilli Company 2013. Burning desire is an ever expanding company and one to watch.

Jason has kindly provided me with a bottle of a sauce simply named ‘Chipotle’ with a description’ mild and Smokey Barbeque sauce’. I am lucky to have a bottle from the first batch to try.

The first and most obvious point to note on this sauce is the generous sized bottle. A giant 300ml double the size of most sauces available. With Chipotle sauces generally being moreish this is a good thing and also means you will get more chilli bang for your buck too.

All bottles in the Burning Desire range have similar label designs and similar shaped bottles so look great together as a set. This particular bottle is a slight exception to the rest of the range with its larger size. The bottle has the familiar logo on a deep red background the match the dark smoky goodness inside. You can also see that the sauce inside is a wonderful thick texture that I personally love in my sauces.

Ingredients: Tomato purée, cider vinegar, molasses, onion, apple juice, dark muscovado sugar, lemon juice, chipotle, garlic, mustard, onionBurning Desire Foods Chipotle powder, smoked garlic, thyme, rosemary and wild oregano.

You can’t go too wrong with a chipotle sauce. The chipotle comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli meaning “smoked chilli”, It is a chilli used primarily in Mexican and Mexican-inspired cuisines and is simply a smoke-dried jalapeño. The deep smoky flavour you get from this process has you hooked from your first taste of one. Any good chilli company will have one of these sauces in their range. That said it is hard to stand out as a good chipotle sauce. You don’t want to mess with the flavour too much and often you don’t want to mess with the heat levels either. This level of sauce should be accessible to anyone in my opinion. Of course you can add in chipotle chillies into hotter sauces for that background flavour but this is a different type of sauce.

I must confess and apologise to Burning Desire foods. I have had this sauce for review for quire a while and every time I have opened it I get distracted by the taste and then forget to write the review so this is long overdue!

With the impressive long list of ingredients listed on the bottle I was concerned that the flavours would be lost in complexity. Particular note to me was the smoked garlic and also the rosemary, two strong and aromatic flavours that I love as part of my cooking. Opening the bottle you can sense the complexity of the flavours coming, the sauce smells and looks like a chipotle sauce, so far so good; the smoky aroma begins to build drawing you to the bottle, pouring myself a very generous spoon full it’s down the hatch. Many chipotle sauces are sticky with sugar; this sauce is sticky in a pulpy way giving the impression of more natural ingredients. The welcome familiarity of a chipotle sauce greets my taste buds, at the same time the complex ingredient list a fear would interfere with this familiarity begins to take shape. I can taste the smoked garlic and a number of the other flavours too. However rather than being a distraction I was pleasantly surprised that they added to the taste experience and before I knew it I was pouring myself a second spoon full and so never ending the loop began …

I’ll admit if questioned I would find it hard to select a favourite chipotle sauce from the wide selection on the market. In many senses they are all similar. I believe this sauce should be part of your collection. It may not end up being your favourite chipotle sauce but I can guarantee you will start finding food in your fridge just to pour it on so you can have another taste. On sever occasions my ‘open fridge door’ alarm was going off as I continued to munch while the fridge warmed up.

At £8 a bottle you may think this expensive but remember the bottle is 300ml so you are getting so much more for your money.

To purchase Burning Desire Foods’s Sauces, visit their website or if you prefer you can contact Jason direct at Burning Desire Foods Ltd, 45 Stanford Avenue, Flat A, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 6GA; 01273 561555; info@burningdesirefoods.com

Flavour 8/10
Heat 4/10
Packaging 7/10
Value 9/10
Overall 8/10

Upton Cheyney Ghost Hare Porter Review

Review by James Fowkes – product courtesy of Upton Cheyney

Upton Cheyney continue to expand their hot sauce range with new tasty ideas recently asking Bath Ales too collaborate by making chilli sauces made using chillies from their farm. The result was Brimstone, a flavour-packed steak sauce made using oak-smoked chipotles and its much hotter sibling is Firecore, made with Bounders and the Dorset Naga. As tasty as these sound, today I am here to review the result of this collaboration. The spin off idea that Bath Ales thought things would work in reverse too and fine chilli ale could also be produced! Its ‘time to turn up the heat with Ghost Hare’, a spicy porter that bites back brought to you by a collaboration between the Upton Cheyney Co and Bath Ales.

I no longer knock back the beers like I used to, but still attend beer festivals and always try a local brew to find new tastes and flavours. These days with micro microbreweries popping up everywhere the choices are seemingly endless. I have found however as I have mentioned in a previous review that a good chilli beer is still harder to find.ghost hare

I love the design of this bottle and the label, the picture of the hare on the front does give me flashback to the movie Watership Down but in striking red on a black label this is a well designed modern label compared to some ales. The bottle is even topped off with a red cap too.

This 500ml bottle of Ghost Hare has been kindly supplied by Louise Duck from Upton Cheyney Chilli Co.

