Thursday, 7 November 2013


It is no wonder that Chilli Queen has been around for nearly three decades. Yes, it might not be the most flashy brand spoken of in the chilli world but one fact remain: that after nearly thirty years Chilli Queen is a contant in many people's lives. It does not follow the whims of fashion, it bases its integrity on tried and tested chilli jellies, ketchup and brown sauce that are simply to die for and don't we love them for it.

Everything started off with the Original Chilli Jelly as its name indicates which later on got some added spice and became the Extra Hot Chilli Jelly. Soon followed other awesome flavours such as Ginger & Lime, Cranberry and Mint but if we have to pick a real winner... well we couldn't actually because there are two that just have to be put on a par, we are of course talking of Chilli Queen's Sundried Tomato and Balsamic Vinegar Chilli Jelly that makes us weak in the knees everytime we have a spoonful of it and the mighty Chilli Queen's Extra hot which is what every stir-fry, curry, sandwich and grilled chicken needs!

It has been commented on many times that this is also a brand that provides chilli products that are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs, a fact very much appreciated amongst our customers who have been looking for a long time for a brand that would follow their dietary requirements. 

All in all you can be sure to never go wrong with Chilli Queen. It has been tried and tested and will always be a staple range of condiments to suit everybody's mood and chilli needs!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Mystery Boxes

Mystery Boxes are Here!

With Christmas fast approaching we thought we would give customers the opportunity to get Devil’s Garden’s mystery boxes although these are also great to get as a personal treat or for someone’s birthday.

We have ensured that all tastes are catered for so you can choose between three levels of intensity between Mild to Medium, Medium to Hot and Extreme. We also thought it would be nice for people to be surprised and not know at all what they are getting so there is a mystery box called “surprise me!” which will be a selection of produce across our range.

You also have the choice to spend £15, £25 or £35 per box as we are trying to be as flexible as possible and meet customers’ expectations on a constant basis.
Your boxes will arrive in the normal packaging of bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard. We have decided to post each box for a fiver rather than calculate the delivery cost by the number of items so customers really do get a bargain every time.
We hope that these Devil’s Garden’s mystery boxes will be a great way for people to distribute great chilli produce to friends and family and make others discover new hot sauces, preserves, chilli chocolates and many more hot treats. We look forward to developing this side of the business and will endeavour to make these a staple feature of The Devil’s Garden.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Focus on Chilli Crisps


We tried a LOT of chilli snacks whilst setting up the Devil’s Garden (what we wouldn’t do for the chilli cause!) and setting up a list of quality spicy snacks reflecting what is currently available in the UK market while bearing in mind people’s tastes and chilli pain threshold.
In performing this intense search we discovered great products such as LapSnack Chilli Puffs, Dave’s Insanity Popcorn, Hot Headz Satan’s Nuts, but then found the ultimate chilli snack that soon became part of our bestsellers.

And what can this top spicy treat be other than Blair’s Death Range of chilli crisps? We have introduced these crisps to chilli beginners as well as hardcore chilli fans and absolutely everybody loved them! Although named “Death Rain”, the range is rather medium to hot but still packs a real punch! The great thing about Blair’s crisps is that whatever you feel like at the time you can be sure to find a flavour that suits you.
For an everyday treat our tastebuds usually lead us to Blair’s Cheddar crisps. Instead of that chemical processed cheese that leaves an oily film around your gums and teeth you get real flavour that lingers long after you have eaten it but in a subtle and enjoyable way. Blair’s chilli crisps are also much appreciated for their crunchiness. It might seem obvious but this is a feature we often find disappointing in mainstream crisps. Blair’s version look and feel like proper potato slices toasted in the oven.
We were utterly crushed to hear that Blair’s discontinued their Habanero crisps which were definitely worth storing by the crate! Fret not though as Blair’s Buffalo Wings crisps are a very good alternative. Just hot enough and with a wonderful chicken flavour, these crisps are for those that crave a substantial snack in the middle of the afternoon or after a hard day’s work.
Blair’s Death Rain Chipotle crisps are quite unique. People seem to have a love/hate relationship with these but even the most reluctant go back to find out what makes these crisps so wonderful. Is it the smoky flavour and underlying heat? Is it the fact that as you get to the bottom of the pack, things get more and more pungent and intriguing? We still haven’t made up our minds and don’t intend to as we feel it’s a losing battle they are that good!
Our bestseller’s  flavour of crisps by Blair’s by far is the Habanero. These are definitely not for the faint-hearted and many a customer found themselves in an impossible position of wanting to finish the bag as the habanero flavour is so wonderful but really struggling to handle the heat which makes the whole reputation of habaneros. We often have to sell these by bags of 5 or 6 as people can never get enough.
We cannot wait for Blair’s to develop its range of chilli crisps but you can be sure to have good basics already available at the Devil’s Garden with Cheddar, Buffalo Wings, and Habanero

