A hot and sweet sauce made in England, inspired by the Caribbean
Fruit, fire and full-flavour are the core tenets of Caribbean cuisine. This mango chilli sauce certainly encapsulates those exotic elements—but it’s made on a farm in Wiltshire. “The chillies are grown near Melksham in the south-west of England,” explains Fabien of the Wiltshire Chilli Farm. “This particular sauce uses habanero chillies which, once ready to harvest, are made into sauce on site.”
You’ll see no acidifiers and stabilisers here: aside from the habaneros all that’s in it are mangoes and lime juice, vinegar, garlic, a pinch of sugar, and a little mustard. “This is mixed in a big pan and left to slowly simmer and cook through, allowing the flavours to meld together,” says Fabien, “then it’s cooled and bottled. It’s as simple as that.”
It is sweet with ripe and juicy mangoes, cut through with the zing of fresh limes, while the heat from the chillies is residual rather than in-your-face. “Habaneros are quite a hot chilli, but when combined with the other ingredients, that heat is calmed down. We say the mango chilli sauce is medium-hot—we have others that are much, much hotter,” says Fabien. Those fearful of too much heat needn’t worry, “especially when you cook with it and combine it with other ingredients.”
Hard and nutty
As you might expect, it goes well with many Caribbean-style dishes. “I use it in a prawn stir fry, or you can use it as a marinade for white fish—that works particularly well when it’s cooked on the barbecue.” As you might expect of a man with ties to The French Comte, Fabien also suggests serving it as an accompaniment to cheese. “It might sound strange, but I do think it works well—with some cheeses, nothing too strong. Something hard and nutty.”
If you’re after more of a centrepiece, try making a marinade combining it with yoghurt and coriander, smothering it over a whole chicken, and roasting it in the oven. Served alongside Jenny Chandler’s rice and peas, you’ve a feast fit for this weekend’s Notting Hill Carnival. Made in England, with roots in the Caribbean—much like the festival itself.