Wednesday, 27 April 2011
There are so many chilli sauces, chutneys, spicy snacks and chilli produce in general to choose from these days that it is easy to overlook brands that have been around for a few years and endeavour to offer chilli lovers good quality chilli goodies year after year. They might not be the most fashionable ones or the most talked about but their products are definitely not to be pushed aside.
Take Mr Vikki’s for example. Adam, the man behind the brand is well known for being “the king of chilli preserves” in the north and his chilli chutneys and curry pastes go down a storm at every chilli festival. But some of his chilli sauces and chutneys sometimes get left in shadows such as his “Banana Habanero”.
Winner of a double gold award in 2009, Mr Vikki’s Banana Habanero made a lot of noise when it came out. The combination of bananas and ginger is not an obvious one but is truly delicious whilst the heat coming through from the habanero chillies is just right.
Mr Vikki’s Hot Brinjal Pickle is another example of a great chutney that slowly comes out of fashion but is no less delectable. In turn citrusy, smoky and nutty with a pungent heat that lifts the rich taste of fresh aubergine, Mr Vikki’s Hot Brinjal Pickle is a real winner. It is a fantastic sweet and tasty chilli chutney that works well on its own or with mature hard cheeses or cold meats.
Harissa can be found all over Europe and many chilli suppliers try their hands at producing this popular chilli sauce originating from Tunisia. Mr Vikki’s Lemon Harissa has a hint of garlic and the fresh tanginess of lemon that unlike many other harissa produce we have tried prevents the mix being too heavy for the palate.
So why not go beyond the fashionable chilli sauces, pickles and chutneys out there and try some of Mr Vikki’s chilli preserves for a change? You certainly won’t be disappointed!
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Yes, of course what we meant when naming our online business “The Devil’s Garden” was to indicate the spicy nature as well as the wide range of our products. But as we go along we find ourselves wanting to branch out and provide other elements that, just as with chillies, are there to enhance the flavour of your food.
This is why we decided at The Devil’s Garden to launch a section of “Herb Seeds” (in the Grow Your Own category). We have been providing chilli seeds to quite a few customers for the past months (NuMex Big Jim, Scotch Bonnets and Satan’s Kiss chilli seeds being the bestsellers so far) and were asked several times to look into selling herb seeds as garden or cooking herbs are widely used in many form of cuisine from European to American and of course Eastern.
Our first impulse was to get several types of basil herb seeds as this is a garden herb that is found in many a recipe and goes incredibly well as we all know with Italian food. We also got some Oregano, Common Thyme and Sage herb seeds as these are staples of beloved roasts and stews. Dill, Peppermint and Tarragon work wonderfully well in salads and with fish, as well as parsley. We of course got some coriander herb seeds as this is a very popular herb that is of course at its best in curries. We also decided to stock some Chamomile herb seeds as not only is the plant really ornamental with daisy-like flowers but the medicinal virtues and soothing sensation of chamomile are notorious, really relevant when you have been over-doing it with chillies!
There is still plenty of time to grow your own kitchen herbs so why not have a look at what the Devil’s Garden has got to offer and if you feel that you need a bit of help, you can browse our “Growing Equipment” section where Root Riot Cubes and plant food such as Chilli Focus (works just as well with herb seeds) can be found.
Sunday, 17 April 2011
Well the weather seems to be improving (at last!) and the smell of barbecues is starting to be noticeable in gardens at weekends so at the Devil’s Garden we thought we would give you a few tips on how to make your party stand out:
Although technically not a chilli product, Bad Byron’s Butt Rub is a great way to add flavour to your meat. This seasoning has been running for 14 years in American and our compadres on the other side of the Atlantic can’t seem to get enough of it. The great thing about Bad Byron’s Butt Rub is that you can use it on its own or mix it with honey, olive oil, crème fraiche, butter, Worcester sauce and many more condiments and smother your food in it to create a marinade to die for!