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Mad Dog Collector's Hot Sauces

Mad Dog Collector's Hot Sauces

If there is one thing that the Mad Dog brand has taught us it’s to definitely not mess around with it! Having started making hot sauces in his own kitchen, David Ashley, the man behind the brand, has now made a very honourable name for himself in the chilli world as well as the general public. With infamous chilli sauces such as Liquid Fire, Ghost Pepper or Green Amigo, Mad Dog hot sauces are not for chilli beginners unless you have a good resistance to chillies... and/or have a death wish!

Mad Dog is particularly known for its range of collectors’ sauces, the most famous one being Mad Dog 357 Collectors Hot Sauce. Made with a mere 6 million Scoville Unit of chilli extract, this is a heat you have to experience to believe. It is so potent that Mad Dog provided a miniature sampling spoon that looks more fit for Lilliputians to use rather than actual humans! Despite its heat though you can definitely taste the fresh habanero chilli peppers that have been used as a base to this great chilli sauce.

Mad Dog 357 Silver Edition Hot Sauce is slightly different in the sense that cayenne chilli peppers have been introduced along with habaneros to form a tantalising mix that will leave you panting if you are still alive of course after being hit by Mad Dog’s 6 million SHU chilli extract! This is a whole new league of chilli heat and one that should never be underestimated! Again this bottle of hot sauce comes with the iconic bullet-shaped keyring containing the sampling spoon.

Although not technically Collectors’ hot sauces, Mad Dog’s Inferno Reserve Hot Sauce and Mad Dog’s Revenge are well worth mentioning as these are some of the bestsellers at the Devil’s Garden and with good reason.

Mad Dog’s Inferno Reserve Hot Sauce is as subtle as a machine gun and will hit you full on... with pleasure as much as with pain thanks to the mix of habanero chilli extract and Jalapeno chilli pepper whilst Mad Dog’s Revenge is just plain silly when it comes to heat as it is made with 1 million SHU chilli extract, enough to make your kitchen counter smoke if you spill a drop on it! (let it be clear that we are not advising you to try that out by the way!).
If you want a tamer Mad Dog go for the Mad Dog Green Amigo ad be transported south of the border.

Mad Dog is and will remain one of the top players in the chilli world for a long time to come thanks to a wide range of fantastic hot sauces that in our point of view should all be made collectors’ items.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Chilli Jellies

