Two chilli fanatics and a pristine coastal environment combine to make for some cracking piquant products.
Who Stuart Meagher and John Wentworth have been farming chillies near Eden on the far south coast of New South Wales since 1999. Their initial intention was to grow enough to make a chilli wine, but they now sell a range of other chilli products, including a smoked jalapeño sauce, an Indian chutney and a chilli wine jelly.
How Up to a dozen varieties, from the mild Anaheim to the fiery habanero and naga, are grown over three south coast farms with different frost, heat and rainfall characteristics, to spread the risk of crop failure. More than two tonnes of organic chillies are harvested every autumn, then processed and cooked at a small factory in nearby Eden.
Why They grow so many chilli varieties, says Meagher, to "create a balance between flavour, colour and heat" in their products. The peppers are also left on the bush to fully ripen and develop before picking. "I appreciate the heat from chillies but I also appreciate good flavour. You can't have one without the other," he says.
WhereDisaster Bay Chillies products are available from food retailers, delicatessens and butchers around Australia, and online.