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Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my Chilli fans!

May you new year bring you lots of hot sauce and a successful and productive chilli season. I hope to build up my site throughout the year documenting the plants I grow and showing you what happens as well as new sauces I try throughout the year with mini reviews.

Thank you all for your time on my blog

Jamo Pepper

Grow Your Own Chilli Plants: The Basics

In response to a few requests here is my notes on basic chilli plant growing from seed ready for 2011 planning. There are many grow your own guides out there and many go into much more detail which can be useful but chili pepper growing does not have to be complex or difficult, just fun! so have a read and get started and enjoy your 2012 growing season.

Growing your own red hot chillis from seed can be very rewarding!Whether you are growing indoors or outdoors, anyone can do it and you don't have to be into gardening or a great gardener to be successful! All you need is some seeds, compost and seed trays/small pots. Then a sunny space, a little care and in no time you will have your own beautiful plant brightening up your home and cooking!

Where to Begin:

Jalapeno Chillis

The key to good chili plant growth is finding a nice sheltered sunny spot. Then just keep them watered and fed throughout the growing season. I have found that some types grow easier and better than others. The fun will be finding out which ones work for you. A good place to start though is with Jalapeno seeds (sometimes called pizza chillis in garden centres) or maybe the Apache Chilli. I have found these to be very hardy and successful plants.

Sowing the Seeds:

Chillis need a temperature between 18C and 22C with lots of light. The seeds first need to be germinated indoors to protect them from the cold. If you have a greenhouse or a Propagator (cheap and easy to pick up from and local DIY/garden centre) you can put the seeds in as early as February. If not sowing is best left until late March or early April.

Sow seeds thinly in trays with moist good compost. Take care to get the balance right, not dry but not soggy either. Once the seeds have germinated and grown two true leaves, plant each individual chilli plant into a small pot about 75mm again with plenty of light and space.

Once these mini plants have a healthy root system and are about a ruler length in height you can plant them out into their final position.

Twilight Chilli
Where to put your Plants:

If you are short of space your chilli plant will be more than happy on a windowsill. Even better in a greenhouse if you have one. Last year when we had the good summer I found my plants did well in the garden out on the decking in a sunny sheltered spot.

Growing On:

One established chilli plants are best transferred to larger pots. Feed your chillis with a liquid fertiliser until they are established again then transfer to a high potash fertiliser to encourage your plant to flower and produce fruit. Try to handle the plants by their seed leaves only. This will avoid crushing them and the possibility of causing death by crushing the stem. Pay careful attention to keep them weed free and watch out for common pests as you will more than likely get some! see ideas below for dealing with them. Chilli plants need just the right amount of water too, sporadic watering stops growth and too much water can damage the plants. I always find this difficult to get the right balance but if you try and keep to the Little and often rule you will be fine. Once you have more interest in growing superior yields you can investigate various growing its to ensure your plants get what they need when they need. I have yet to try one of these these kits but will be soon!

Now you have Plants how do you keep them Happy?

As your chillis grow they will need support this just needs a simple small wooden stake in your pot secured with garden twine.

You have two choices when choosing to harvest your peppers. Harvesting regularly the green peppers which will stimulate the plant to produce more and more peppers. Or, leave a few choice peppers on the plant to fully ripen. You can watch Jalapeno chillis turn from green to black to red!

For further advice and more specialist products, such as self watering pots for bumper harvests, to help you in your chilli production visit greenhouse sensation. or check out
 The Complete Chilli Pepper Book: A Gardener's Guide to Choosing, Growing, Preserving, and Cooking

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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

@CaJohnFieryFood Frostbite Hot Sauce

CaJohn's Frostbite Hot Sauce
CaJohn's Frostbite Hot Sauce
Got this CaJohn’s hot sauce to experiment with as I was curious and I like most sauces in their range. The chance to put some heat in my drinks and cocktails with Frostbite Hot Sauce ‘The world's first white hot sauce’ caught my attention. It has a droplet insert fitted so you can add a small drop at a time. Just as well as you only need a tiny amount to have an effect! A bottle of this stuff should last quite some time. The front of the bottle says “Nothing frosty here! Extremely Hot” and I can definitely vouch for that.
It's has a watery white appearance and you can see small crystals floating in it. You need to shake the bottle before use. It disappears in any drink except for maybe the odd crystal floating on top. I was a little unlucky when I tried my bottle and put some drops on my finger to test first before adding it to a drink. I think I managed to get one of the pure crystals as it blew my head off and I’m used to strong heat.

There is some controversy over the actual heat of this sauce and dispute among chilli heads. The sauce is extremely hot and not for beginners with somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,00 units linked to its heat. Using only the ingredients vinegar, water, salt Aquaresin of Capsicum. Based on my first experience I would class this more towards the 1,000,00 units but that was neat from the 148ml bottle. But many would disagree. I think it varies depending on what you mix it with or if you get a crystal. Either way it’s a great for your collection and for a whole range of drinks as it mixes right into the drink and doesn't float at the top like most hot sauces or extracts. Pick some up at Scorchio.