From the creation of The Devil’s Garden we had lots of requests for a produce with hickory flavour so we hastened to offer Hot Headz Hickory Smoke sauce to the public. This produce doesn’t have any chillies either but what it lacks in heat it definitely makes up for in flavour. Just a few drops of Hot Headz Hickory Smoke will add depth to your food and you can also mix it with a chilli sauce that you really like that doesn’t have chipotle or a smoky flavour to it.
One of our biggest bestsellers at the Devil’s Garden whatever time of year is Dave’s Smokin Nuts. Not as hot as Dave’s Burning Nuts (thankfully!) these spicy peanuts are an absolute winner for flavour and still pack a punch. Flavoured with Piquin and chipotle chillies, this is a chilli snack we are always salivating about and one that is also always popular with friends and family.
Part of the 7 deadly sins collection, “Bliss” hot sauce from Sinful Sauces is a new favourite of ours. This is a medium hot chilli sauce that really works well in barbecues as is uses the smoky chipotle chilli and naga for the heat mixed in with slowly roasted tomatoes, onions, red wine vinegar, garlic, black pepper and spices.
So get the charcoal out, prepare your utensils and let’s get grilling!
Saturday, 16 April 2011
The Devil’s Garden is keen to get all chilli sinners to use and abuse some of Sinful Sauces’ of hot sauces as they are really worth the detour! 7 flavours are available in this deadly sins collection but we wanted to highlight the savoury ones to you:
“Wicked” hot sauce is made with slowly cooked roasted red peppers, juicy tomatoes, red onions, red wine vinegar, garlic, black pepper and rosemary and is using the Serrano chilli pepper (too often overlooked) for heat. This is a fantastic everyday condiment that we are using with everything that lands on our plate from chicken to fish, sandwiches and cheeses.
Now if you want something to give you a good chilli kick just try Sinful Sauces’ Wrath hot sauce. Naga is of course the dominant chilli pepper, counterbalanced with fragrant applewood smoked garlic, tomatoes, sweet red peppers, onions and red wine vinegar along with black treacle and a hint of lime to boost the whole flavour. We tend to use this sauce as you would ketchup so anything from burgers to chips, fish, pasta and cold meats.
“Bliss” is a different hot sauce altogether. It leans towards a barbecue sauce but we tend to use it in a lot more things than on grilled meats as it really is a wonderful hot sauce with a smoky flavour from chipotle chilli peppers that leaves us panting and intense heat coming from naga that takes us to an especially blissful place!
The Sinful Sauces’ 7 deadly sins collection does exactly what it says on the tin, providing a wide range of delectable hot sauces that range from mild to hot to trot and we cannot wait for sinners to tell us what they think!
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Sinful Sauces are fast gaining in popularity thanks to their “7 deadly sins” collection of hot sauces. Not only is the design of the brand very appealing but the time and effort put in by the owners of Sinful Sauces, a husband and wife team, really shows in the quality of the hot sauces.
There is a taste for everyone in the 7 deadly sins collection but our focus for now is on the sweet hot sauces such as “Envy”. The mildest of the lot, this is not your average hot sauce as Kiwi is used as a main ingredient along with a hint of lime for sharpness and green jalapenos to provide the heat. The result is a hot sauce that is incredibly alluring in colour and wonderfully refreshing in flavour.
Sinful Sauces “Passion” hot sauce is a tad hotter as orange habaneros have been used although in such a delicate way that the balance of pineapple and passionfruit is not affected. We have tried this hot sauce in smoothies and milkshares and it is just out of this world. It also works really well poured over a good piece of sponge cake.
A lot of chilli suppliers either use apricot or mango in their produce but Sinful Sauces Addiction hot sauce has got both combined along with a hint of cider vinegar so the mix is not overly sweet. Here again orange habaneros bring in some heat which means the hot sauce is entering the realm of medium hot sauces.
