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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Grow Your Own: How To Water Chillies

I have pulled together some watering tips to help you give your chillies the right amount of water they need to flourish with out damaging them when you give growing your own a go.

Chili Plants Cant SwimChillies hate wet feet! Ensure your plants have lots of drainage and don't sit in a tray full of water where they would need a snorkel! Water from the top and allow the excess water to drain out of the roots by putting holes in the bottom of the pot. This will help to reduce fungal infections of the roots.

Keep it Natural
If you have a water butt at home, great use this water where possible. If you don't and if you have time try to avoid using tap water straight away. By letting it stand overnight in your watering can it will firstly let the temperature get up to room temp so as not to shock the plants and let some of the chlorine evaporate giving your plants get cleaner water.

Dont Forget Them.
Regular watering in crucial, letting your plants dry out then giving them a big water can flush out valuable minerals from the compost. I aim to water at least every 2-3 days. If its sunny and your plants dry out obviously water as needed. Regular watering will place less stress on your chile plants and lead to less flower drop and a better crop.

Liquid Feed
When combining watering and liquid feed avoid the temptation to use strong doses. I have learnt this the hard way in the past being too eager. For basic feeding using liquid tomato feed dilute it to half the recommended strength.

I am testing out an optimal watering and feeding system to see how good it is. Its called the ChilliGrow, check out my review here or click on the picture below for more information.

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Evil One

The Evil One Hot Sauce
@GrimReaperFoods were a new company to me. On a regular trip to Chilli Pepper Petes store to stock up I noticed that this sauce first had a very cool name The Evil One Hot Sauce and was Fiery Foods UK chilli award winner 2010.

“and so it was, with the sands of time expired, the Reaper came for what now was his to collect, however his plans were far more sinister, his instructions were simple, to remain amongst us, to increase the heat, and to be known from now and for ever as ‘the Evil one’

With a build up like that and always eager to try a new hot sauce and support new uk chili suppliers I picked up a bottle. Grim Reaper Foods are a very new company and their first sauce lives up to its name. The 100ml bottle of hot sauce contains Scotch Bonnet chile, orange capsicums, red capsicums, onions, cider vinegar, oranges, white wine vinegar, sugar, lemons, carrots, naga jolokia chillies, salt, citric acid, chilli oleoresin @ 6% Pure (1 million Scovilles) So as you might guess it has a good kick to it!

Alongside the kick you get a delicious combination of citrus flavours from the orange and a hint of sweetness with the heat making this a sauce like no other I had tried before.
I have used this Evil One Hot Sauce covering chicken wings and drumsticks to take advantage of the sweet sticky flavour and caramelising through cooking. Its great too with fish,  burgers or just to spice up your favourite dish. Beware though a bottle this size and this tasty will not last you very long and you could be calling on the reaper sooner than you expect. If you would like to try some pick up a bottle by clicking here to challenge the Reaper! Enjoy.
Since writing this review for Grim Reaper Foods I have learnt that the reaper has now launched his second sauce The Rookie Goblin currently available from Hot Hedz Sauces  I have yet to try some but hope to soon and will let you know what it is like.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Chilli Pepper Petes Naga Headhunter Sauce

Chillipepper Pete's Naga Headhunter Sauce@CPPete has brought out a new Head Hunter hot sauce based on the great naga chili pepper. Some of you may remember that there used to be three head hunter sauces. In my opinion the best of the three is winning the race. The bottle says:

"This sauce has been a New age ketchup for the seasoned chilli head. Use liberally 3 times a day. Even works with pudding. Splash it all over."

