Mr Vikki’s Chipotle Mustard Review

Review by The Shepsters – Jar kindly supplied by Mr Vikki’s.

Adam Marks, owner and culinary genius behind the Mr Vikki’s brand, has been extremely busy of late and the Chilli Fiends team has been blessed with the favour of reviewing his latest creations.

The Mr Vikki’s range is impressively wide in type, flavour and heat range, including such diverse products as sauces, curry pastes, chutneys and pickles, spicy nuts, chocolates and sweets, and mustard. Relatively new to the range of mustards is one which features chipotle as a key ingredient and, as we have a particular fondness for this delicious smoked chilli, we were keen as – well – mustard to give this a go.

Immediately recognisable from the vivid yellow label with the prominent brand on the front, there is no mistaking where this fellow comes from.

Ingredients: Mustard 50%, white wine vinegar, chipotle chillies 8%, honey, soy sauce, salt, spices.

Popping the lid from the jar, it really is solidly packed to the brim with bright spheres of mustard seed, and the aroma definitely has a solid, earthy mustard scent which sets the mouth-watering in anticipation.

Mr Vikkis Chipotle Mustard
Mr Vikki’s Chipotle Mustard.

This is a wholegrain mustard – there’s nothing smooth about this one – and being so solid makes it a touch difficult to spread on a sandwich without it going on quite thickly (not that a generous amount of decent mustard is a bad thing, mind you!). Once it is spread it is easier to catch sight of the occasional fleck of chilli within the mix, which is good to see.

This is a truly scrumptious product, with a good wallop of mustard flavour, tangy undertone from the vinegar component, and pleasing warmth from both the mustard and the chipotle content.  There is sufficient strength of flavour here to make this a great condiment for use on sandwiches, or to pep up a chunk of pork pie, without the product itself becoming lost when paired with other strong flavours, nor overpowering whatever it is accompanying either.

Described on the Mr Vikki’s website as a “lush creamy wholegrain mustard with divine chipotle chillies to give it an edge of chilli and a great flavour dimension”, we really couldn’t agree more – though the bite it has maybe gives it more of an edge than its “creamy” adjective may suggest. Texturally and taste-wise, this is a lovely product.

Mr Vikki’s rate the mustard as 3/10 on the label’s “heat-o-meter” which, within the Mr Vikki’s range (which includes the epic King and Queen Naga pastes), is probably about right for its place in their line up. This would be pretty mellow and easy going for the average chilli-head and still an acceptable heat level for those who are not regular chilli consumers, giving it a real all-round appeal.

If you’d like to give the chipotle mustard a try for yourselves (and we would highly recommend you do) it is available from the Mr Vikki’s website priced at £3.50 for a 205g jar.

Flavour 8/10
Heat 3/10
Packaging 8/10
Value 8/10
Overall 8/10

East Midlands Chilli Fest 16/17th August 2014

Event attended by Marty Greenwell

The East Midlands Chilli Festival at Newark is the first for the area. For far too long and far too far as is happens, events for chilliheads have either been way up North or way down South, so for chilli fans in the Midlands it was an event that had to be visited.
The CrowdsThe weather hadn’t been super kind for the start of the event with some of the stall holders struggling to keep their marques up, but a bit of wind and grey skies were not enough to keep the crowds away.
Mr VikkisThere were plenty of chilli producers there to show off their wares and let people sample the products. From obvious noobs asking what the hottest chillies are to the seasoned vets soaking up the heat, the UK’s artisans had it covered with a few festival exclusive products if that sort of stuff is your thing.
Chilli WizardsMr Vikki’s, Edible Ornamentals, Wiltshire Chilli Farm, Chilli Wizards, Grim Reaper Foods, Bim’s Kitchen, Capsicana Chilli Co, The Chilli Jam Man, Chilli Wizards, Chilli Alchemist and Chilli Devils will be familiar names and there were a couple new to me such as Crazy Fred’s and the Sauce Shop.
The Chilli Jam ManAlong with the chilli sauces, chutneys, jams, ciders and other consumables, there was the opportunity to buy some fresh chillies from the super hots to the not so hots. Plants were also on sales as well as caterers of the exotic meat variety. Zebra burger anyone?
Exotic MeatsTo entertain the crowds away from the Scovilles were a brass band and on-stage demonstrations from hydroponics to overwintering chillies. For those camping or stopping for the evening, local bands Skin & Bone, Acoustica and Giles Rivers Company are there for the aural delights.
Fresh ChilliesClifton Chilli Club were on hand to oversee the Chilli Eating Competition for the brave (and perhaps foolish) souls that laugh in the face of molten lead and smirk at lava cakes made from actual lava. If that was a little bit too extreme, the Lemon Easting Contest was open to the children and chilli intolerant parents.

