If you’re looking for something a little different to give your seafood, pizza, hummus, potatoes, ceviche or eggs more pizazz, then Chili Beak Roasted Chili Oil is just what you need.
Giselle and Jason McClure, owners of Chili Beak, started hand-making chili oil about five years ago (and selling it four years ago) when they ran out of the half-gallon of chili oil they brought from Giselle’s hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Using her grandmother´s recipe, they started making different batches for their own consumption. “I remember she made everything from scratch,” says Giselle, “using roasted chile de árbol peppers (from Mexico), sunflower oil and spices.”
The ‘chile de árbol peppers,’ also known as ‘bird’s beak chili,’ is a small and potent Mexican chili pepper. The capsaicin is produced in the veins, not the seeds of the chili.
They experimented with oils, roasted peppers, and spices to get the flavor they were looking for. “We started mixing it little by little,” says Giselle. “It was difficult to find the right one because my husband (Jason) likes everything.” To get more objective opinions they gave samples to their friends and they were the ones who encouraged the couple to start selling it.
Not hot enough for Utah?!
The original recipe was a medium-hot chili oil. After they started selling it at the Downtown Salt Lake City Farmer’s Market some people asked if they could make a hotter one. “That was surprising,” says Giselle, “so we used the same chile de árbol peppers and started integrating the habanero chili pepper. It has a different flavor profile and the heat level is super high.”
Caramels, ice cream and more
Spicy Citrus Habanero Caramels is the other product Chili Beak lineup. “Avenue Sweets in Salt Lake makes amazing caramels,” says Giselle. “They were interested in making a batch with our chili oil in the caramels. They started manufacturing the caramels for us with our recipe.” The candy blends its sweetness and heat by using a slow cooking process in copper kettles.
Furthermore, a friend came up with the idea to top her vanilla ice cream with their Chili Oil. “Jason and I tried it on vanilla and chocolate ice cream and it was really good,” Giselle says. “We have also made chocolate brownies and spicy pumpkin bread with our chili oil.” One or two tablespoons of the hot or medium oil is all one needs.
You can find Chili Beak’s products on their website and Amazon. Harmons Grocery stores, Caputo’s Markets, Liberty Heights Fresh, Jade Market, the Downtown Salt Lake City Farmer’s Market, and some locations in Park City and Deer Valley are where you can buy them locally. In Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Provisions, Log Haven and Nomad Eatery use Chili Beak oil in some of their recipes. Chin’s Szechwan Chinese food orders Chili Beak oil in bulk to use in some of their recipes at their chain of restaurants in San Diego, California.
For more Made in Utah Stories go to official Made in Utah website.