top of page
  • lukeathompson

REVIEW: Bumblebee Cottage - Fiyah in D'Bole

I found this one in our local grocers, up at the Beacon in Bodmin. It’s made nearby, at Delabole (where the poet Philip Gross was born). They do three sauces - a Spanish style, Indian style, and this one, which looked like the most straightforward hot sauce. As it turns out, the others are much mellower and the one I picked up was the hottest in the range. The company says they worked with chefs on the recipes so I was hopeful for good flavour. 

It’s a smooth, thick texture and vibrant red in colour. Top listed ingredients are vinegar and sugar, which can be a warning sign, but they have gone for a ridiculous assortment of chillies in their blend. Chillies comprise 10% of this recipe and they list Caroline Reapers, Nagas, Bhuts and Chocolate habaneros, so this might be painful.

The flavour is a little bit tomatoey, a bit of garlic, and really smoky. And it’s not just the smoke from the paprika, which can be a bit overwhelming as an aftertaste in some sauces; they add a ‘natural smoke flavour’, making the frontend of the flavour good and interesting until the heat takes over. The heat is heavy and lingers, building at the front of the mouth, on the tip of the tongue, a little on the lips. It’s what I think of as the classic kind of heat.

The first time I tried the sauce I fancied that at the end, as the heat subsided, there was a slightly bitter aftertaste. Maybe this was the smoke but I’ve not noticed it since. (I’m finding that my first impressions of hot sauces are rarely my lasting impressions.) This one has grown on me as the bottle has emptied and I’m finding myself bringing it out every evening to try it with something different.

I think this is a new sauce company - I’ve never seen them anywhere else before - and I’m keen to try the other sauces. Next time I’m at the Beacon I’ll pick up the Spanish style and see if that’s a little less fierce. Either way, I reckon the sauces will get better and better. They’ve nailed the heat and they’ve got a distinct flavour with that smoke. Where I’m finding this really works is on foods like sausages, the smokiness of the sauce adding something quite special.

I really like the idea of cottage craft hot sauces emerging, and we should have some interesting micro-climates in pockets of Cornwall for developing superb chillies.

I've got a few sauces lining up in the cupboard to try but if you have any recommendations let me know...

£5.25 for 150ml / £35.00 per litre

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page