On StageWith plenty of parking space and being easy to find (if lacking a little bit in sign posting), it’s fair to say that everyone in attendance was having a good time. Hopefully the festival will have been successfully enough that the first one for the East Midlands won’t be that last so that next year a few more of the UK producers will attend.
Chilli CiderThe festival was on Saturday 16th August and Sunday 17th August at the Newark Showground with evening entertainment and camping available too. If you missed it this time around, with luck Chilli Fiends might see you there next time.

Wristbands are cool

redhotchillifella OMG Hot Sauce Review

Review by Lady C’In – Bottle kindle supplied by redhotchillifella

This family run business established itself in 2010 with an incredible love of all things chilli. They don’t just create hot sauces; they have great ideas constantly coming. Jams, Chutneys, ketchup, oils, pickles and even dried chillies are but a few of the products they make. Alongside these, they have dry spices, a ginger beer plant making kit, and even a spherification kit (where you can create your own ‘Naga caviar’). Sounds awesomely terrifying, I must have one!

 Ingredients: Roast red pepper, pineapple juice, red wine vinegar, black treacle, Berbere spice blend, Naga powder, salt.

In a (what I must assume), 100ml rectangular shaped bottle, a deep reddish brown, very thick looking sauce awaits. The label is small, essentially utilising space well and in bold letters across the front lays the exclamation OMG. I believe this is a hot sauce. The label is white with the redhotchillifella website across the top and a small red chilli pictured in the centre. It does not brandish to what level of hot I am about to be exposed. The information given on the side says that this is a hot sauce that has a deep spice background from the Berbere spice base with a hint of pineapple and lots of Naga chilli heat. I think that might be my answer. The bottle has a red wax top to it, for a lovely touch of class.  Inside I can see flecks of spices and small pale seeds. It pours quite slowly and is relatively thick but smooth looking. Upon opening, it smells quite earthy with a little bit of a smoky aroma, reminding me of a good barbeque. There is a sweetness which is making my mouth redhotchillifella OMGwater in anticipation. Yet it does not want to leave the bottle to get on my spoon.

Out of the bottle it looks rougher, with a lot more texture than a few little added seeds and spices. It looks fleshy with several little different tones of spice showing through the thick dark sauce.

The immediate taste is a sweet and earthy taste, a little pineapple, but definitely the treacle. It certainly makes it feel a little sticky around the mouth.  The top of my mouth has attracted a lot of the sauce and is warming very quickly.

I feel a little bitterness on the back of my tongue and possibly a touch of garlic. I could be wrong as I am not overly familiar with the berbere spices. The smoky flavour revisits and brings with itself the Naga heat. Oh the Naga heat! I underestimated this product to be relatively medium in heat. I didn’t expect it to pack such a punch. After about six seconds of one teaspoon of this sauce, the heat grows exponentially. The stickiness of the treacle makes sure it touches everything in your mouth, including the roof it was sitting on. I’ve never eaten hot napalm (I personally wouldn’t suggest it), but my mouth felt like I had just given it a go. Using Naga powder is one certain way to ensure you get the heat of the chilli right into everything. When the pain finally subsides, and my shock, I can tell you that you get the same rich earthy taste, some throbbing lips and a desire to try it again, on a smaller scale.

The heat is definitely an incredible punch to add to these flavours. With the sweetness initially playing on your mind, feeling your way through all the different spices in the sauce, it creeps up on you.

