30 January 2008

Chilli Cook Off - Waipukurau

Following on from last year's extremely successful Chilli Cook Off, the event will again be held in the main street of Waipukurau on the Saturday of The Festival - September 6th.

Previously the Chilli Cook Off has been held at The Festival but the space allocated was insufficient. There will be a Double Decker Bus to enable people to travel Waipukurau's main street to The Festival.

The Chilli Cook Off consists of teams competing to cook the best Chilli which the public votes for with gold coin donations to the Charity represented by that team - so not only is the event great fun but it also is a good fundraiser.

28 January 2008

How to Cool Burns from Chili Peppers

Chili peppers, such as jalepeno, cayenne, and habanero peppers, contain Capsaicin,which is the main ingredient in pepper spray. Peppers developed Capsaicin to stop animals from killing the plant by burning them. Capsaicin can add flavor and spiciness to food, but can also cause an extreme burning sensation which can last for minutes or even hours.

Full Story

26 January 2008

[REVIEW] Mexicali Fresh - Nuffield St, Newmarket, Auckland

Last night I went to Mexicali Fresh in Nuffield St, Newmarket, Auckland for dinner. It wasn't my intention to write a review but had a few thoughts on reflection of my experience so figured I'd share them.

Not sure how my review format should be so will keep it simple.

Food was good, fresh, and with the "build your own" burrito/tacos (similar to Subway) you get what you like, guacamole cost extra. Service was prompt, efficient and friendly. Prices offer good value for money, $13 for a massive burrito, and you won't be hungry afterwards.

The house salsa on offer is good, even if made from canned tomatoes. The regular salsa has a great coriander flavour, and the hot "111" salsa has a nice smokiness and a decent level of heat. The great thing is you can have as much, self serve, salsa as you want. I went back for a second round with the freshly made corn chips they have.

To the side of the house salsas there are usually 4 or 5 different bottled hot sauces (I didn't get there names as I didn't plan on writing a review at the time, but I believe they are sourced from Dunedin based Mexi Foods). I tried three of them, all having nice flavour, but one Habanero (possible El Yucateco XXX Hot Habanero)sauce had a serious hot hit, I think they were all from Mexico.

Toilets were nice & clean, makes the ladies happy.

The beer was the worst part of this whole experience. I had a Tecate, and a Dos Equis, both seemed to be within Best Before date, but were majorly oxidized and generally tasted bad, they were cold though. They use to have Epic Pale Ale but stopped stocking it cause they said it had too much flavour. Hopefully they will review their beers, because the selection of Mexican beers they have suit the Mexican theme but totally let the food experience down.

We sat outside because it was a little hot inside and was a lovely warm evening and we could wait the people walk by. There were a number of people outside smoking which was not very nice while eating, but it wasn't the fault of Mexicali Fresh.

A very satisfying experience which offered good value and a great selection of hot sauces. I am going to be challenged to find another dinning experience in NZ with the variety of hot sauces on offer. Please please please get some decent beer in. If you want a local craft brewery lager then I suggest Epic Lager.

Mexicali Fresh

Disclamer: I'm owner of Epic Brewing Company, and an International Beer Judge. Good food needs good beer.

24 January 2008

Is it possible to measure hotness of a chili?

Indeed, it is. Though every person is percepting piquancy at different levels (depending on their sensitivity or habit to eat chilis), it is possible to measure the hotness of a chili using the Scoville scale. As a matter of fact, chilis contain capsaicin, a chemical compound responsible for the sensation of hotness. The number of the Scoville indicates the amount of the capsaicin present. The Scoville scale is named after its creator, Wilbur Scoville, who developed a test for rating the hotness of chilis.

Full Story

16 January 2008

Chilli export is red-hot, may rise by 28 per cent

India is likely to export a record 190,000 tonnes of red chilli in 2007-08, a 28% increase, due to strong demand from competing countries, an official from the Spices Board said.

India and China are the largest exporters of chillies in the world with 25% and 24% share in total global exports, respectively. The official said, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have been the main buyers of the spice in 2007-08.

"Presently, there is a shortage of good quality chilli. But from February new arrivals will increase in the spot market and export also (will increase)," the Spices Board official said.

Full Story

12 January 2008

Jalapeno Now Flowering

My Jalapeno plants have started to flower, along with the Tabasco and Habanero.

[January 2008, Auckland, New Zealand]

08 January 2008

Hot peppers can make eyes water but also give an endorphin high

She adds that scientists have isolated five capsaicinoid components: three that produce the rapid bite sensation in the back of the mouth and throat and two that linger longer with a slow, spicy burn.

There is one upside to the spicy heat sensation: it actually releases feel-good endorphins in the brain.

Full Story

chili peppers | pepper health guide

It was recently discovered that tarantula venom activates the same pathway of pain as is activated by capsaicin, the first demonstrated case of a such a shared pathway in both plant and animal anti-mammal defense.

Full Story

06 January 2008

Spice up your life with chili

Speeds up metabolism

A British study found hot peppers boost the metabolic rate, which burns extra calories. And losing excess pounds is as good for your health as it is for your vanity, since it reduces the risk of adult onset diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

Full Article

Facts About Peppers

Capsaicin itself holds numerous health benefits:

· Effective treatment and natural pain relief for inflammation such as arthritis, psoriasis, diabetic neuropathy.

· Reduce risk of heart attack and stroke as it helps to reduce cholesterol levels and formation of blood clots.

· Clear blocked nose and congested lungs.

· Prevent prostate cancer by inhibiting growth of cancerous cells · Prevent stomach ulcers by killing bacteria in the stomach and stimulate more protective stomach juices.

· Help to lose weight as it speeds up the body’s metabolism rate, suppresses appetite and cravings for sweet foods.

· Lower risk of Type 2 diabetes by controlling the blood sugar.

Full Article

04 January 2008

Munchcast 15: Chili

Listen to this great audio podcast about Chili with Leo Laporte and Cammy Blackstone

Click here to listen now

or download the .mp3 file here

Superfood No. 7: Hot Peppers

All peppers contain compounds called capsaicinoids. This is especially true of chili peppers, which derive their spicy heat—as well as extraordinary anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-cancer, heart-healthy effects—from very high levels of capsaicinoids, the most common form of which is capsaicin.

Superfood No. 7: Hot Peppers

Benefits of hot peppers:
From headaches to arthritis relief — Capsaicin's health benefits
The Scoville Scale: How hot is your pepper?