Chilli Pepper Pete makes great sauces in my opinion and he is without doubt my favourite UK producer. I have long been a follower from his early days at my local markets. Many of his sauces are award winning power houses with heat not for mere mortals. This all natural Head Hunter Naga based hot sauce from chilli pepper pete is a delicious mix of sweet and savoury mixing together pineapple, tomato, onions, fresh naga chilli, dried naga chilli, Aleppo chilli, sugar, garlic and salt. The combination of enough heat from the naga to satisfy and a wonderful flavour that you will find any chili head reaching for again and again however hot you like your sauce. I used an entire bottle at a BBQ once and now it is on my shopping wish list for my next order! Click here to get some Chillipepper Pete's Naga Headhunter Sauce

Oh and if you are reading Pete or Rose I love the new labels for the bottles too!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Visit to the South Devon Chilli Farm

@SDCF_co_uk are lovely people who will welcome you when you arrive. Over Easter I paid a visit to them on their farm and it is indeed as I had heard a chili lovers paradise! Following your winding journey you are greeted at the farm by stunning views and a stylish wooden hut.

South Devon Chilli Farm began in 2003 with just a few chilli plants and has since grown to over 10,000 chilli plants every year! Whats exciting about this place is they don't just grow chillis. SDFC have a farm shop too where they sell fresh chillis and make a range of hot chili sauces, preserves and even chilli chocolate.

The good stuff doesn't end there either, there is a chilli cafe where you can eat your favourite food while enjoying the view too. The farm, shop and cafe are now open from 10-4.30 seven days a week.

That's not all either, once you are full of hot chili can go on a tour among the fruiting chilli plants in their show tunnel and see all kinds of different chilli! Also you get to see where the large scale magic of chilli production takes place.

Check out their website for directions, updated pictures and more information here South Devon chilli farm. I would recommend this as a day out to any chilli fan. I have also bought some sauces and hope to get reviews up soon, just click on the south Devon chilli farm link on the left side bar to see some.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Frank's RedHot Chile n Lime Hot Sauce

Frank's RedHot Chile 'n' Lime Hot Sauce - 354ml
Franks RedHot Chile n Lime

Frank's RedHot Chile 'n' Lime Hot Sauce is a very tasty all round hot chili sauce from the USA. This is the kind of stuff you can keep in your cupboard and bring out for everyone. Where you might reach for Tabasco sauce think about giving this one a try. The bottle says Frank's RedHot Chile 'n' Lime Hot Sauce  is a party-hearty surge of flavour. A heat wave of chile and spice blended with a tangy burst of citrus, it's a match made in hot sauce heaven.

The hot chili sauce uses the Cayenne red pepper which gives it a distinct flavour without the intense heat of other sauces making this accessible to all people that want to add some warmth to their food. Once you have tried it you instantly see it will go with most foods tacos, steak, nachos, salsa, salads, fish, fajitas, burgers chicken....... I have already used this in tacos last night and its great click on the picture to pick some up.

The sauce is also great for adding to drinks as its quite thin making it perfect for experimentingwith a Bloody Mary or where ever your imagination will lead you like a Flatliner Shooter:

Pour the Tequila to nearly half way of the shooter glass
Slowly pour in sambuca against the side of the glas so it creates two levels.
Finally add the Franks RedHot Sauce drop by drop to taste
Knock back the shooter and enjoy
Click here to  bring me a bottle of Frank's RedHot Chile 'n' Lime Hot Sauce - 354ml so I can warm up my food and drink

Friday, 17 June 2011

Chilli Pepper Pete first Hospitalisation

Chillipepper Pete's Satan's Shit

Just found out that Chilli Pepper Pete had thier first hospital admission of the year from their Chillipepper Pete's Satan's Shit hot sauce paste. This occured at the Taste of London Show and the jar has now been taken away for analysis! I told you this stuff was powerful check out my review here. Learning this news makes me want another jar even more.... could I have a chilli pepper addiction? ;)

Chilli Pepper Plant Pictures from West Dean Gardens

Here are some pictures taken from the chilli fiesta at West Dean Gardens in 2010. How many of these had you heard of before? Hopefully these chili plant pictures will give you some inspiration of what seeds to pick up at this years festivals and garden shows to grow your own at home.
Aji Brazilian Chilli Pepper

