October Column: Upton Cheyney Chilli Company

October 03 2012

Down on the farm with the Upton Cheyney Chilli Company

October Column: Upton Cheyney Chilli Company

ChilliesIt’s October already and as the season changes we look forward to our busiest time of the year. Harvesting is in full swing, and although the plants are considerably smaller this year due to the poor sunshine hours over the summer months there are still many thousands of pods to be collected.

Most of the super chillies have now come in, as well as a good number of the Habanero Fatalii. The super-hots like the famous Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Chilli) and the Dorset Naga are now beginning to ripen and the Hungarian Blacks in the Bart Ingredients tunnel are looking awesome!

Our favourite chilli, however, has been very slow to ripen this year and we still have many thousands of jalapenos to collect. Our jalapenos are treated differently to the rest of the harvest, as they are all sliced in half and smoked for 18 hours to make the most delicious flavour that is chipotle. Chipotle is the Mexican word for “smoked chilli” and we absolutely love the smell of oak smouldering on the farm as we convert our entire jalapeno crop.

Chipotle is a main ingredient for us, and can be found in our range of chocolates, sauces and now in a new rapeseed oil that has been made in conjunction with our lovely friends at Bath Harvest.

Besides harvesting and smoking, we are now also in mass-production mode, as Christmas time sees a huge surge in sales as people purchase gifts for their chilli-loving friends and family.

Our biggest event of the year is the Bath Christmas Market, and Mrs Chilli Farmer can be found in the farm shop’s kitchen making batch after batch of sauce in preparation for this lovely event. There really is no rest for the wicked, as it only seems like yesterday that the farm was invaded by close to 4,000 spice-loving chilli heads at our festival in September. It was a magical event and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came up. We hope your day was hot, hot, hot!

The chilli farm remains open to visit on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, until mid-
November. The farm shop is open on these three days throughout the year where all of the chilli products and delicious meat can be purchased. We recommend the chilli sausages!