I feel that this sauce would go well as an addition to many a main meal. I would suggest using it initially quite sparingly. For those that like to try different things, try half a teaspoon of it in your egg mayonnaise for sandwiches. Sounds odd, but it really works. It adds a great little bit of heat, a touch of sweetness, and you don’t need to add any herbs or salt. I also suggest it with beef in a casserole (no more than a tablespoon though, my family weren’t best pleased the first time).  As a heat lover, dip your chips in it, dip your soldiers in it at breakfast, dip your bangers in it at barbeques (goes well with Quorn too).

To try this one for yourself, take a look at redhotchillifella’s website. At around £3 a bottle, it’s a great buy.

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

Cave Creek Chilli Beer Review

Review by James Fowkes – Bottle kindly supplied by Pierhead Purchasing on behalf of Cave Creek

I have tried a number of chilli beers in the past and I have to say most of them are not enjoyable and have, if I’m honest, been pretty terrible. They have largely been mass produced for the bravado market and for people daring their friends. That said there are a number of companies I am beginning to discover with a more crafted and careful approach to developing their chilli beer so I am slowly giving them a try.

As I have mentioned before I am a fan of all things Mexican so what twisted my arm for tasting this beer was finding out that it is brewed and bottled in Mexico. With the extended summer the UK is experiencing this year it’s the perfect time to crack open a cold one and sit back to enjoy the confusingly cold heat that chilli beers bring you.

One of the importers give a nice description that Cave Creek being the desolate place that it is with excruciating heat means beer is pretty important so in 1989 Crazy  Ed Chilleen started brewing his own beer. The beer was so good city folk started to come in from all around to try it. Ed knew something had to be done to protect their precious beer, so whenever someone whined for a wedge of lime, Ed tossed in a hot Serrano chilli pepper instead, thus Chili Beer was born.

Today the brewery in Cave Creek is closed but Chili beer lives on and is brewed in Tecate, Mexico and being distributed worldwide. The Cave Creek website comments that “having a pepper in the bottle is an insane crazy idea and could only come from the mind of chillibeerCrazy Ed. Some people say the idea is better than the beer. Who knows? Either you like it or you don’t.”

Confusingly Cave creek can’t sell you their beer themselves but they can sell you their hot sauce “Crazy Eds Chilli Beer Hot sauce” Hopefully Chilli Fiends will get a chance to get their hands on this in the future!

The bottle is a typical 330ml size with attractive labelling gold labelling that entices you in. I’m not quite sure what is going on with the chilli logo on the bottle though. Is it melting? Bleeding? I can’t work it out, maybe I have missed the point but I think it’s rather strange.

Ingredients: Beer and Serrano Chilli with 4.2% ABV

One of the first things a chilli head will note with this bottle is the beautiful Serano chilli floating inside to produce the heat. When you open the bottle apart from the ever satisfying sound of a fresh beer opening you are greeted with an aroma that lets you know a chilli is there. Apparently each chili is selected and hand placed into each bottle. The beer itself is golden, crisp and refreshing like many other Mexican beers and has a better than expected overall taste. The chilli kick from the Serrano pepper is very nice and complimentary to the cold beer. The heat is not overpowering and provides gentle warmth to the palette. The combination of these two make for quite a pleasant drinking experience. This is probably the first chilli beer where I would go back for more! If you haven’t tried chilli beer before and have been put off by names such as chilli death beer (made that up but it must exit somewhere) but you are curious, a bottle of Cave Creek Chilli Beer is a great place to start. It won’t burn you but it will confuse your senses in a good way as your brain processes the cold heat

This chilli beer is available from here and I have also noted a few cropping up on the stalls at UK chilli festivals. For prices it’s best to contact them direct as bulk orders often attract discount.

Flavour 7/10
Heat 4/10
Packaging 7/10
Value 5/10
Overall 7/10

Jimmy Ginger’s Sweet Chilli Relish Review

Review by David Kelly – Bottle kindly supplied by Jimmy Ginger

Many culinary artisans have a defining product that kick started their business and for Jimmy Ginger it was their Sweet Chilli Relish. What started out as a product made for sharing with friends soon became something that was being used in a local sandwich shop and soon thereafter was being sold locally due to consumer demand.

