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  • lukeathompson

REVIEW: South Devon Chilli Farm - Cherry Bomb / Orange Habanero (two sauces)

This is such a great idea. If you want to know what different pepper varieties taste like, this is the range for you. They’re so simple, and so good! I’ve got three here - Cherry Bomb, Orange Habenero and Peruvian (Aji). The ingredients and ratios in each sauce are exactly the same - 60% fresh chillies, then spirit vinegar and salt. The result is a series of sauces that show you exactly what each variety tastes like.

 

Starting with the Cherry Bomb, as soon as you open it you smell the peppers and the peppers only. All the flavour and all the sweetness is just those Cherry Bombs.


This has got that slight edge that fresh chillies have, a mild heat, and a lot of red pepper fruit flavour - it tastes very much like a red bell pepper actually. Eating this sauce today, I wonder why we bother adding all those other ingredients. Chillies taste terrific just as they are.

 

I thought even the Cherry Bomb sauce might be too hot with that incredible percentage of chilli (remembering that other sauces we have here are almost all under 20%, most hovering around 10% and many of the hottest around 3%) but this is easy going and just flavoursome. I almost wish I were growing some of these Cherry Bombs - I reckon they'd be amazing stuffed. (If anyone has a plant they want to swap I’m overrun with Orange Habaneros to swap...)

 

The Orange Habanero smells really fruity. You can see why it pairs so well with things like mango and peach - some of the flavours I’ve most enjoyed so far. And when you taste it you can see that too. Yes, it’s fruity but it is not as sweet as other peppers - it is way more savoury - so mixing in a sweet fruit is perfect for lifting the Habanero’s natural fruitiness and turning it into something extraordinary.

 

Now this is much, much, much hotter. Emboldened by the Cherry Bomb I took a large spoonful and now I’ve got the hiccups. The heat is building. My tongue hurts. It’s still building. Ooh, that’s a bit much. And nothing’s helping. Argh!

 

That lasted a minute or two and is now calming down. It’s still hot. Maybe my mouth is numb. I don’t know what’s going on. Oof. I’ll be more careful next time. Imagine if you could get that flavour but with a less treacherous heat.

 

Okay, lesson learned.

 

The Peruvian (Aji) sauce is, in colour, between the orange and red of the Habanero and Cherry Bomb. It's also in between in terms of heat. The heat feels full and solid, which is interesting as I think of Aji peppers as fairly mild. It's possibly that 60% quantity of peppers in this sauce intensifying it, or else it's one of the warmer varieties being used maybe. There's a mild red pepper smell - nothing like the Cherry Bomb, but a hint - and almost a tinned tomato smell. Again, quite mild. The flavour of this one is less conspicuous than the other two but eating it on its own this way you can see what a great ingredient it would be. Slight sharpness, slight bitter



tang, almost more like black pepper flavour.


Interesting.


Lots of lessons learned here. Firstly, chillies taste wonderful and immensely different from one another. These three have little in common other than containing heat - the Cherry Bomb a pleasant and sociable heat, the Aji a wholesome but manageable punch, and the Habanero a wild and cruel heat. Scoville-wise, the Cherry Bomb pepper sits in the Jalapeno range, around 4,000 maybe. The Aji is probably around 50,000. The Orange Habanero sits around 250,000. So it is quite a leap between them all.

 

These sauces come in smaller bottles - just 100ml - which might seem like you’re paying a bit, but when you remember the percentage of chillies in each of these bottles I think this is outstanding. They’re not topping up with gums, resins, bell peppers and tomato pastes - this is all chilli pepper flavour.

 

What a great idea for hot sauces. I might try something like this - maybe not with the Orange Habaneros I have growing, but with some of the less brutish varieties - the Cayennetta, for instance, and the Sugar Rush Peach Stripey.


I wish they did more varieties. Wouldn't this be a great way of figuring out which peppers you'd like to grow?

 

£4.95 per 100ml / £49.50 per litre

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