Chilli Queen - Chilli Jellies

Chilli Queen is one of these brands that might not be at the foreground of the chilli world but you can definitely see at a glance why they are still around after nearly 30 years of trading. Not only have they got a wide range of die-hard fans but they also have one simple quality: it is a brand which believes in its products and knows better than to follow the whims of fashion.
We first met the man and woman team behind the brand at West Dean chilli festival back in 2010 and were impressed by their success but soon understood why so many people were keen to gorge on their samples. The first thing we tried was Chilli Queen's Sundried Tomato & Balsamic Vinegar Chilli Jelly which to this day is still on top of our shopping list apart maybe from the Brown Sauce that is just out of this world and is probably our favourite chilli brown sauce ever thanks to the amazing flavour and zing brought on my the use of Scotch Bonnets chilli peppers.
Chilli Queen is known for creating chilli jellies rather than hot sauces and don't we like them for it. Yes of course we are hot sauce fiends but it is nice sometimes to divert from too often troded paths and go on a bit of a taste adventure. And that is what Chilli Queen is as a brand, an adventure. Take one of our bestsellers for example. The Coriander and Shallot Chilli Jelly is one of the items that we were really keen to try and boy were we in for a treat. We right away saw the potential of such a chilli condiment and now use it on a weekly basis in stir-fries, curries or as a marinade smeared on good quality chicken or turkey.
The Devil's Garden team is managed by a man who thinks that Trinidad Scorpion chilli peppers should be consumed over breakfast so we have to admit that Chilli Queen's Extra Hot Chilli Jelly gets used quite a lot although it is by no means the hottest of chilli jellies out there but just provides a nice kick that will fix any chilli craving you might have. This is a hotter take on Chilli Queen's Original Chilli Jelly that brought on their success and won Great Taste Award Silver Medal not so long ago. This is simply a chilli jelly you can use as an everyday condiment, to spice up your mayonnaise or enhance your cheese platter.
One of the jellies that is also very popular with our customers is the Ginger and Lime one. Just try and picture this golden goodness melting slowly in couscous or risotto or flavouring your stir-fry and you can even add it to stuffing to bring the best out of the meat! We know quite a few people that also like smearing it all over a chicken before roasting. The lime tends to make the skin really crispy while the ginger adds a whole other dimension to this great traditional dish.
And talking about traditional, why not try Chilli Queen's Cranberry Chilli Jelly? We brought it to our respective families last Christmas and not a morcel was left in the jars after they had had their ways with them! The mild chilli kick and cranberry sweetness are like no other and you really find yourself getting spoon after spoon of the stuff out of the jar without realising it!
The last but certainly not least of Chilli Queen's jellies is the notorious Mint one. I mean, come on, where would we be without a bit of mint condiment from time to time? How would we cope having slow cooked lamb if we couldn't add a touch of chilli minty wonder right at the very end? We have even added Chilli Queen's Mint Jelly in gravy so that you get all of the greatness in just one lift of the arm!
May we add as a bottom note that all of Chilli Queen's jellies are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs, a fact that has been appreciated by many of our customers who have been struggling to find anything chilli related that suits their dietary requirements.
All in all we love this brand for the sheer fact that it is and will remain a constant in our lives, a brand that will carry on giving a good name to the chilli world and bring a lot of pleasure to the general public.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Extreme Hot Sauces – The Devil’s Garden Top 9 plus a Ghost Salsa

Most of us content ourselves with chilli products to delight our senses and more often than not end up going for trusted brands or certain types of chillies. And then there are the nutcases, the mad, the truly certifiably crazy who choose to converge towards the extreme spectrum of the scale where only Spartans have gone before. We thought we would devote an article in homage to those who have made it past the first spoonful... and others who have not...
First to go in our top 9 of extreme hot sauces Mad Dog Inferno Hot Sauce which has got the flavour of Jalapeno peppers that so many people love as well as intriguing spices, cloves and molasses. The concentrated pepper extract is enough to make a grown man cry though, a side effect even more noticeable in Mad Dog Inferno Reserve Hot Sauce which has added Habanero, creating an interesting combination of flavours with the Jalapeno.
Dave’s Insanity Hot Sauce, one of our bestsellers, does not really need an introduction. From its creation a few years ago people haven’t been able to get enough of that delectable hot sauce, a fact even more remarkable when you realise that the only ingredients used are tomato sauce, onions, hot peppers and of course pepper extract. Dave’s Ultimate Insanity Hot Sauce is one of the heavyweight champions of the hot sauce world with a predominant Habanero flavour and even more heat than its predecessor.
One could not trail upon the road of extreme madness without mentioning Blair’s Sudden Death hot sauce. In view of the increasingly worrying names given to these hot sauces you can imagine how immoral these products are starting to be. The Siberian Ginseng and clove honey are there to distract the senses but let’s face it, Blair’s Sudden Death hot sauce is just that, a good thing to have after a busy day at work when you’ve lost the will to live...
An increasingly popular brand is Chilli Pepper Pete, especially since they introduced the chilli world to their Dragon’s Blood hot sauce. This award winning sauce, another one of our bestsellers, is not only full of chilli extract but also thankfully exceptionally tasty. The attractive 100ml bottle is great to carry around with you and makes a perfect gift.
Our last three products are equally evil in hotness but with different tastes to suit the bravest of palates. Hot Headz Who Dares Burns 2nd Assault will give you immense pleasure... and pain, but will also be a real treat for your tastebuds thanks to the smoky chipotle that lingers on your tongue.
Mad Dog Revenge is just about as barmy as it gets. With pepper extract reaching 1,000,000 Schoville Units, this is only to be used as a food additive and even has a strong disclaimer and warning label on the bottle so beware folks!
Last but not least is Chilli Pepper Pete’s Satan’s Shit. If ever there was a name tailor-made for a chilli product, this is it. Only one member of the Devil’s Garden’s team was brave enough to try it and barely made it alive. After gallons of milk poured down his throat and a few satisfying slaps (for us of course!) to keep him conscious, he managed to formulate two words: “Wow” and “Ouch”!
For a real kick try Dave's new recipe for his Salsa  "Dave's Insanity Ghost Pepper Salsa".   If you thought the first version was hot this one is insanly Hot Hot Hot.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Dried Chillies

