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Arley chilli festival proves hot stuff
10:20am Friday 31st August 2012 in News
HUNDREDS of visitors enjoyed Northwich’s hottest events this summer.
Chilli in all its forms was celebrated at Arley Hall’s Chilli Festival, which saw families daring each other to taste the hottest products, whether chocolate, cheese or chutneys.
“You tend to find people go for the hottest chillis – especially the blokes,” said Arley’s head gardener Gordon Baillie.
Mark Hughes, from The Cheese Board stand, agreed. His ‘Fiery Dragon Cheese’ proved popular with people of all ages.
“It’s definitely a case of testing yourself to see how hot you can go with chillis,” he said.
It is the third year that Arley Hall and Gardens, near Great Budworth, has held a chilli festival.
The event has grown from an idea that Gordon had in the kitchen while cooking up a batch of his flavoursome chilli con carne.
“I just thought there were so many varieties of chilli that people might want to learn more about them,” he said. “It went from there and fits in with our season well although this year has been very frustrating with the weather.”
For the latest festival producers travelled from across Cheshire to sell their produce including Karen Hunnisett, of Simply Cocoa in Timperley.
She has noticed a growing interest in chilli chocolate through her online shop. “It has definitely become a trendy chocolate in the past few years,” she said.
Gordon and the Arley gardeners also grew more than 150 plants in 80 different varieties ready for the festival.