Ingredients: Sweet peppers, sugar, cherry tomatoes, red wine vinegar, ginger, fresh chilli pepper (1% Ring of Fire, Scotch Bonnet), garlic, lime juice, pectin

The sauce is a rich red colour and comes supplied in a larger 250ml bottle and after opening it, I detect a sweet aroma with notable underlying ginger note emanating from the bottle. Surprisingly the sauce is neither overly sticky nor viscous and pours very easily from the bottle. It’s got quite a fleshy body, containing bits of pepper and tomato flesh with bits of ginger and garlic too.Jimmy Ginger's Sweet Chilli Relish

When I first taste it I detect the sweetness from the sweet peppers and sugar. Lots of amateur or supermarkets sold sweet chilli sauces are overly sweet (in my opinion) but this is not the case here. Whilst it is easily identifiable as a sweet sauce, it is not sickly like those off-the-shelf rivals.  Indeed those sauces also tend to be quite viscous and slow to pour from the bottle because of the excessive use of sugar.  Thankfully here, sugar has not been used disproportionately and a more skilful approach of using the acidic lime juice as an activator of the gelling qualities of pectin has been adopted. This allows some viscosity to be achieved without an abundance of sugar being used in the cooking process. The flavour of ginger is also particularly notable, bursting through to dominance when biting into one of the many pieces in the body of the sauce. Whilst some pieces of garlic are also present in the body of the sauce, their flavour is less prominent and more subtle due their smaller size in comparison to the ginger pieces.

Although the labelling indicates the sauce is of medium heat, I find the heat level very mild – it’s quite minimal though still detectable. With the low percentage of chillies used and those being chillies of (comparatively) low SHU rating that not surprisingly. Given the history behind this sauce, I can understand that the heat level is probably just right for the non-chillihead mass market; however for the more demanding chillihead it falls short in the heat stakes – it would be good if a hotter variation of the sauce could be developed for such individuals. I’m not sure of the balance between the two chillies in the mix but given that I don’t detect much of a Scotch Bonnet flavour, I would presume that the mix of chilli is mostly made up of Ring of Fire chillies. The Ring of Fire chilli is a hotter cayenne variety (~85,000 SHU, some 15x hotter than the average Jalapeno) that is popular with growers as it ripens early and is a prolific cropper of fruit.

As a sweet chilli sauce it goes wonderfully well as dipping sauce for the likes of Dim Sum, fish cakes and spring rolls, in addition to working well as a finishing glaze to chicken and prawns. For vegetarians it also pairs really well with halloumi cheese where the sweetness of the sauce cuts through and contrasts well with the saltiness of the cheese.

The sauce is available directly from the Jimmy Ginger website at £4.50.

Flavour 7/10
Heat 2/10
Packaging 5/10
Value 7.5/10
Overall 7/10

Tesco Trinidad Scorpion Chillies Review & Tasting Video

Review and video by Rob House – Chillies purchased from Tesco

UK supermarkets have traditionally been a bit disappointing when it comes to shopping for fresh chillies. Until a couple of years ago most simply offered red or green chillies, but one of the first to buck the trend were Morrisons with the introduction of loose scotch bonnets and jalapeños as part of their Market Street initiative.

Morrisons weren’t the only supermarket to spot the increasing demand for spicier foods though and in 2012 Tesco introduced the Tesco Trinidad Scorpion BagSuper Naga; a pungent chilli which averaged a whopping 1.1 million on the Scoville heat scale.

The Super Naga and many other chillies are grown for Tesco by Salvatore Genovese at his chilli farm in Bedfordshire. The farm currently produces over one million chillies per week making it the largest farm of its kind in the UK. To top it all, Salvatore is growing something even hotter this year – the Trinidad Scorpion!

