Friday, 22 August 2008

Friday Nibbles - Lingham's Chilli Sauce

It may be assumed that working from home renders impotent the ability of Friday to cause a general wave of relief that it is the end of the week and a glorious 48 hour respite from the mundanities of work lies ahead. I suppose that, to a certain extent, this is the case. There is little differentiation between the days I spend at ‘work’ and at ‘play’. But there is still an unconscious awareness of the way that we split up the week.

Perhaps it is due to spending so long adhering to the timetable that had been so deftly lain out by generations past. Personally, if I had been at that particular meeting I would have suggested that a three day weekend following a four day week was, perhaps, a better and more even way to divide a seven day week. Alas, I was not consulted and I digress.

Despite the lack of apparent structure to my week, Friday still presents me with a feeling of quivering laziness, much as it did whilst I was plying my trade in an office. I suppose it is because I have to try incredibly hard to attach a semblance of rigidity to my working week in order to achieve anything at all and Fridays, therefore, still mark the end of the working week, as such.

The mind seems to get a little lazy at this point in the week so in an effort to increase my productivity I’ve decided to dedicate this particular day to something with a structure and form. From now on, Fridays will see a brief written eulogy to a particular iconic brand that no self-respecting kitchen should be without. An item that, over the years, has earned its place in the culinary Hall of Fame – these shall be known as Friday Nibbles.

I should also point out that I am not being paid for these mini-musings. I am not a member of any ‘paid for’ blogging sites. All the items that will feature on these pages are there on merit alone.

And so, without further deliberation, let’s get started. To kick off this mini-series I’m going to begin with something close to my heart: Lingham’s Chilli Sauce.

‘A mild piquant relish and appetizer of delightful flavour’ is how Lingham’s describe their iconic sauce, which celebrates its centenary this year. It contains just four ingredients: chillis, sugar, vinegar and salt. And that’s it, glorious in its simplicity. There are no additives, no preservatives, no bulking agents, flavour enhancers, emulsifiers or other such nasties. It is a wonderful example of what can be done with a short list of first-rate ingredients.

Originally created to satisfy the curiosity of Colonial Brits, it is now shipped all over the world so that people in all corners of the globe can enjoy its unique flavour. But despite its popularity, it is still manufactured by the same, small company in Malaysia who pride themselves on the quality of their product and the purity of its ingredients.

Over the years I’ve developed something of a taste for the spicy and have amassed a growing collection of chilli sauces ranging from the sweetly mild to the ferociously hot but Lingham’s is the one I find myself turning to most often. It doesn’t have the intense sweetness of Thai varieties, nor the occasionally oppressive garlic tang. It is mild enough to be enjoyed on its own as a dip but has enough bite to pep up dishes to a satisfyingly warm level.

It is also wonderfully versatile. You can stir it into ketchup and pour it over chips or use it is a marinade for chicken or fish. Dribbled over falafel or kebabs it adds a delicious heat. You can even add it to salad dressings to complement a cooling bowl of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.

It is this versatility and downright tastiness that makes it a top-notch hot sauce and a permanent fixture in our store cupboard.


Thistlemoon said...

I love hot sauces of all kinds too! I have never tried or seen Linghams...I think I am missing out!

Kian said...

Hi Alex, I've tagged you for a Random Facts meme. See more information here.

Anonymous said...

I understand that Lingam is a respectable Indian name, but it does translate, and I find myself thinking... Can it be true?

Is it really just strange coincidence that the first product you feature is Penis Hot Sauce?

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex. I too have tagged you for a random facts meme. Details will post 25 Aug 2008 8-9pm Greenwich or thereabouts. Probably the same deal as Kian's, though.

Laura Paterson said...

Love the musings! I appear to have missed the working week division meeting too...

I haven't been without Linghams for years!

Just Cook It said...

Jenn - I think it is called Linghams Hot Sauce in the states. Definitely worth hunting down.

Kian - Thanks very much. I'll get on the case today.

Anon - I had no idea about the translation. Made me laugh though!

Tom - Thank you!

Kittie - Very kind of you to say so. Glad you like them. Perhaps we should petition for a fairer division?