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Getting into Eaten Alive – a good for you indulgence.
Fermented foods are all the rage in the top kitchens at the moment because of their intense flavours and the health benefits of ‘good bacteria’, and so when we were approached by Eaten Alive, artisan producers of raw fermented foods, to have a look at their products, we were obviously keen – so keen that we got them to agree to have a competition so you could try them too!
Eaten Alive make award-winning kimchis, sauerkrauts and hot sauces. Founded in 2016 it is the creation of Glyn Gordon and Pat Bingley, two chefs who after over 20 years combined experience in some of the UK’s top restaurants (The Ledbury, L’Enclume, Fera), bonded over a shared passion for fermentation, flavour and a growing interest in the link between live cultures and health. After first launching their Classic Spicy Kimchi, a runaway success, this was quickly followed by their fermented hot sauces and krauts. The pair started with a stall at London’s Borough Market, demand soared and they are now on the shelves of Whole Foods, Sainsbury’s, Planet Organic, various independent delis and the Eaten Alive online shop.
The Eaten Alive Range includes four Fermented Hot Sauces – RRP £3.99. We reviewed three of them including the Smoked Sriracha – a combination of chillies, sweet peppers, garlic and onions are smoked over oak before being fermented for several months to develop tantalisingly complex flavours. This was a real favourite. It has less texture than a normal Sriracha with the smokiness coming to the fore but with deep chilli hit. It would be great in meat marinades and with barbecued meats.
The Preserved Lemon is described as a ‘a fiery yellow chilli sauce with the fresh, zesty magic of ripe lemons’. Made with yellow habanero chillies, sweet peppers and lemons, the sauce is slowly fermented over several months then blended with raw unfiltered cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice and a touch of pure cane sugar. This was really unexpected – aromatic but still spicy and good with rice, fish (I tried it on some grilled tuna which it added a real spark to) or even fish and chips!
The Scotch Bonnet sauce is the one for real chilli heads! Scotch bonnets and sweet peppers are mixed with a touch of garlic, slowly fermented to develop intense, fruity flavours then blended with raw unfiltered cider vinegar and a touch of pure cane sugar – use wherever you would Tabasco! You can really taste the Scotch bonnet pepper in this sauce which is super strong with just a few drops enough to set your palate alight.
Also in the range is the amazing sounding Chocolate Habanero BBQ An explosive mix of habanero, cayenne and ancho chillies, smoked over bourbon barrel chips, then slowly fermented to intensify the flavour. Blended with raw cacao and preserved limes it is deeply savoury.
Along with the hot sauces Eaten Alive has five Kimchis and Krauts in their range and we tried four of them. The Classic Spicy Kimchi (RRP £5.99) and its gentler counterpart Classic Mild Kimchi (RRP £5.99) will be familiar to fans of the Korean staple dish, a combination of Chinese leaf cabbage, spring onions, garlic, Korean chilli and fresh red chillies, ginger, soy and a touch of apple. Both were juicy and garlicky and ideal with Korean food but why not try as a side dish for a stir-fry or to perk up a Vietnamese Bánh mì sandwich or even a traditional cheese sarnie.
White Cabbage Kimchi (RRP £5.49) uses white British cabbages to produce a mild kimchi-kraut hybrid that has a bit more crunch than the classic kimchi. It would really work topping a noodle soup or as a spiky alternative to coleslaw with your post-Christmas turkey leftovers!
The Smoky Pink Kraut (RRP £5.49) was our favourite of the kimchis and krauts. With a pretty pink hue, it’s a classic-style sauerkraut given a lift with smoked chipotle chilli, beetroot and Moorish spices. Mild with a hint of smokiness it would be great in a Reuben sandwich or stirred into a latke.
Kimchi is a high-fibre, low-calorie powerhouse of micronutrients and great bacteria so these products are not only super tasty but really good for you. The Eaten Alive Smoked Sriracha and Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce are now on sale in 71 Sainsbury’s stores as part of the ‘Future Brands’ initiative but the whole range is available from their online store – Eaten Alive www.eatenalive.co.uk
As mentioned earlier, we’ve got a fabulous giveaway for you with a whole selection of Eaten Alive products for you to try for yourself. Just follow the Rafflecopter through, remembering to answer the mandatory question.