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Thursday 17 January 2013

Fire Chillies: a new hot sauce review process

It has been a while now that I have been thinking that hot sauces should be reviewed in a different way at Fire Chillies. At least in a different order of the different angles to approach the product.
This should be based on the wine tasting model and adapted as a hot sauce tasting "private" model, as the product is of course different from wine but share many similar points in its conception as a gourmet product.

It's all about a knowledge to blend the flavours of aromas just like a wine, and the same way that a music sheet with the correct notes and tonic chords can make it a symphony: it's an art, and as you will all agree that we can find some musicality in some hot sauces, the best of them can make you feel the vibrations of a stringed instrument.

Other similar point which is making hot sauce close to wine in terms of analyze, is very basic and eye-catching: the fact that they are both a bottle with a label and its liquid inside is a mystery until you have opened and tasted it, to say shortly.
Without going too far in the merging of wine and hot sauces, their quality both depend on the same kind of elements such as the quality of the ingredients used to make it and their dosage (dried or fresh hot peppers, spices, herbs, plants, fruits, vinegar,...) way of cooking/processing/producing it, financial and personal investment, love and experience, tests and tastes, suggested used (such as red or white wine, different sauces can not be used the same way), and many other criterias...

Going back to the hot sauce review model, as it should be based on the wine tasting model it should follow the 3 steps Eyes>Nose>Mouth but adaptated, as we usually like to watch a hot sauce bottle, admire the artwork on the label, see the consistency of the sauce and once opened...we smell it right from the bottle neck (whereas for the wine the first thing that we smell is the cork!) to get some bits of aromas which will give a few ideas about it, but just a few as the best way to get plenty of the sauce's aromas is to let the sauce breath at ambient temperature in a recipient during some minutes then analyze its aromas.
We taste a hot sauce in a different way as we taste a wine, but we can adapt the wine tasting process to the hot sauce as we will see below, in order to be organized and doing it with coherence.


From now the review will be presented the same way and in the same order as the product is reviewed in real time, in order to have some logic in the new process and not going there and going back.
Here are some ideas about it, giving the main details.

Cup Sauce

  1. I) Outside and Inside


1) Outside (Eyes)

Label: Grade/10
Analyze of the label in terms of: content written (important indications such as volume, ingredient list, best before dates, nutrition values, allergies,...), artwork quality and positioning (scary, funny, ethnic,...), heat level indications, colors, paper and ink quality...

Sauce Appearance: Grade/10

  • from the outside: how the sauce seems to be when you look at what its texture looks like inside the bottle
  • consistency (poured in a cup): this will confirm or counter the preview we had from the outside and what was suggested.



2) Inside (Nose, Mouth)

Aromas: Grade/10

  • from the bottleneck: just an idea about the aromas as they are not at their full potential as some aromas such as a vinagary one can be stronger than others because of its volatile chemical, which could alter the judgment .
  • from the cup: having poured it before this step has allowed the sauce to breath at ambient temperature and develop its full aromas, condition to judge it the best way. Such as the whole review, the product has to be evaluated on the basis of a process that is fair and equitable.


Taste: Grade/10

  • Alone: the best way to get the different flavours from the hot peppers, spices, vinegar, and all the other ingredients comparing what is written on the ingredients list on the label. Step done to describe the flavours that we feel, and also check the equilibrium as well as the other strenghts and weaknesses, and get some ideas for the recommended uses.
  • With food: The food used to taste it may have been suggested by the manufacturer, it can also be some food that we think could go well with it (as the sauce has just been tasted by itself and we have some ideas at this point) or some kind of neutral food to just test its hability mixed with some food.



  1. II) Heat analyze, Recommended Use and Overall Impression


Heat: Grade/10
With the best objectivity possible and compared with the other products available on the market (identical or different -stronger/weaker) this step's aim is to rate the heat level. It can be compared with what is written on the label and/or how hot it is supposed to be.

