Addiction can be a dangerous thing. With me, It started harmlessly enough with a packet of Walkers Sweet Chilli Crisps, but things moved on quickly and I went from Chilli Con Carne, to Mexican Quesadilla’s in the space of a week or two. As my habit grew I searched out new varieties, from South East London Jamaican Jerk Chicken to a Spicy Thai Beef Salad my habit for hot food was insatiable, there were no limits to my hunger for it.
Slowly but surely it began to take over my life, friends noticed the change, at dinner parties I would only cook spicy food, the staff at my local Nando’s became my new family and at home I listened only to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Jalapeños, Habañero, Chipotle, Bird’s Eyes and Scotch Bonnet’s I did them all. Then one day I found help.
Scorchio.co.uk is for people who like things a bit hot under the collar. They sell a huge range of Hot Sauces, Rubs, Relishes and Chilli Snacks from all over the world, enough to satisfy even hardcore chilli fiends. With their help I’ve controlled my habit and my days of late night trips to seedy back street stores in search of a fix are gone.
We spoke to Karl Wirrmann the man in the HOT seat…
How did Scorchio come about?
Mainly as an excuse to get in my favourite Hot Sauces from the USA. I was addicted to Pain Is Good Jamaican Hot Sauce and couldn’t find it anywhere, I figured there must be other people as mad for chilli as I was so started Scorchio – since then the Chilli industry has exploded in the UK with loads of British chilli growers producing fantastic sauces.
Approx how many different hot sauces do you sell?
I believe we have around 300 on the site at the moment.
Is eating Chilli’s good for you?
Definitely, whether it’s the slight increase in metabolism that supposed to occur when eating fiery food, the feel-good endorphins that are released to counter the pain of the chill, or the vitamins and anti-oxidents that they are packed with – it’s all good
What is the most popular product on Scorchio?
We all love our snacking and Blair’s Habanero Crisps have always been very popular, way hotter than anything you can find in the supermarket. The same goes for the very fiery Pleasure & Pain Naga Jolokia Chilli Chocolate. Our best selling sauce this summer is Frank’s Buffalo wing Sauce.
Is there a scientific way to measure the hotness of a sauce?
Today’s way of measuring heat is the same one developed by scientist Wilbur Scoville 100 years ago. Scoville’s method was simple. He soaked a number of varieties of pepper separately in alcohol overnight. Because capsaicin is soluble in alcohol, the soaking extracted the pungent chemicals from the pod. Then he took a precise measure of the extract and to it added sweetened water in incremental portions until the heat was barely detectable on his tongue.
Nowadays they have a fancy machine which replaces the tasting element – Birds Eye chillies have a rating of 50,000-100,000 Scoville units, the Naga Jolokia Chilli comes in at over a million.
Who makes the hottest chill sauce in the world?
I don’t think I can answer that without starting a chilli war! Hundreds of manufacturers claim to make the hottest sauce in the world – but certainly in the US both Dave’s Gourmet and Blairs’sauce are probably the main contenders, whilst in the UK Chillipepper Pete has an array of scarily hot sauces and the new Pleasure & Pain Divine Torture is unbelievably hot.
A number of UK manufacturers are making hot sauce now, how do they compare with the American and Caribbean flavours?
It’s great to see such a flourishing chilli industry growing in the UK, and every producer brings their own distinct style to their sauce.
What I love about UK producers is they tend to be growers too, such as the Cambridge chilli Farm, who specialise in growing hard to find chillies to make really different, tasty sauces.
As a country we also have a melting pot of cooking styles so you tend to find those reflected in the products, such as Asian cooking as well as good old fashioned British chutneys and preserves.
What is the Hot Sauce Club?
Subscribers get sent a different hot sauce every month, along with some info about it and a recipe card – we’ve been running it for years and its always been really popular, we have people who are given a 6 month subscription for their birthday and are still renewing 2 years later!
You sell other products besides Hot Sauces, what would you recommend for chilli lovers?
We’ve been expanding our confectionery range over the last few months and are really impressed with our Fiery Chilli Jellies, Chilli Sherbet Dip and Chilli Chocolate covered almond – sweet, fiery and very moreish…
Are any of the sauces too hot for you?
Pretty much everything we put in the ‘scorchio’ heat level (the highest heat level on the site) is too much for me! I love a good Habanero or scotch bonnet sauce, but when it gets to sauce containing the record breaking Naga Jolokia chilli or chilli extract (a sort of super-hot chilli extract) the I’m a bit wary.
However I still have to taste-test every product we sell so some days at the office are pretty uncomfortable…
We have a great Facebook Competition to win an ultimate Pleasure and Pain Scorchio Fire Bucket containing:
1 Pack of Dried Naga Jolokia Chillies
1 Pack of Pleasure & Pain Organic Dark Naga Jolokia Chilli Chocolate
1 Bottle of Pleasure & Naughty Naga Hot Sauce
1 Bottle of Pleasure & Pain Original Scorchin’ Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce
1 Bottle of Pleasure & Pain Scorchin’ Scotch Bonnet & Lime Hot Sauce
1 Bottle of Pleasure & Pain Smokin’ Scotch Bonnet & Mustard Hot Sauce
1 Metal Fire Bucket
** This competition is now closed **
This competition is now closed, for our latest competitions click HERE
For more info visit Scorchio.co.uk