Lincoln Chilli Fiesta

15 September 2014

You might have noticed from the themes of my savoury bakes that we're big fans of 'spicy' food. Dave in particular could eat mountains of chilli. Our go to dinner recipes are almost all mexican inspired. We can get crazy curry cravings that just no other food will satisfy. So when we heard about the Lincoln Chilli Fiesta last weekend our little faces lit up like it was Christmas morning.

They filled St Mark's Square with stalls where we sampled a range of chilli sauces, jams, cooking sauces, drinks and other such delights. We went pretty early because we were very very excited so we missed the afternoon chilli eating contest but we still had a very lovely time sampling and shopping.

Sweet Heat Chilli Dips

The website described the 'fiesta' as "1 awesome day of chilli mayhem. Don't expect hot dogs, chips or even burgers, we are about chilli" If you were hoping to find any substantial meals available then you would have pretty disappointed because it really was mostly sauces and dips. This did mean there were a lot of the similar products across the stalls but I didn't mind this so much as it meant we could try out several and find the ones we really liked the best and thought we could get the most use from.

Chilli Sauce Bottles

Pro tip: if you want to go to one of the events, take milk or milkshake with you. We only made it through about 2 1/2 stalls before we realised we could no longer tell what anything tasted like because of the accumulative tastes of the ones before. Because milk is amazing for 'neutralising' spicy foods (I don't really know the science to this so that's the best explanation you're getting!) we took a slight detour from shopping to purchase some milkshakes and it was the best idea we'd had. Just a few sips of milkshake after each sample and then we could make sure we got a really good sense of the next things we wanted to try. For your enjoyment here is a bonus photo of Dave modelling his milkshake bottle.

Frijj Milkshake

The stallholders were all small and independent businesses which was fantastic because it means you can ask them any questions, really find out whats in the foods, get recommendations and explore their brands. Also some of the packaging was just adorable in a way you do not get in supermarkets.

After a couple of walks around the place (and a lot of samples) we made a few small purchases. The first was a bottle of Crazy Fred's chilli sauce - which was actually a repurchase. We got a bottle of their crazy hot lime sauce at the Lincoln Christmas Market last year and ended up using it in everything. I'm not exaggerating, I can't recommend this stuff enough. I'm not great with heat levels but if it's to use in my own cooking I don't really see the point in buying 'mild' sauces or spice powders any more because you just end up using more of them to get the same flavour so we bought the strong ones knowing that we'll only need a few drops and the bottle will last a really long time. 
 Crazy Freds Crazy Hot Lime Extreme Chilli Sauce

We also got some bottles of vodka from the happy chilli company. For a new company they have a pretty good product range but after sampling a few dips, it was the vodka that really caught my eye and since we were seeing friends that night I thought it would be something quite unique for people to try. I got lime and jalapeƱos whereas Dave went for a slightly stronger raspberry with habanero. Mine didn't have a very strong lime flavour but the chilli did give a really interesting little kick to my classic vodka and lemonade. I can't actually find the drinks on their website (sad face) but there are plenty of other products there you can browse if you're interested or find them at event if they're near to you.

Happy Chilli Co Vodka Shots

I didn't get any photos of our last purchases but they both came from Thousand Hills who recently teamed up Royal Navy to create a range of chutneys and sauces for charity that I think are going to be on sale in supermarkets soon but I can't make any promises about that. What I can promise though is that the entire range is delicious. Most are quite light in terms of heat but they absolutely tons of flavour. I got the apple and cinnamon compote which has quite christmassy flavours and I think is going to be perfect for baking with once winter arrives. We also purchased a tomato sauce from the original Thousand Hills chilli range and have been mixing into a lot of pasta dishes to make them a bit more exciting.

Chilli Chutney Jars

This was the first chilli themed event I've seen here but I understand that the same organisers take the events all over the UK so check their site if you want to find one near you. I really hope this will come back to Lincoln in future. It's so nice to get to try out some unique products and test food that has really had a lot of care and love go into its crafting and it was such an interesting change from the traditional food markets we get in the city.


  1. Oh, this is amazing! I love spicy so knowing that a chilli festival exists is epic! The Thousands Hill pasta sauce sounds divine.

  2. A chili festival sounds amazing! I've never been to one but would LOVE to go... my husband loves chili even more than I do so I know he would also enjoy it!


  3. Hannah WebsterSeptember 16, 2014

    It was so nice! We've just been mixing a teaspoon in with regular tomato sauces so it's lasting absolutely ages too and it brings so much flavour.

  4. Hannah WebsterSeptember 16, 2014

    It was fab! I'm not sure how often they happen/how many places they're at but they're definitely worth popping along to if you can :)

  5. Sounds like a great festival to go to! I really really like chilli oils (I put it in nearly all my Asian dishes), did they have any there?

    Saskia /

  6. Hannah WebsterSeptember 16, 2014

    I've never used chilli oil, I really should give it a go. I did notice a couple of them but we weren't able to try out the oils so we focused our attention on all the free tasters instead! :)


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