Dried Chillies


Fresh chillies are everybody’s favourite but what are we to do during those long winter months when chilli cravings take hold of us, leaving us frustrated and eager for a chilli fix?
The answer is of course to use dried chillies. Many think that the flavour and heat get compromised during the drying process but fret not, this is definitely not the case. We have been drying our own chillies naturally and in a dehydrator for a while now and always get fantastic results. If anything the flavour is more concentrated due to the absence of water. Here are a few tips on how to handle and use them:

The first thing to remember is that, as with any dried goods, dried chillies have to be kept in the right conditions for them to last the distance. Dried chillies can be kept for years if stored right but for best results in flavour we would recommend using them within 6-8 months. Any airtight container will do the trick, a Tupperware being of course the best, but freezer bags work as well as long as kept in a dry, cool and dark place.

Now one might be tempted to think that since chillies are dried they are ok to handle and are not as harmful as fresh chillies. We have learned at our expense that this is not the case at all and would advise you to wear gloves or at least rinse your hands with lemon juice, either fresh or concentrate, after handling the dried chillies. For the hotter chillies such as Bhut Jolokia, Trinidad Scorpions, Scotch Bonnets or Habaneros you should really use a mask too as the micro particles coming out of the dried chillies can be pretty potent and irritate eyes.
The great thing with dried chillies is that you can use them whole, ground or chopped up but they can also be re-hydrated. To do so, immerse the dried chillies in a bowl full of hot water (not boiling as this will scorch the chilli skin) and leave to re-hydrate for at least 10-15 minutes. If your kids do not like chilli bits in their food you can always ground whole dried chillies using a small coffee grinder although if you want finely ground dried chillies we would recommend that you buy them as powder (such as Blair’s Death Rain shakers) or flakes (Dartmoor Chilli Farm’s ones are superb) as it can be pretty time-consuming and arduous to do it yourself. Professionals have specialist tools that turn dried chillies into really fine powders so why not leave it to the best?

A question that a lot of people ask us is how much dried chillies to use. Well of course it depends on how many people are coming round for dinner and what dish you are making. Milder dried chillies such as Pasilla, Guajillo, Ancho, Mulato or New Mexico can be used whole and even stuffed or roasted but hotter ones such as dried Chipotle, Habanero or De Arbol are to be handled carefully depending on your resistance to chilli of course. Half a habanero would be plenty for a 4 people meal for example while 1 or 2 De Arbol will really fire up your belly!
Versatility is immense with dried chillies so do not hesitate to try out various combinations of flavour or heat with your food until summer comes round again, bringing you gorgeous fiery pods!