Chilli saga: chipotles in Perth

a chilli related entree, although not my actual chilli con carne itself I like my chilli, yes indeed.

I have my own chilli con carne recipe… it’s quite different from most other recipes I have seen. I’ve been recreating and refining it since high school, when we made a horrible version in Home Economics class. Pretty much everyone I feed it to likes it, so I like to think it’s a bit of a winner. The secret is that unlike other recipes, I don’t… actually, I’ll save that for a separate post!

Anyway, the main issue I have is finding chillis to put in it. We like it HOT. if I ever get around to explaining my method, one of the issues is that there is very little fat at all in the end product, so there’s nothing for the hot bits to stick to (that’s the highly scientific explanation, anyway). The red and green standard supermarket issue don’t cut it at all. Several times a year I manage to get fresh habaneros, which have awesome heat, and sometimes fresh jalapenos are available, which have great flavour. But fresh chillis need to be roasted and prepared and that’s a nuisance, although the end result is usually worth the effort.

A few months ago we went to the Station Street Markets at Subiaco and found a South American food stall. They have these awesome stuffed soft tortillas called pupusa – an El Salvadorian dish – and also sell some imported food, including canned chipotle chillis in adobo sauce. Chipotles are smoked jalapenos and the flavour is amazing, and there’s quite a bit of heat in these ones too. I put some in my chilli and the feedback from my various guinea pigs was overwhelmingly positive. Going back to dried and powdered chillis was not an option.

So last Friday, a request for chilli was put in, and in gathering ingredients I discovered that we were out of chipotles. Oh noes! Fortunately the Subiaco markets are open on Fridays, and seeing as we were on holidays we meandered off to get some.

Unfortunately our El Salvadorian friends were out of stock, so we had to eat as much pupusa as we could and try other avenues. I put the call out on Twitter and through the combined effort of some of the best minds in Perth, compiled a list of places to try. My Twitter feed goes out through Facebook, and a friend there saw my cry for help and directed me to a local producer of chilli products (including dried and preserved chipotles) – Karrimah Farm. I’m thrilled that there’s a local producer (and I heart the intarwebs, which bring me such knowledge regularly, very much indeed).

Despite all attempts – including driving out to Belmont to check out a shop there – we weren’t able to locate any of the Karrimah chipotles. After speaking on the phone to Heather, owner of Karrimah, I found out that they don’t sell well in a retail setting because most people don’t know what they are. However, all Karrimah products (and a number of other chilli products) are available online from Chilli Freaks, a West Australian site dedicated to all things chilli.

All this talk of chilli had me thinking about the Araluen Chilli Festival, which we’ve been to the last three years. This year it’s on the 8th and 9th of March. We will definitely be there sampling more awesome sauces!

~ by goat_admin on January 1, 2008.

7 Responses to “Chilli saga: chipotles in Perth”

  1. Hi GoatLady

    I agree – getting chipotles in Perth is nearly impossible.

    The operative word is nearly.

    I know Mike and Heather (great people) as I used to sell their products through a business I used to own, Fandangle Foods. Their chipotles are pretty good, though can be bitter sometimes as they smoke them with jarrah which leaves a certain amount of resin on the chipotle. More so than mesquite or the other more traditional woods do.

    You can sometimes get chipotles from who are in Sydney, out of Melbourne, or who are also in Sydney. Please note I have no association with these companies.

    Hope that helps you and your readers out.



  2. Hey Nigel,

    I’ve got an order of Karrimah chipotles (both dried and in Adobo sauce) on it’s way from chilli freaks now, can’t wait to put them to the test when they arrive.

    Your site is a great resource too – thanks for sharing!

  3. oo good one good to know this info!!!
    thanks for sharing and caring!

  4. Hi GoatLady

    If you want chipotle chillies they sell tinned and dried ones by the truckload down at Chillin’ Out in W.A., a wholesale supplier in Yangebup (ph: 0400 832 617 Shirley-Anne). They supply a lot of the Mex restaurants but private buyers are OK- you need to phone first. They also have tinned poblano’s, dried cascabels (nutty), mulatos, pasillas, habaneros, anchos, arbols (super-hot) etc plus achiote paste, tomatillos, yellow masa corn flour etc etc. Don’t overlook the idea of using toasted/rehydrated Pasilla & Mulato chillies to make a superior tasting chilli puree.


  5. New season’s (2013) chipotles now available from karrimah farm

  6. The good grocer stocks both dried whole ancho chillies and also dried habaneros

  7. Why is it that folks dont know about Poblano and Plain chile fresh. I grew thousands this year, but no more. PERTH IS SO BACKWARDS when itcomesto chiles and yet I can sell tons of jalapenos and habaneros what a waste of flavours.

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