Yellow Mushroom Chilli Pepper

Venezuelan Cone Chilli Pepper

Tricolour Variegata Chilli Pepper

Black Cuban Chilli Pepper

Chilli Pepper

Baloon Chilli Pepper

Purple Tiger Chilli Pepper

Conchos F1 Chilli Peppers

Clavo Chilli Pepper

Esplendor Chilli Pepper

Iranian Round Chilli Pepper

Golden Nugget Chilli Pepper

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Worlds Hottest Chilli Pepper

What now a new bhut jolokia or hotter ghost chili ........Yet again there appears to be a new hottest pepper in the world. The title passes on once more. This time to a Taiwan farmer, beating the previous worlds hottest pepper an Australian who said two months ago that his chilli was the most fiery. This new as yet un named chilli comes in at up to 1.5M Scoville units. Hotter than the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, unveiled by Australian Marcel de Wit, and yes its hotter than the recent Naga viper, bhut jolokia and ghost chili!

Yeh's laboratory determined the heat unit of his chilli and he said he would send it to the New Mexico State University laboratory for certification in autumn. In the meantime, he planned to debut his chilli Sunday at a chilli-eating contest in Taipei.

Check out a picture of the farmer and the new chilli here Will the New Mexico State University validate this new chili heat level and who will be the first to make a sauce from it?
I would love to know where I can get my hands on some chilli seeds for this pepper and also whether you will need protective clothing to handle the chilli!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Satans Shit Hot Sauce: Satans Last Supper

Chillipepper Pete's Satan's Shit@CPPete made this delightfully named Satans Shit extreme paste from chilli pepper Pete contains the following potent mix of vicious ingredients fit for Satan's last supper:  fresh naga, prunes, vinegar, blueberry juice, cherries, green Tabasco, sugar, 12m chilli extract, 15m crystalised chilli extract. All this packed into a little 55ml jar, but don't despair at the size you really don't need much of this on your plate! I love chilli products that come with a warning and this is one of those sauces "Beware of this product and use extremely sparingly as it is incredibly hot!!!"

Of chilli pepper Pete's range must be amoung his most evil product yet. There is even radio proof  available of just how hot this stuff is of Jeff Lloyd from Absolute radio sampling Satan's Shit live on air! click here to hear his reaction. and laugh as he rapidly goes down hill and starts to loose his voice very funny!

At chilli tasting events I have witnessed the brave and the provado of people trying this sauce to impress their friends, much to my ammusment one described it like a napalm bomb had been dropped in his mouth!

When I tried the paste for myself to see what all the fuss was about I wasn't disappointed. Following the intense wonderful flavour you get from all Chilli pepper Pete's sauces you suddenly get hit with the heat, the pain was only compensated by the large endorphin rush alongside a feeling of dizziness and an uncontrollable smile at the experience. This paste is not one for the unprepared and should be used with caution as the warning states. In my opinion who listens to warnings.... the delusional high this stuff will give you is well worth the deeply satisfying burn and sustained pain level. Pick some up for yourself I want to join the last supper and get hold of some of this shit look out too for the rare christmas version santas shit...

Monday, 13 June 2011

Marie Sharps Habanero Pepper Sauce

I like a good habanero sauce with my eggs in the morning and this recent addition to my hot chili collection hit the spot this morning. Marie Sharp's Habanero Pepper SauceMarie Sharp's Habanero Pepper Sauce - 148ml claims to be the finest product of its kind. The make a change from other hot chili sauces you may be familiar with this unique carrot-based blend achieves the great balance between flavor and heat, the addition of lime sharpens up the sauce too. Marie Sharp's secret homemade recipe utilizes the potent red Habanero pepper. The peppers used are produced in the fertile paradise of Belize. The bottle claims that her red Habanero is considered to be the hottest variety of pepper known to man. Though these days we all know other hotter varieties of chili have been produced such as the wonderful naga pepper featured in may popular sauces today. Marie has spent many years cultivating a Habanero worthy of her recipe and her special peppers bring some real magic to this sauce and a real home made feel to the whole packaging and presentation. If your a hardened chilli fan then this sauce will not blow your socks off with the heat but the flavour is wonderful and different so give something new a try. I already know it goes well with eggs in the morning but by the taste of it Marie Sharps Habanero sauce would be a great accompaniment to BBQ chicken or just in a pitta bread or even as a side to some good Caribbean food like Levi Roots cooks on TV. click here to get some homemde Marie Sharp's Habanero Pepper Sauce

