I bought a little jar of chilli last weekend from the lovely community store, Bay Leaves Larder, in Chandler’s Ford. It’s called Chilli Hillboy, from Gurkha Fine Foods.
It was a surprisingly breezy spring day without snow or rain. The sun was even noticeable for brief moments. My son and I walked to this local shop and I had a mission. I was looking for chillies.
My son often commented that I’m obsessed with chillies. I picked up a handful of locally-made chilli sauces and chilli jams but I wasn’t sure which one to choose. I’m not sweet-toothed. I never like too much sugar in chilli sauces, and therefore, most sweet chilli sauces in the supermarkets always fail to impress me.
I had a great conversation with Maurice, the gentleman in the shop. He was extremely helpful and he was very knowledgebale about the chilli sauces in the shop. He also had the pleasure of grading the chilli sauces from grade 1 to 5 based of their strength. He graded this Gurkha Chilli Hillboy as Grade 5. I always love a bit of a challenge with chilli so I bought it. I’m pleased to say that I’m coping with this chilli very well so far.
I’m also pleased to learn from Maurice that some profits from Gurkha Fine Foods go to Gurkha Welfare Trust, to support the children of rural Nepal.
Bay Leaves Larder is a fascinating shop tucked in Hiltingbury, run by Sarah Guilder. The shop offers a wide selection of locally produced items and each packaging is unique. You’ll get to buy a huge variety of Hampshire Fare foods such as jams, chutneys, oils, cheeses, hams, free range eggs, herbs, juices, wine, beer, fudge and ice cream.
I love the friendly atmosphere in this shop. My son loves the hot chocolate drink there. On a snowy day last year, we walked for an hour and ended up at the cosy coffee shop. We had the most delicious creamy hot chocolate. I remember on the way back home, we also tried very hard not to slip on the pavements on Hursley Road.
The shop offers fresh organic, fairtrade coffee, breakfast, light lunches, tapas platters, after school specials and homemade cakes. I’ll be back to the shop soon to try out more chillies.