Recommended use:
Comparing the suggested uses and giving some ideas about how the product would be best used with to make it shine.

Overall impression:
From now for the overall impression is used the "5 Hot Peppers" rating, giving a mark for the whole product including everything.

This is the base of how the reviews will be done from now on Fire Chillies, the process and this article may be subject to changes for adjustement and optimization. This may evolve but the basis should stay the same unless the scheme would not be working well.


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Monday 7 January 2013

Competition with Chilli Seeds Giveaway

Dear Capsaicinheads, time to set your clocks!
The competition will be held on · Friday 11th of January 2013 at 3:00PM Paris Time (UTC+01:00) / New York 9:00AM / Perth 10:00PM · on www.facebook.com/FireChillies
The rule is simple: A basic question will be asked, you have one day to answer it (until Saturday 12th at 3:00PM Paris Time) and get your answer liked the most before the deadline.
►The one with the correct answer AND the biggest number of Likes of their answer on the deadline will win 10 seeds of each of these 12 varieties:
Aussie Black
Infinity
Naglah
Trinidad 7 Pot Brain Strain
Trinidad 7 Pot Primo
Aji Crystal
Purple Tiger
Red Rocoto
Orange Rocoto
Black Pearl
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Douglah X Butch T

Chilli Seeds

All players MUST like the page to be eligible to win!
FREE shipping worldwide!
Get ready for the competition!!

Monday 10 December 2012

Review – Born To Hula Habanero Guajillo

First product that I have tasted from Born to Hula, Habanero Guajillo is a versatile, mexican flavored hot sauce that I have been using lately on almost everything!
This sauce is made with a widely used pepper in the mexican cuisine: the Guajillo, which is the name given to the Mirasol pepper in its dried form.
As this pepper is more used for its flavours and to bring a vibrant red colour to the sauces than for its heat level, Born to Hula added some Habanero to give it an extra kick.


Ingredients:
Distilled white vinegar, Red bell pepper, Guajillo pepper, Habanero pepper, Garlic, Salt, Onion powder, Cumin, Lime juice, Xanthan gum


Label: 8/10
Such as the others products of their range, the label has on its middle Born to Hula's characteristic logo made of a long red pepper placed on a festive mood background style.
The colors are simple and not agressive, just the red from the pepper is eye-catching as emerges from the label.

Born To Hula 1

Aromas: 8/10
Mexican cuisine! This is the first thing that comes to mind when smelling it from the bottle.
A really pleasant smell coming from the mix of different aromas from the bell Pepper, onion and cumin, inviting you to cook a mexican recipe especially for the sauce, to make it shine!


Consistency and Appearance: 7/10
Nicely blend like a puree, not too runny, flows easily from the bottle and sticks well to the food.
It has a very nice shining red color with some small bits of Guajillo, but not that much.


Born To Hula 2

Taste: 7/10
Pleasant in mouth, the sauce is not strong and you can put a good quantity on your food so you will get plenty of flavours!
It does not have a vinegary taste, there is really this flavour from Mexico, we can feel a mix of onion and red peppers, some berries undertones from the Guajillo and a tiny note of garlic.


Heat: 6/10
Medium sauce, upgraded with a pinch of Habanero.
This is a hot sauce made to get more flavours than heat, but a hot sauce anyway!


Recommended Use:
Goes great with pizza, eggs, tacos, sauteed rice or seafood like sauteed shrimps with garlic (and flambeed with Pastis or Tequila), and anything you want to give this Mexican flavor!


Overall Impression:
Rating 3,5
I really appreciate its aromas, smelling the sauce is pleasant and has this something that makes your mind travel and think about what you can eat with it.
I also appreciated the fact that we don't feel the vinegar, this makes it a nice everyday hot sauce and is the kind that you need ready in your fridge at any occasion.


You can find more informations about Born to Hula's products here:
http://www.borntohula.com
http://www.facebook.com/BTH52



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