Why Spice Island Chilli and other stories.
Hi. I'm Liam.
In case you didn't know, Portsmouth is a historic naval city. In fact, Portsmouth is where Henry VIII first officially formed England's Royal Navy back in 1546. Although I have travelled, I've lived in Portsmouth all my life. Born into its rich maritime history of Tudor fortification, international trade routes and global voyages of discovery, I've been lucky enough to have on my doorstep the evocative vistas of the South Coast and Spice Island, the historic location of maritime trade and customs in the area of Portsea known as Old Portsmouth.
Whether it was curry night or a sliver of fresh ghost naga at the local chilli festival, I've always 'warmed' to the thrill of the chilli challenge.
Between 2010 and 2014 I got to travel and live in Europe. Mainly experiencing the cultures and, more importantly, the foods of France, mainland Spain, Northern & Southern Italy, as well as rural & coastal Croatia. However, it was the year I spent in the Balearics that my love affair for chillies really began to form.
From the farmers' markets in the old towns, I could buy huge strings of colourful chilli peppers. I'd buy loads. Way more than I could eat in one go. Before the extra chillies perished, I'd hang them up as kitchen decorations and dry them out eventually turning them into chilli flakes.
Whilst experimenting, I decided that blending the fresh chillies along with other ingredients was a more exciting way of preserving the chillies and more versatile way of using the heat from the chillies in other forms of cooking.
Once I returned to the UK this routine continued and I began to experiment further with my attempts at cooking and, more importantly, replicating a decent home made chilli sauce recipe. Now I have five flavours in the range. And the rest? Well the rest is history.
Spice Island Chilli®, based in Portsmouth, is a fusion of my two passions: History and Chilli.
It’s the reason I continue to create my handmade range of chilli sauces, sharing with you my interest for awesome new tastes and flavours, and the historic tales of adventure that helped inspire me to create the range.
You can read more about what happened next on my chilli blog here.