“It could be that the Trinidad Scorpion is way too hot for the UK market”, says Salvatore, “But for the Bedfordshire Burner [the Super Naga], I was getting calls from chilli-heads all over the world and it went down a storm, which is why I decided to grow an even hotter variety”.

Many chilli-heads will be familiar with the Trinidad Scorpion as the ‘Butch T’ strain of the pepper was previously recognised as the world’s hottest until it was knocked off the top spot by the Carolina Reaper in November 2013. Salvatore’s scorpions aren’t quite as hot as the Butch T or Carolina Reaper, but still average an impressive 1.2M SHU; that’s several hundred times hotter than a jalapeño!

Currently, you can only find Trinidad Scorpions in 235 of Tesco’s 3,378 stores. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find two bags at Tesco Extra in Bursledon, Hampshire.

Being no stranger to spicy challenges, I decided to sample a whole pod. In hindsight, that may not have been my finest idea as you can see in the video below.

Well, I have to admit that was much hotter than I was anticipating. That was definitely one of the hottest peppers I have ever tried. You’ve been warned – don’t try this at home!

With the seeds and placenta removed, the aroma of these scorpions is quite pleasant. It’s predominately fruity with some floral undertones. Unfortunately, the taste is a bit of a mixed bag. Consumed raw, the fruitiness of the chilli is overpowered by the chemical taste of the capsaicinoids found in the chilli’s oils. The chemical taste was indiscernible when added to a curry though, so these peppers would be a great addition to a stew or other similar dish. Tesco describe these chillies as “Ideally used in Jamaican cooking. Its scorching heat and distinctive fruity aroma makes it the chilli of choice for cooks wanting a new experience”. I think this is a fair description.

Tesco Trinidad Scorpion InsidesThe packaging is fairly typical for Tesco except for the addition of the “Super Super Hot” sticker. Personally, I would rather see some bolder packaging, as given a casual glance there is very little to distinguish these chillies from the others in the Tesco range.

Currently, these chillies are only available in 15g packs which equates to two or three chillies per pack. Priced at £1 they’re great value for use as a casual cooking ingredient, but a bit on the expensive side if you wish to use them in sauces or preserves.

Overall these Trinidad Scorpions from Tesco blew me away. If you’re a chilli-head who can’t get enough heat then these are the perfect chillies for you.

Flavour 5/10
Heat 10/10
Packaging 6/10
Value 8/10
Overall 8/10

South Devon Chilli Farm Chilli Jam Review

Review by James Fowkes – Jar kindly supplied by South Devon Chilli Farm

South Devon Chilli Farm’s story has been well documented in the media over the last few years, including features by BBC Gardeners World, BBC Radio 4, BBC News 24, BBC Spotlight News, Westcountry TV News, Saturday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Amateur Gardener Magazine, Devon Life, The Daily Express, Western Morning News and BBC Good Food Magazine to name just a few. The company and farm are also a favourite of TV chef Jamie Oliver too.

The team at the farm have been growing chillies on an increasingly large scale since 2003. Now over ten thousand chilli plants each year are grown and they harvest tonnes of fresh chillies. Most of their chillies grown go straight into their own range of chilli sauces, preserves and chilli chocolate.

I have also been fortunate to visit the farm and the onsite farm shop and café too. I would highly recommend a stop here if you are passing through. Unfortunately I was out of season on my visit so there was not much to see but I did leave with a full bag of chilli goodies from the shop. The café also offers great views out across the farm while enjoying a meal and sampling your new sauces.

Every product sold in their range proudly displays the simple yet very cool logo of the South Devon Chilli Farm. This Chilli Jam is no exception with a basic white labelsouth devon chilli jam covering half the jar allowing you to easily see the sticky goodness and occasional chilli seen inside.

Ingredients: Red Peppers (40%), red onions, Lemon Puree, Fresh Chilli (1%)

The Chilli Jam I have to review has won a couple of awards and is South Devon Chilli Farms best seller. I have tried many different home made chilli jams and a few jams at various festival tasting sessions, but I have not really had a whole jar to myself before. This Jam is prepared with 40g of fruit per 100g so I’m expecting a decent true pepper taste rather than synthetic flavouring of some store bought versions. Opening the jar smell that greets your senses is a little like an onion chutney with a hint of red pepper. The consistency in the jar and on my spoon is also a little more chutney than solid jelly based jam I am use to from other store bought jams.