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Home Grown 2011: The ChilliGrow from Greenhouse Sensation

Throughout building this blog site and interacting with other keen chilli growers, I came across the ChilliGrow sold by Greenhouse Sensation. I have heard endless good reviews of this product and wanted to try it out for myself to boost my grow your own chili crop. So I have decided to put the chilli grow to the test! The ChilliGrow is designed together with the chilefoundry and also south Deavon chilli farm so already it has the seal of approval from two great groups who know their chilli.
Feeder Mat

Watering chilli plants correctly is hard even when you know what you are doing. The ChilliGrow does this for you using a 7 Litre water reservoir.

The three 6 litre pots looked quite big to me but the website assures me that this is the idea size to encourage both root and fruit growth. A nice touch is that the try is also drip proof so you can grow inside if you are restricted for space or perhaps in your greenhouse if you have one too.

The pots each have holes at the base to put through feeder mats that dip into the reservoir below. These will ensure that your plan remains perfectly watered.

Chilli Nutrients
In the pack you will also receive so real easy instructions and also some chili plant some nutrients to last you one season.

To see how good the good the chilligrow is and what it could do for my crops I have selected three different chilli plants. A Hungarian Hot Wax, Jalapeno and a Krakatoa.

The Hungarian Hot Wax is store bought from B&Q, the Jalapeno is home grown and finally my Krakatoa chilli plant is in its third year and has produced bumper crops the previous two years. What will happen??? I will let you know. Below is a picture of all three plants at of June 2011.


Saturday, 11 June 2011

South Devon Chilli Farm Smokey Chipotle Sauce

South Devon Chilli Farm Smokey Chipotle Sauce@sdcf_co_uk have produced a real marvel of pure smokey delight in this bottle South Devon Chilli Farm Smokey Chipotle Sauce. I recently visited their new farm shop and picked up some supplies and this hot sauce didn't last long once opened. This Hot sauce has a pleasant gentle heat that just adds flavour to anything you put it with. When you pick up the bottle you see the description....

"We oak- smoke our own jalapeno chillies to make the 'chipotles' which give this sauce its wonderfully rich flavour.  use it as you would a ketchup, or as a party-dip (on its own or mixed with yoghurts or sour-cream).  A traditional Mexican sauce, great for wraps..."

and really anything you want to add some deep smokey flavour too, you could try it in a chile con carne like my recipe here or anything your imagination lead you to really! I will hopefully be working my way through their range of hot chili sauces and letting you know what they are like when I can get my hands on some. Before then if you woudl like a bottle of chilli smoke click here to pick some up from Scorchio

South Devon Chilli Farm

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Daves Gormet Insanity Salsa

Dave's Gourmet Insanity Salsa
Daves Gourmet Insanity Salsa
 Im a big fan of Daves Gourmet range and am slowly working my way through his hot sauces (next one Dave's Gourmet Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Hot Sauce). This humble looking 340g Jar of salsa from the states contains some dangerous stuff! Any chili product that comes with a warning like this "Use this product with caution. Keep away from eyes, pets and children. Not for people with heart or respiratory problems" on the packaging is something I want to try! Now I like things hot but this stuff is something else and is possibly the hottest salsa I have ever tasted! I don't know how Dave did it but the heat level from the Jalapeno and Habanero combination in this jar is way more than you would expect!!

