Let’s start up North, shallwe?!There are not really a lot ofthings happening in Byron Bay. Sure, it is a beautiful spot and while it is the”door” and starting point for a lot of fun excursions, e.g. to the rainforestor the remains of the Great Barrier Reef, it is essentially a town close to abeach far up in the North-East in a country where the sun shines. Locally andculturally Byron Bay is known for creating laid-back singer/songwriters in thevein of Jack Johnson, major, great multi-day music festivals, i.
e. Splendour inthe Grass and Blues Fest, wellness retreats and the odd internationallyacclaimed band like Parkway Drive. What began in the Byron Bayhinterland with a chili patch overlooking a hill over 20 years ago, has becomea renowned range of chili sauce, corn chips, and salsas: The Byron Bay ChiliCompany.
What started as anexperiment to create something that would go with their burritos, tacos andnachos — sold at Byron Bay Markets — they started making their own chilisauce, salsas, and corn chips the way they like them. Since then, Byron Bay ChiliCompany has grown into a global brand, winning awards on three continents,including the Grand Prize Scovie Award from New Mexico, and is now made andavailable in the UK with plans to expand to the Middle East. It all started with theirSalsa Picante and Salsa Verde. Word of mouth spread quickly, and eventually ledthem to become available at Australian and mainstream supermarkets and Americanchili wholesalers. Not long after they expanded their range with Asian/Latinfusion sauces inspired by Thai, Indian, and Mexican flavours. The commondenominator of BBCC’s sauces is that they produce actual sauces that are thick,rich, and opaque. BBCC’s Range include FieryCoconut Chili Sauce with Curry and Ginger, which goes well with barbequedchicken or as salad dressing; the Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce with SavoryLemongrass has a nice citrus blend and is an all-rounder, especially nice withfish tacos and Smokin’ Mango Chili Sauce with Chipotle Chilies has a mangotwang with a tomato backup and three kinds of chilies. Some of my favourites are thespicy Red Cayenne Chili with Lime (With a not too strong tartness, it has beenawarded “Best Louisiana Style Hot Sauce” twice in America at theScovies), and both their Green Jalapeno with Coriander and their Gold Habanerowith Mango Chili Sauces (which have won double Gold at the Great TasteCompetition in London).
Covering a wide range, BBCChas something for every palate no matter if you use it as a condiment, dipping,marinating, grilling, stir frying. Even the hottest of BBCC’s varieties arestill flavourful. The Green Jalapeno Sauce, with its balanced, blended flavoursof green chili, coriander, mango, coconut, and cumin is extraordinary. Samegoes for Caribbean-style hot sauce.
Salsa-wise, Byron Bay ChiliCompany trusts in fresh coriander leaf, fresh onions, and fresh garlic.Their rich Salsa Picante is aspicy blend of red tomatoes, fresh onions, garlic and coriander, jalapenochilies and spices. Great in meat gravy, it addsa nice spice to the traditional roast dinner stirred into marinara andbolognaise sauces for zesty pastas and lasagnas.Their Red Bean Salsa iscomprised of kidney beans and smoked jalapeno chilies (Chipotles), tomato,onion, garlic, and oregano – it’s basically barbequed chili in a dip. Combinedwith BBCC’s thick gluten-free corn chips, it is a meal in itself.
Their MildSalsa Picante is made of spicy tomato, coriander, jalapeno salsas and comes intwo heats, the medium having more chili than the mild. Both are bitey though,and on the hot side of medium and mild.