Priced at £3.57 for each 227g jar or six jars for £19.00, the naturally luminous red jam spreads effortlessly across my morning bagel. It’s lovely to see lots of little chilli seeds have made it onto the portion I have just spread too. Thankfully there aren’t hundreds of seeds in the jar to catch your teeth on rather just enough to add character and flavour.

This Jam tastes wonderful, I would go so far as to say one of the best basic jams I have ever tasted, very addictive to the point of consuming almost half a jar while writing this review!  Coming to the name ‘chilli jam,’ this jam is made of peppers and yes it does contain chilli however if you after something to pimp up the heat of your breakfast this isn’t the product for you. You can feel and taste a hint of chilli in the background that adds to the wonderful overall package. Also if you concentrate hard there is a pleasant lingering heat sensation after you have tried some too. But with only 1% chilli what did you expect right?

I can see why this Jam has won taste awards, though calling it chilli jam may be correct it may be considered a little cheeky by some. I wouldn’t stop at the obvious addition to breakfast though and try using this jam with cheese, eggs, fish, cold meat and chicken too.

For more information and other products from South Devon Chilli Farm, why not take a visit of their website?

Flavour 9/10
Heat 1/10
Packaging 6/10
Value 8/10
Overall 8/10

Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipes Hell Flakes Review

Review by Clare Cameron – product supplied by Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipes

First things first, I love the packaging. It is clear from the offset that this is an American product. The imagery of a chef with horns and the pitchfork is playful yet indicative that this product is hot. A pale red label with flames serves as a background with the white block font giving you details. I like the subtle way it advertises the other Top Secret Recipes products and a handy link gives details of cookbooks and recipes.

Ingredients: Dried Chilli Peppers

The product is extremely versatile, I have had this on pizza, potatoes, mushrooms, pasta, and chicken. I can’t think of anything this product wouldn’t work with. I was particularly surprised by how good this went with Portobello mushrooms; it seasons the mushrooms better than salt or pepper and complimented them really well Hell Flakeswithout being overpowering.

Overall I really like this product, it seems to last and last it is a really great blend and the label advises me ‘A fiery five-pepper blend. Starts sweet, finishes hot! I would however like to know what the blend is. I have done some research online and found it contains bell peppers and Habanero as it sweet and hot peppers, it would be good for this to be on the label so us chilliheads know which varieties are used. Some other variations at different levels of heat would be good. A ghost pepper or Carolina Reaper version would be interesting.

This seems to be a fairly established brand in the US but relatively unheard of in the UK, created by Todd Wilbur who is the host of Top secret recipe and author of Ten Top Secret Recipes cookbooks. I think one of the highlights of this is that it doesn’t contain salt, so many grinders and shakers do which is a shame when you want maximum heat but no salt.

Top Secret Recipes offers books, recipes and spices on their website. To find out more check out their comprehensive website

Flavour 7.5/10
Heat 6/10
Packaging 8/10
Value N/A
Overall 7.5/10

Westland Peppers Hot BBQ Sauce Review

Review by James Fowkes – Bottle kindly supplied by Westland Peppers

One sunny Bank holiday weekend I had the pleasure of reviewing a product from Westland Peppers in the Netherlands, their Hot BBQ sauce.

Westland Peppers is a family business that was started in 1930 by Mr. Henry Boekestijn. He started cultivating including grapes, peaches, leeks and cauliflower. Henry Boekestijn was succeeded by his son Piet Boekestijn. Meanwhile, the three sons of P. Boekestijn: Henk, Dolf and Pieter were able to develop into a company with a wide assortment of peppers and various special peppers. This range is available all year round. The company is located in two locations in Westland. A company in Gravenzande the Maasdijk and the second company in De Lier to Mayor Crezeelaan, hence the name Westland Peppers.