Check out other hot sauce reviews on my site using the selections on youe left and enjoy.
Bloody Mary
Tomato Juice ( I use V8 Vegetable juice)
A Good Brand Vodka
Worcestershire sauce

Hot Margarita
3 parts any good aged tequila (Ocho if you can get it)
3 parts Lime Juice
1 part Triple Sec
3-4 drops of CaJohn's Frostbite Hot Sauce

Classic Frostbitini
2 shots. Vodka
a dash of Vermouth
3-4 drops of CaJohn's Frostbite Hot Sauce

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Chilli Pepper Petes Dragon Slayer Sauce

Chillipepper Pete's Dragon Slayer - Crystal EnhancedIf you have tried the original Hot Sauce Dragons blood from ChilliPepperPete then this Chillipepper Pete's Dragon Slayer - Crystal Enhanced sauce is the next level up! It contains12 million scoville rated extract as well as 15 million rated chilli crystals, this sauce demands respect and appreciation from the proper chilli enthusiast. I first tried at the West Dean Chilli Fiesta when ChilliPepper Pete himself gave me taster from the innocent looking 60ml bottle. Even in small quantities you get that real endorphin chilli hit that we all chase as the concentrated capsaicin enters your system. This sauce is a powerful one, but at the same time it has a hint of the oriental about it with a distinct and wonderfully well defined fruity, rich almost plumy flavour. But when you try it you wont be focusing on the flavour hints first time I can tell you, but you will be smiling!

Ingredients: blueberry, vinegar, naga bih jolokia, prunes, crystallised ginger, cherries, green Tabasco chilli, black treacle, 12 Mshu extract, 15m chilli crystal

Check out other reviews I have done here in the Hot Sauce Review Section

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Chillis Make you Happy - Heston Blumenthal Tests Theory.

Psychology - Chillis Make you Happy

Psychologist Paul Rozin suggests that eating chilis is an example of a "constrained risk" like riding a roller coaster, in which extreme sensations like pain and fear can be enjoyed because individuals know that these sensations are not actually harmful. This method lets people experience extreme feelings without any risk of bodily harm. (1) I have read chef Heston Blumenthal gave his chef some chilli oil and monitored their brain activity on a MRI scan. It showed the part of the brain which registers heat was right next to the part of the brain which makes us feel happy! (7)

Check out more chilli facts in my Chilli Facts section or gorw some of your own to make you happy too usign these tips

to get your happiness levels up I would reccomend trying out one of the sauces below. Just Click on the picture to get hold of some and enjoy!

Dave's Mini 12 PackDa' Bomb Ground Zero

(1) Paul Rozin1 and Deborah Schiller, Paul; Schiller, Deborah (1980). "The nature and acquisition of a preference for chili pepper by humans". Motivation and Emotion 4 (1): 77–101.
(2) Chef fed chilli in brain experiment

Friday, 17 December 2010

Dragons Blood Hot Sauce

Chillipepper Pete's Dragon's Blood
Dragons Blood
This 100ml bottle of sauce is a must in your collection when you need that proper lasting chili kick. Dragons Blood is among Chilli Pepper Petes best award winning creations containing large amounts of naga-bih jolokia and 6.4mshu chilli extract.

Dragons Blood Hot Sauce has been tried by new Star boy band The Wanted causing much fun and laughter within the group. Some of them could take like Max from the wanted it and some of them.... well lets just say they weren't quite expecting their dinner to be that spicy!... who do you think survived the tasting in the group??

Dragons Blood packs flavour as well as power, this bottle has a regular spot in my cupboard and I have inflicted this sauce on my work colleagues with hilarious effect... they came back for more despite the pain because they loved the taste.  Now they have bought bottles for themselves too.

Pick up some Chillipepper Pete's Dragon's Blood from Scorchio by clicking on the bottle or the link above and taste what The Wanted and so many others have come to experience and love!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Previous Worlds Hottest Chilli Pepper Grown in Cumbria ?!?

I Heard about a new world record Chilli Pepper and quickly look it up, here is the info from the daily mail online, link below for further information. I have tried sauces produced by this man and they are some serious stuff. I'm sure his next sauce 'The Naga Viper Sauce' will not disappoint!!

The Naga Viper rates an astonishing 1,359,000 on the Scoville scale, which measures heat by the presence of the chemical compound capsaicin. (look at the scoville scale on my site to see how this compares) The result is a record breaking chilli that will make your eyes stream, throat burn, nose run and much, much worse.
Naga Viper

Experts at Warwick University carried out tests on the chilli and officially declared it the hottest.
It beat competition from the ferocious Bhut Jolokia pod - the previous holder - to take the title of the world’s hottest chilli in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Creator, Gerald Fowler, a full-time chilli farmer for five years, said: ‘When they grow chilli in India or the Caribbean they’re used to the heat and the drought. When they’re grown over here I think they fight back against the harsher climate and produce even more heat.’

Read more:

2011 Growing Season - The beginning

I thought I would share some photos from my 2010 chilli growing season. Below is a picture of my chilli shack / potting shed where many of my chilli plants are born and have been sleeping for the winter from 2010. I hoep my 2011 season will be successful too!

2010 Crop:

Here are some of my successes from last year. These plants have been grow outside in sheltered sunny spots and have done rather well.

Twilight Chillis
Jalapeno (Pizza Chilli)

Scotch Bonnett