This year was the 6th annual Chilli Festival at the Bennington Lordship Garden, just outside of Aston/Stevenage. It took place on the bank holiday weekend at the end of August, as it does every year as it continues to grow in popularity.
The festival attracts thousands of visitors over the two days and has a whole host of stalls offering chilli based products (from oils, chocolates, chutneys and curry sauces) to chilli plants, and chilli packed street food. There’s even a range of speciality beers and other drinks to help you cool down!
One of the highlights of the day however is the chilli eating competition! If you are fortunate enough to go next year, make sure you arrive with plenty of time in the morning so that you witness some very brave people brave some of the hottest chilli’s in the world!Unfortunately this year we missed the chilli eating competition – though we were lucky (not sure that’s the right word...) to witness the aftermath and lots of milk being drunk. I’ve also learnt that lesson the hard way before.
I visited the festival this year with my boyfriend and I think I can safely say we tried EVERYTHING there. I must admit, I regretted the odd one or two after doing so, and more than once I bit off more than I could chew, but all in all it was a great tasting experience.I now have so much inspiration and ideas for different chilli themed cooking: from spicy ketchups, to chilli based pestos and much more.
We also bought a chilli plant – opting for one of the less exotic varieties this time...Have you ever been to the Bennington Chilli Festival, or another one in the country for that matter? If you’re a seller of chilli based products and thinking of attending a similar festival, remember one thing – samples (and lots of lolly sticks or crackers for people to try them with.) There was one poor soul this year who bought no samples at all and I don’t think I saw one person at his stall.
I’ve not been able to do an in depth review of all of the products tried, you can see from the pictures some of the stalls that were present. Anilah’s curry sauces were there again, Anilah NEVER disappoints, this year offering a wide range of curry sauces, chutneys and popadoms as well as a delicious lentil cake. But, perhaps my favourite product of the whole show was the chilli cheese sauce from Hot Headz. It is the most moreish thing I have ever tasted!!!I loved it so much I’ll show you exactly where to buy it: right from the Hot Headz website.
You can also follow them on facebook.And twitter: @HotHeadzSauces
With that thought, I will leave you with some more pictures from our day!See you next year Chilli Lovers.