This bottles design has a nice wide neck for optimal ‘glooping’ of sauce where ever you choose. The label has wonderful farm feel to its design with a papery texture, some nice comical text, and a bit of heritage displayed with the company name and ‘since 1930’ printed just underneath. The size and shape of both thewestland peppers bbq sauce label and bottle also allow you to see the wonderful thick looking contents within,

Ingredients: Lemon Habanero, Orange snack peppers, vinegar, sugar, garlic, sea salt, pepper, ginger syrup, herbs and spices.

With the British BBQ season in full swing in-between storms this product seemed the obvious choice to test out with my next outdoor meal. The first thing that made me curious was my association of BBQ sauce usually being brown in colour accompanied generally by a smoky flavour. This sauce is a glowing orange and there are no percentages next to the ingredients, could this be one giant pile of habaneros? The second point was the ingredient ‘snack peppers’. Looking around online this appears to be a common sweet little pepper with no heat level to speak of. ‘Snack Pepper’ also appears to be translated from a Czech word that children use meaning “yum yum”. With the Westland site hinting that these snack peppers are main ingredients of the sauce I am picturing a sweet distinct flavour that slowly turned into a lasting spicy habanero. Sounds a perfect match to me!

Opening the Jar your senses are greeted with a glorious sticky, sweet, peppery flavour. You can see large chunks of what I assume to be the mixed up habaneros and snack peppers. The taste is simply divine! Fresh, sweet, sharp a sense of the vinegar in the background and a hint of ginger to tantalise the taste buds but not overpower any of the peppers or habanero. There is heat on the first mouthful but not too much while you are distracted with the sweet flavours the intense fruity heat of the habanero gently builds to a wonderful crescendo of an experience. Immediately I was diving in for more, covering my food in the stuff, adding to burgers, salads, potatoes everything my BBQ plate had to offer. In fact the bottle only lasted that meal it was so tasty. This is perhaps not a BBQ sauce itself but a mixed version of a relish and a sauce combined great for BBQs. I don’t really care what Westland Peppers call it as long as I can have some more of it. I can’t recommend this highly enough!

Not too sure where you can pick this up in the UK but you can purchase direct from Westland Peppers here for a mere 3.95 Euros, cheaper than most UK sauces available! (Excluding the inevitable postage of course). Drop them a line at their Twitter for more details.

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

The Great Dorset Chilli Festival Ticket Competition & Info

With the chilli festival season well under way (see our calendar for a list of the various events) there will be plenty of places to go and try out the latest hot sauces, or to challenge yourself in a chilli eating competition. One of the big festivals is the Great Dorset Chilli Festival, which is now in its fourth year.

In conjunction with Chilli Fiends, the Great Dorset Chilli Festival is giving you the chance to win a one day family pass for free entry to the event on either the Saturday 2nd or Sunday 3rd of August (but you will need to travel there under your own steam). All you need do is follow @ChilliFiends and @GrtDorsetChilli and Tweet the following in your Twitter timeline:

“@ChilliFiends @GrtDorsetChilli I will brave the fiery heat. The Great Dorset Chilli Festival 2nd/3rd Aug #iwantowin”

The competition is open from now until the end of Friday 25th July, the winner will be selected at random and announced shortly afterwards.

Need more details on what entertainment the festival will provide? Then carry on reading, we have all the information you need below. Sadly there is no camping over the weekend on site, but tickets can be purchased in advance should you not be a Chilli Fiends winner on the Great Dorset Chilli Festival website, so long as you do so before 28th July.

Great Dorset Chilli Fest

Competition of all kinds is heating up for the Great Dorset Chilli Festival this year, taking place on the first weekend of August in the beautiful surroundings of the Earl of Shaftesbury’s St Giles Park.  From cook-offs to chilli eating, and sauce to plants, professional and amateur chilli lovers alike will be doing battle to take home a coveted red rosette.  For those new to the scene, expert chilli growers and chefs will be on hand to offer top tips and demonstrations … this year’s novices could be next year’s winners.

