Algarve Artisan Food – Chilli Boy
A while ago, we wrote about local food producer Chilli Boy, and specifically their Spicy Olives, which we took a serious shine to.
Having had a little more time to try their other products, here are our thoughts on some others – specifically their chilli oils, chilli paste, and piri piri powder.
Chilli Boy do two different chilli oils, called “spicy” and “hot and spicy.” For the purposes of this review I’ll refer to them as “quite hardcore” and “really hardcore.”
Joking aside, they’ve both found plenty of valuable uses in our kitchen, but you can tell from the liquid levels in the photo above that the really hot one only needs using sparingly (and that’s coming from someone who really does like things hot).
Our usual use for the hot one is with piri piri chicken, or with salmon steaks (if you’ve not dipped fresh salmon in hot sauce, then trust me when I say you’re missing out).
The lighter oil, marketed as a salad and dipping oil, is perfect for the intended purposes, and has a very different and far more subtle flavour. It’s still hot, however! We’ve been using it to douse vegetables before roasting or char-grilling them, with good results.
Chilli Boy’s chilli paste is the product we’ve played around with least so far, but it has serious potential. If you’re looking for something seriously spicy, then look no further.
My first experiment with it was to fold a generous helping into my usual home made barbecue sauce. Well, let me tell you those ribs were HOT! Since then, I’ve used it a little more sparingly, most commonly mixed with butter, salt and pepper to make spicy sweet potato mash, something of a weeknight staple in this house.
Piri Piri Powder
Surprisingly, the Chilli Boy product that’s made the biggest impression on us so far (except perhaps the Spicy Olives), has been the piri-piri powder.
I use chilli powder to perk up many things, including sauces and roasted vegetables, but I usually find that after a couple of weeks it loses its aroma. The same applies to lots of dry spices. In fact, if you were to make me “blind smell” my cayenne, my usual chilli powder and my hot paprika, I’d probably struggle to tell you which is which.
Not so with this piri-piri powder. I don’t know if it’s thanks to the (rather attractive) mini kilner jar, but this stuff has fruity flavour and makes food taste hot and interesting rather than just hot.
It’s easy to overdo it, as I confirmed with some lime and chilli butter that nearly blew my head off, but once you get an idea of quantity it really is the perfect condiment.
You can find Chilli Boy products in artisan food shops in the Algarve and on their website. As previously stated, we were provided with free samples, but we have strict principles at Food and Wine Portugal and wouldn’t dish out “sponsored praise.” The ultimate proof of that is that we use all of these products every single week – and we’ll soon have to go and stock up on some more 🙂
Finally, if you’re an artisan food producer in Portugal, and you’d like us to review your products, do not hesitate to contact us.