Sunday, 28 September 2014

I went to the Chilli Farm (again) and bought...

A couple of weeks ago myself and my good lady razzed up the A140 in search chuckles and whatnot in Norfolk, as is LAW in this house the journey demanded a stop off at the Chilli Farm in Mendlesham.  We decided to grab some lunch from the awesome Deli restaurant and while we waited for our grub I bipped over to the sauce shop for a stock up.  Before we get onto that I thought you might like to see the menu board at the restaurant.

The selection of chilli sauces available at the chilli farm seems to be expanding all the time, so I had to make some fairly arbitrary choices, based more on whim than anything else, but I'll do my best to try and explain my actions anyway.

From left to right...

Korean Crackers
I have no idea what these actually are, but they're really nice, and have a heat that doesn't catch you until you've stuffed about ten of them in your cake hole.  Not ten at once.  Maybe.

Total wild-card this one, it looks like some snake meat that I tried when I was a teenager (and loved) but it also looks like leather.  This might have to be an end of a beery evening type snack.

Salsa Verde
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before on this blog, it may look like snot but combine with some dipping crackers and you've got a damned fine snack.

CA Johns Reserve Apple Smoke Bourbon
This was partly bought because there's a whole lot in that bottle for the money it costs!  There's not much heat to this sauce but it's deliciously smokey, absolute bliss on a burger.

Chilli Farm Smoky Chilli Sauce
This was on clearance, and is worth much more than the quid it cost me!  It's not my favourite chipotle type smokey ketchup but for a quid you really can't go wrong. I think this sometimes pops up in supermarkets.

Blair's Original Death Sauce
Much like 'Dave's' sauces 'Blairs' sauces come in a bewildering array of varieties so it's hard to know which to try first.  Well at least it would be if the producer wasn't kind enough to have a bottle named 'ORIGINAL'.  This Death Sauce has really swiftly become a favourite of mine, I can't yet put my finger on why, but when I do I'm sure I'll blog about it.  This sauce came with a neat little skull keyring as a freebie.

After lunch had arrived and had been consumed I decided I couldn't resist another quick look at the chilli sauce selection, and that quick look resulted in a second haul of goodies.

So here we go again, in a roughly left to right order:

Chilli bread mix
My wife has just got a bread maker, which we LOVE, so chilli bread mix was just too tempting.

Dave's Temporary Insanity Sauce
Dave's 'standard' Insanity Sauce is a concoction that I really shouldn't like as much as I do, partly because it contains chilli extracts (to boost pain) and also because if I have more than two or three drops on anything I spend the next day feeling like I've been kicked in the guts by a donkey who I've wronged in some way.  So I decided to try out the milder version, and I'm glad I did!  I can eat this one without my eyes bleeding and getting a loud buzzing noise in my ears.

Dave's Insanity Sauce
I bought this as a gift for a friend.

Dipping crackers with hot pepper
I really love these crackers, and after all, I needed something to dip in the salsa verde I bought in my first haul!

Cottage Delight
This is a standard must-have sauce in my house.  I won't rattle my gums about it here, but if you want to find out why I love this so much then go HERE....

The Cambridge Chilli Sauce Company - Smoky Chipotle Chilli Sauce
This was another store cupboard essential I was stocking up on.  This chipotle sauce is so good I could pretty much drink it straight from the bottle!  Full review here...

So there you have it, all in all another very successful visit for every reason other than my diminishing bank account!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

I met a chilli sauce hero at Hyde Hall!

Today I dragged my ever-tolerant family to the Chilli weekend at RHS Hyde Hall in Essex, my wife is a professional gardener and Royal Horticultural Society member so I have to be honest and admit the idea was hers entirely.  She knew the fact they had a chilli weekend would lure me out of bed on a Saturday morning and so there I was, half-asleep being transported down the A12 with the promise of chilli related fun.  Fun and 'early morning' are not two words I usually associate with each other.

When we arrived at what I thought was a 'chilli festival' but turned out to be a 'chilli weekend' I found a few marquees and a live band punting out passable versions of the kinda songs we all like to tunelessly mumble along to.  Because we were on hallowed horticultural ground I was expecting the exhibitors to be a mix of plantsmen (and women) and chilli sauce sorcerers, which they were.  Sort of.

There was a fine selection of folk to advise those who wish to grow their own chillies, a few curry spice suppliers (who sadly I didn't have time to visit) but there was just once stall selling hot sauce.  It was a little disappointing from the perspective of a chilli sauce fan, but the fantastic surroundings made it almost impossible to be disappointed with anything at all.  When I saw who the sole sauce seller was there was absolutely no way I was anything other than chuffed daft!  So who was the only fella there selling chilli sauce?  Read on my friend...

Hyde Hall Chilli Weekend.

I met the master of bhut jolokia death!

In my long and mostly mundane past I've met a few mainstream famous folk, interviewed them, worked for them etc etc etc but I've never been terribly starstruck.  Today I met the man behind Norfolk Heatwave, creator of the ESSENTIAL ' Caribbean Certain Death Ultra Hot Chilli Sauce'.  This is a sauce that I hold in such high-regard it's almost a little embarrassing.  Norfolk Heatwave are all over this blog like a cheerful rash, and today I actually got to meet the man behind one of the best chilli sauces on the planet.

Sadly I didn't get much of a chance to chat - I've run exhibition stalls many times myself in the past so I was very aware that it would be very unfair to take up too much of his time.  Instead I just gushed about how brilliant his Caribbean style bhut jolokia sauce is, told him about how every time I visit Holt in Norfolk I buy up every bottle Budgens has on sale, then shuffled off a little red in the face, apologising for being a bit 'stalkerish'.

I did get a chance to try a new sauce the man himself had on sale, and no doubt I'll blog about that at some point in the near future.  I did manage to snap a cheesy photo though!

Check out Norfolk Heatwave at

Poor fella must have been thinking 'who is this freak?'