This year, the Great Dorset Chilli Festival team have once again joined forces with the UK Chilli Cook-off Association to create this regional heat of the national chilli cook-off competition.  The cook-off will be held on the Sunday of the 2 day Festival, and those who believe they can cook the best chilli in Dorset are encouraged to enter.  The rules are simple: teams have four hours to cook a gallon of chilli-con-carne (or vegetarian chilli) from scratch, using their own combination of ingredients and spices.  The winner goes forward to the national finals, with the national winner competing in Las Vegas in the Chilli class of the World Food Championships.  Don’t feel like cooking?  Don’t worry!  The chilli festival visitors will get to taste the entries by paying a donation to the CLIC Sargent children’s cancer charity in exchange for a sampling spoon.

Those with green fingers have already been nurturing chilli plants for several months, ahead of the annual chilli plant competition on Saturday 2nd August.  Amateur growers are welcome to enter their plants into either the open class or the Numex Twilight variety class, exclusively for specimens of this striking ornamental chilli.   Experts from Sea Spring Seeds, Simpsons Seeds and Amateur Gardening magazine will select the winner of each class on Saturday afternoon, and each will be awarded a £50 garden centre voucher.   Meanwhile, the pros, namely Dorset-based chilli and vegetable seeds specialists, Sea Spring Seeds, will be displaying only the very best examples of this year’s crop in the Chilli Plant Exhibition tent.

Often dubbed as the highlight of the day, the Chilli Eating Competition will be testing the limits of even the most hardened chilli-heads.  Brave competitors will subject themselves to ten rounds of increasingly hot chillies, which they have to consume in its entirety before they progress to the next round.  The last man or woman standing will be crowned the winner.  Willing volunteers need to email to request an application form ahead of the event.

For those who like it hot, but don’t like to have an audience, the Tasting Tent will be the ideal destination.  Professional producers will be going head-to-head to discover who creates the best chilli sauces, chilli jam and spicy chutney, and it’s up to the public to decide!  A blind tasting will give visitors a flavour for what is on offer to try and buy from the many stall holders.  Organisers are exceptionally proud to introduce their brand new 2014 Great Dorset Chilli Festival sauce, exclusively created by The Upton Cheyney Chilli Co.  But sauces and condiments won’t be the only things on sale; a huge variety of traders will be selling everything from local cheeses to chilli seeds, and ceramic kitchenware to English sparkling wine.

With all these fresh ingredients on offer, expert chefs will be showing how to use them in the Demonstration Tent.  Focus will be on creating excellent family suppers using chillies, showcasing home-cooking at its best.  New for this year, White Pepper Cookery School’s very own expert on Japanese cuisine will be talking to visitors on Saturday, whilst Christine McFadden of Dorset Foodie fame will be sharing her ‘hot’ tips on Sunday.  Any budding competitors for next year’s Chilli Cook-Off mustn’t miss Cook-Off Organiser, Jon Doody, who will be sharing his insider tips on how to make the best chilli-con-carne.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, there will be plenty of family entertainment throughout the weekend; falconry flying displays, fire breathing, and performances by Alfredo the Magician.  For hands on fun, there will be face painting, tree climbing, carriage rides, bouncy castles, and a caricaturist.  For the ‘big kids’, there will once again be a great selection of performers in the music tent, including Dorset skiffle band Quinns Quinney and The Montgomerys.  The beer and cider tent will quench thirsts, with the help of the brand new cocktail tent.

It almost goes without saying that there will be an amazing selection of the very best artisan food producers and spicy street food vendors.  With even more caterers attending this year, there will be something to suit the spicy and less-spicy palate alike; from vegetarian and gluten-free snacks and curries, to gourmet sandwiches and exotic tagines.  If you feel the need to cool off, Dorset-based Purbeck Ice Cream will be on hand with their delicious offering, whilst others will be serving up everything from frozen yogurt to traditional French crêpes.

The development of the Dorset Naga, at one time reputed to be the world’s hottest chilli, has really put Dorset on the map for chilli enthusiasts, so be sure not to miss this fun, friendly festival guaranteed to be Dorset’s hottest event!  Advance reduced price tickets are on sale now, so head to the website to pick one up!