Ingredients: Top secret but the label description gives you a hint “We brew Ghost Hare using chocolate malt and Challenger hops, which mingle perfectly with oak-smoked ghost chillies.

With the satisfying sound of opening up the bottle you are left in no doubt by the aroma that this is a porter and it smells a good one at that. There is no hint of a chilli aroma or the potential power of the ghost chilli at this stage. The first mouth full is just wonderful, I admit I did brace myself for an after burn but no pain came. This is a good thing. There is a description printed on the label  reading “Rich dark chocolaty flavours classically combine with a subtle hit of ghost chilli heat” This a perfect description the infused smoked ghost chillies do not overtake the mild porter and only give you a gentle little kick after every mouthful. The result is you get to enjoy both a good porter and a good chilli, it is a perfect flavour combination!

At this moment in time the sauces and Ghost Hare are only available to buy in the brewery shop and selected outlets. They were also be on sale at the Upton Cheyney Chilli Festival. After the festival they will be available to buy online so look out for more details on Twitter and Facebook. Even if you are not a beer drinker I highly recommend picking up a bottle just to experience the blend of flavours. If you have never had a porter before then this can be an acquired taste for a few people but something you need to feel rather than read about. Keep checking the websites above and try some when you can. You won’t be disappointed.

Flavour 10/10
Heat 4/10
Packaging 10/10
Value 9/10
Overall 9/10

Twisted 7 Jamaica Scream Review

Review by Clare Cameron – bottle supplied by Twisted 7 Sauces

Jamaica Scream is a great all rounder sauce with a Jamaican twist. The scotch bonnets work well with the lime and mango juice giving this sauce the Caribbean feel. The mustard powder and garlic compliment these main ingredients and this results in a delicious sauce that goes down far too easily! I have got through the bottle pretty quickly as it can be used on so many items.Jamaica Scream

My two favourite uses have been a dip for chips due to its perfect consistency and a marinade for chicken. The 15% chilli means the scotch bonnet is not overpowering, the same can be said for their other ingredients which all work together to make a sauce which transports you to a beach surrounded by palm trees and the ocean waves.

Ingredients: Tomato, Jamaican Hot Chillies (15%), Water, Mango Juice, Lime Juice, Vinegar, Onion, Sugar, Mustard Powder, Garlic, Thyme, Salt, Turmeric, Nutmeg, Pepper

The package is in the usual Twisted 7 format, which includes the traditional square bottle with the uniformed font. It is always easy to identify a twisted 7 products and I like this as it means you could never pick up an inferior product in error.

Twisted 7 sell sauces and jars on their website. To find out more check out their website  you are also able to purchase merchandise and see recipes.

Flavour 7.5/10
Heat 5.5/10
Packaging 7/10
Value 7/10
Overall 7.5/10

Lily’s Chillies Lemon and Tarragon Jelly Review

Review by Lady C’In – Jar provided by Lily’s Chillies

Lily’s Chillies need no introduction. A well-known family company with an outstanding attitude and fabulous reputation for some fantastic award winning products, including this one, winning the Great Taste Awards in 2013!

This chilli jelly, sitting in a squared 220g jar, a rather deep yellow jelly holds some delicious looking flesh and tarragon inside. The bits just sit stationary in the middle of this beautifully clear jelly. The label is in the lovely designed simple manner which they are known for, with the front label being bordered with the very light mint green colour to give an idea of what may be inside. This fits in well with their other products, keeping everything very uniform. The jar advertises that this jelly is one chilli hot.

It smells incredible. The light sweet apple scent is enhanced by a rather soft minty type smell from the tarragon. You get a touch of Habanero heat from the aroma but this is very fleeting.

Ingredients: Bramley Apples (40%), Sugar, Lemons (4%), Tarragon (4%), Habanero Chillies (1%).

Lemon & Tarragon

The consistency on the spoon is smooth and a little runnier in places than other jellies I have tried from them. There are some parts which seem stickier than others. On the tongue it is smooth with the tarragon pieces adding a little bit of texture.  I get an almost overwhelming sweet sensation from the sugar and apples. The tarragon pieces really have permeated the whole of the jelly and it is a rather powerful flavour in this jelly. It is the only part I can taste fully.

I am also struggling to taste any of the habanero, but the more jelly I eat, the more you realise it is there as it is slowly creeping its way in and letting you know that it’s hanging around in the back keeping you warm. I was going to say that I couldn’t find any hint of lemon, but as I can now see, the jelly has very finely chopped bits of peel in it, adding just a hint of bitter to help combat the sweet flavour.

As we all know, lemon and tarragon go very well with fish dishes. The lovely folk at Lily’s Chillies suggest a good roast chicken, and I can imagine why. It works very well with roast pork, and surprisingly I found my father enjoying it with his lamb one evening. It has a very refreshing, clean flavour which doesn’t overcomplicate any meal.

At £3.85 from their online shop, or located at a lot of the festivals this year, go and get yourself a jar.

Flavour 6/10
Heat 2/10
Packaging 7/10
Value 8/10
Overall 7/10