Monday, 4 January 2016

Diced chili chipotle - Cool Chile Co

Now this product clearly isn't a sauce, but there's more to this world than chilli sauces!  This gorgeous little tin was bought for me as a gift and other than the dried chilies I'd previous bought (then not really known what to do with) I'd not seen chilies prepared this way before.  Curiously there is no ingredients list, mostly likely because there is only one ingredient - the chipotle chillies!

I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to find when I popped the lid on this cool little tin, I had no idea if the chipotles were going to be big wet chunks that would drop out of the can onto my kitchen floor, or whether the tin would contain a fine powder that I'd be likely to accidentally inhale.  So after carefully removing the lid I tentatively peered into the tin and (with some trepidation) lifted the tin to give it a sniff.  Oh my!  What a smell!  These finely chopped dried chipotle chillies smell exactly the same as hand-rolling tobacco like Old Holborn!  I mean that in a very good way, I'm not a smoker but the smell of tobacco is gorgeous!  The aroma pouring from this tin brought back childhood memories of elderly relatives smoking aromatic pipe tobacco.  Smells can invoke wonderful memories, and these diced chipotle from the Cool Chile Co. is worth buying for the smell alone.  It really is quite remarkable.

Diced chilli chipotle - what does it taste like?

I'm guessing the Cool Chile Co. put a ton of effort into sourcing these peppers, and that hard work has really paid off.  The label cites Mexico as the source, but have a look at Mexico on a map, it's HUGE.  If you have a reasonable tolerance to chilli heat then you'll be able to tolerate trying a flake or two straight out of the tin; they're hot, but not intolerably so.  But that's not really the way this product is designed to be consumed, it's much more of an ingredient than a garnish.  If you can risk it I'd recommend trying at least one flake straight out of the pack, it's really the best way to wrap your chops around that amazing smokey taste.  As soon as you add some of the chilli flakes into a dish you're going to lose some of that smokey clout, that's not a criticism, it's a cold-hearted scientific fact.

Go steady with this product if you've got family members who aren't as into aural annihilation as you are; I've put as little as a third of a teaspoon in a stew-for-four and had complaints from sweat-drenched family members.  Adding a fingernail's worth of these dried chipotles to any tomato-based dish I'm cooking has become something of a no-brainer.  I've also used these flakes instead of chorizo a bunch of times, the taste really is that good.

Chilli stats

Heat - 70%
Lingering burn - 40%
Presentation - 90%
Humour - 10%
Versatility - 80%

Pros
Goes well in chilli con carne
Goes well in almost any tomato dish
Goes well in spaghetti bolognaise
Tastes great on pizzas
Tastes great straight out of the tin!

Cons
None, make sure you read about our ratings system - a low number is NOT a bad score!

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