Last but certainly not least in the sweet hot sauces of 7 deadly sins collection is “Sublime”. Sinful Sauces have got this hot sauce just right, using clementines as the main ingredient counterbalanced with honey, lemon, lime and a touch of cider vinegar. We are really glad they used the Scotch Bonnet chilli pepper to create the heat as its particular flavour goes really well with fruity aromas whilst bringing in some heat!
We have had these hot sauces from Sinful Sauces for a couple of weeks now and just cannot decide on a favourite they are that unique so we cannot wait to see which ones becomes the most sinful!
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Chilli Pepper Pete is renowned for his unique hot sauces that combine not only innovativeness but also great flavour and of course a lot of heat!!
One of Chilli Pepper Pete’s hot sauces that made him famous is of course Dragon’s Blood. Dragon Slayer and Dragon’s Blood Batch 13 quickly followed but Dragon’s Blood is the hot sauce that won prestigious awards as you could say it is the quintessence of what a hot sauce should be.
Made with vinegar, pineapple, fresh naga, naga Bih Jolokia, Aleppo Chilli Flakes, sugar and oh, just a smidget of 6.4 MSU Chilli Extract this hot sauce is definitely not for the faint-hearted!!
A single bottle of 100 ml should last you a while as only a few drops are enough to crank the heat level of your food to the extreme in a jiffy! This hot sauce is definitely one of our bestsellers and our customers at the Devil’s Garden keep coming back for more. Some might think it is just a hot sauce to get in order to pull a funny prank on work colleagues or friends but the flavour of Chilli Pepper Pete’s Dragon’s Blood is also what a lot of people are after.
Dragon’s Blood is a successful sauce, not only because of its heat and flavour but because of its versatility so do not hesitate to experiment with it. We have used it in numerous dishes and have never been disappointed although cockiness is soon tamed when you think you are used to it and can add that little bit more! Even for an experienced chilli consumer Chilli Pepper Pete’s Dragon’s Blood is still to use with extreme caution!
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Hot Headz has been around for 15 years in the UK and is notorious for producing really good quality hot sauces using the most popular of chillies.
The cayenne chilli pepper is probably one of the most known chillies by the general public along with the jalapeno and for good reason. Of a medium heat (30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Heat Units), the flavour of the cayenne, whether you taste the yellow or red one, is what people are after. Originating from Cayenne in French Guiana, the pods of this chilli pepper are usually dried and reduced to powder or used in baking. The cayenne is also used as part of the coating for Buffalo Wings and numerous barbecue marinades or spice mixes.
Hot Headz Cayenne hot sauce is made with only four ingredients: aged red cayenne chilli peppers, vinegar, garlic and salt. The inherent simplicity of this sauce is deceiving though as the balance between heat and flavour is complex and adds depth to dishes such as tomatoey pasta sauces, soups using root vegetables and casseroles (especially sausage one!).
Hot Headz Cayenne Hot Sauce also works well as a condiment or a dip, especially when mixed with mayonnaise or hummus. We also use it quite a lot in fajitas and when making quesadillas so overall Hot Headz Cayenne hot sauce is a really good hot sauce to have around at home and add to pretty much anything that tickles your fancy!
Friday, 1 April 2011
Chillies, hot sauces and chilli festivals have gone from a specialist’s topic to a British national passion in only the space of a few years. Along with suppliers of chilli produce the internet has seen a real surge of chilli community forums that provide the latest news, product reviews and ensure that everyday folks can get in touch with each other and share their passion for all things spicy.
One of the latest chilli forums to come under our radar is the Chilli Temple which describes itself as “a free thinking, free speaking social chilli community on the web”. A wide range of topics are indeed available in this chilli forum from general discussion to advice on growing chilli plants as well as a market place where you can check out the latest online deals and new produce.
A cookbook section has also been created to provide you with tasty, easy and most of all spicy recipes using chillies and derivatives. The layout of this chilli community site is very user friendly and also has a cool fresh design so why not check it out and meet people that, like you, enjoy anything chilli related!