The Jar itself claims to be the 'Hottest Salsa in the Universe!' and I think that Dave may be right I had a jar in my fridge for nearly a year well past its use by date and guess what no mould even went near it! One day I had the jar out as part of a buffet and a friend tried a bit, we found him in the kitchen with a bottle of milk crying much to our amusement. if you want to experience this then click on the picture or get some here  i want to go insane too with Dave's Gourmet Insanity Salsa

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Elephants Hate Chilli

Did you know farmers in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent have found the use of chilis effective in crop defense against elephants. The chillis are spread on fences and other structures to keep the elephants away. Because the elephants have a large and sensitive olfactory and nasal system the smell of the chilli causes them discomfort and deters them from feeding on the crops. This can lessen dangerous physical confrontation between people and elephants. They even make sauce from the chillis produced by the plants, Ive not managed to get my hands on any yet to try but click here to see if they have any in stock and let me know what its like.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Chilli Pepper Pete news

A brief update from me and positive news for Chilli Pepper Pete. following an online conversation it looks like Pete may be getting a new shop location in Brighton. Nothing is completed yet and i dont want to jinx it so i cannot reveal anymore at this stage until all is sorted but well done and good luck to the chilli pepper Pete team! Keep watching for updates and details of the new place when i can reveal more!

Before them check out their online shop to find out about products or also the fiery foods festival

Long Live Chilli Pepper Pete!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Capitan Bravo Habanero Hot Sauce

Capitan Bravo Habanero Hot Sauce
Capitan Bravo Habanero Hot Sauce
I was pleasantly surprised on receiving this hot sauce through my 'scorchio hot sauce club'. Capitan Bravo is not someone I was aware of and if I am honest would probably not have chosen this chilli if it hadn't been selected for me by luck. Which is why I think it deserves a mention and a mini hot sauce review.

The chili sauce itself comes from Mexican and is 100% HOME-MADE claiming on the bottle "an exceptional flavor for any kind of meal."

The whole feel and flavour of this chile sauce is something different to what you will be used to and this is a good thing! The sauce contains olive oil which emulsifies giving the sauce a consistency like a salad dressing which at first i found very strange. However the distinct flavours of the Mexican grown habanero, carrot, salt, spices and, onion powder combine with the oil in a wonderful way. I have had to think a bit of different ways to use this unique wonderful sauce. It make a tasty but messy taco and great to drizzle over chips or a over dull salad to bring it alive! Where every you might use a dressing in your meals try this hot sauce as a substitute.

I believe it is always good to get some Mexican spirit into you cooking so pick some Capitan Bravo Habanero Hot Sauce up here.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Grow Your Own: Chilli Plant Flower Drop

Having the flowers drop off of your prize chilli plant can be frustrating when you are all set to go for a great crop in your grow your own season. This is called blossom drop and happens to many other plants too. The reason is that the conditions are not right for the chili plant. Remember that some flower drop is natural so don't get too concerned if all your flowers don't become chillis!

Krakatoa Chilli Plant with Flower Drop

Over watering - Too Much love

Chilli plants hate to go paddling. Over watering causing the flowers to drop so it may be worth scaling back your watering to maybe just twice a week unless the plant obviously needs a top up. Timing this can be hard and I often don't water my plants correctly event when trying.

Lack of Pollination

This is perhaps the most common cause of flower drop and usually occurs when plants are grown inside like a windowsill or in a greenhouse. This is because inside there is a lack mini flying creatures to pollinate you plants.  Flies, bees or butterflies love to pollinate but obviously live outside.A simple quick solution is to pollinate manually by using a cotton bud or small paintbrush to dab pollen from one flower to the next and so on as each flower opens. You can tell if this has worked because just the petals will fall from the flower.The stalk and centre part of the flower will then produce the chilli. Continue to do this once a day for a couple of weeks and you should soon start to see some fruit setting.

Leaving Chilli to Ripen too Long
If your plant already has a few chillies on that are ripe and you have resisted eating them, be sure to pick them to encourage further fruit to set. If left on a plant when ripe, you may find that any new flowers drop failing to result in any new fruit as the plant uses it’s energy to maintain the fruit on the plant rather than produce any new chillies. So the choice is yours, a few ripe tasty chillis or a larger crop.

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