Chilli peppers are enjoyed worldwide to add spice and flavour to your food. There are many different varieties that vary in spiciness and taste. As a general guide, the smaller the pepper, the spicier it will be. The world’s most fiery chilli peppers are all less than 3 inches long. It is the capsaicin in the chilli that causes the heat or burning effect felt when it is eaten. The apex or the tip will contain the least capsaicin so if you’re ever taking on the challenge of biting a really hot chilli we’d recommend you take a bite from here to limit the burn!

The spicy heat or pungency of each chilli is measured using the Scoville Scale, created by an American pharmacist called Wilbur Scoville. Jalapenos, which many of us will be familiar with, are typically between 2,500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) and 10,000 SHU. The Scotch Bonnet chilli which is generally considered quite spicy typically comes in at between 100,000 SHU and 350,000 SHU. If you’ve tried one of these you’ll have a reference point to help you imagine the heat of some of the world’s fiercest chilis…

The worlds hottest chillis

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The Top 5 Hottest Peppers in the World

1. The Carolina “Reaper”

Scoville Units: 2,200,000
This exceptionally hot chilli has held the Guinness World Record for the hottest chilli since 2013. It is a hybrid species, crossbred between a ghost pepper and a red habanero by a South Carolina Farmer.

2. The “Morgua” Scorpion

Scoville Units: 2,009,231
This sweet but strikingly hot chilli is native to Morgua, Trinidad & Tobago. The first bite is said to be bearable until the heat begins to build and leave a nasty sting!

3. The 7 Pot “Brain Strain”

Scoville Units: 190,000,000
This chilli was developed by selective breeding originating from 7 Pot seeds obtained from Trinidad. The name ‘brain strain’ was down to their lumpy texture and somewhat brain-like appearance!

4. The 7 Pot “Primo”

Scoville Units: 1,900,000
This hybrid crossed seeds from the Naga Morich with some Trinidad 7 Pot seeds for a fruity and floral flavour with plenty of heat.

5. The “Chocolate” 7 Pot

Scoville Units: 1,853,936
This super-hot chilli is also known as the Douglah. It is the rarest of 7 Pot chillies and is much sought after.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our run down of the top 5 chillies in order of heat. If you can remember that Scotch Bonnet you tried and times the heat by about 10, you’re getting somewhere near the heat of one of the world’s hottest chillies! Do you think you could handle it?

If all this spicy talk has got you wanting to try some exceptionally hot chillis then be warned! Don’t choose water when you’re looking for something to cool the burning sensation. Milk is a much better choice. It contains a protein called casein that will help to break the bonds between the capsaicinoids and your pain receptors. Yoghurt works well too, and some people prefer the creamy texture. Another winning remedy to chilli heat is said to be white rice, often served up with spicy dishes and probably for good reason.

Now you’ve learned more about the spiciest chilis in the world you could enjoy a chilli adventure or steer well clear of the spicy stuff, the choice is yours!


We all keep certain foods in our refrigerator or American style fridge freezer to keep them fresher and help them to last for longer. But did you know that incorrectly storing your foods in the fridge can shorten their shelf-life and even cause food poisoning? In order to prevent this it’s worth considering how best to organise your food onto the right shelves and drawers in your fridge to keep things efficient, tidy and safe.

How to Organise Your Fridge - Appliance City

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Top and Middle Refrigerator Shelves

The top shelves of your fridge are the warmest, so they are best for keeping your pre-prepared foods. Dairy products like butter and cheese are best kept here. If you have any cooked meat or leftovers, store these in sealed containers on the middle shelves.

Bottom Refrigerator Shelves

Any raw meat or fish should be stored on the bottom shelf of your fridge. There are two reasons for this. The first is because this is the coldest part of the fridge, so will keep your raw items fresher for longer. The second is because there’s a lower risk of raw juices that can cause food poisoning dripping on to foods that are ready to eat.

The Salad Drawer

As you’d expect, this is the best place to store your salad, vegetables and fruit. Some salad drawers have humidity controls that help salad items like lettuce and cucumber and veg such as cauliflower, broccoli, beans, carrots and leafy veg to last longer.

Fridge Door Racks

It’s best not to store anything that needs to be kept really cold in the fridge door rack because the temperature can fluctuate quite considerably when the door is opened. Many people keep milk here but it’s not the best place to maximise the shelf life. You’d be better off keeping eggs, condiments, jam and fruit juices here.

Tips for Optimum Fridge Storage

Fridge Temperature

Always keep your fridge temperature below 5 degrees celcius (41 degrees farenheit) to keep your food items cool enough. If things are getting frosty, move them away from the coolest areas (close to the back or on the bottom shelf) to somewhere that’s not quite as cold. Your fridge will use less energy and keep at a more constant temperature if it is kept well stocked, so it’s best to use a fridge that’s appropriate to the amount of food you usually keep rather than having one that’s much bigger than you need. If you have a big family, a spacious american style fridge freezer is ideal as long as you store enough to keep it fairly full most of the time.

Refrigeration Time

When you’re preparing food that’s best kept refrigerated, try to work as quickly as possible. Keeping it out of the fridge for the minimum amount of time will help it stay fresher. If you have leftovers that you want to keep, make sure you refrigerate them within 90 minutes and consume them within 2 days.

Use By and Best Before Dates

Make sure you avoid food poisoning by understanding the dates on your food. Use by dates are only added to food that can go off quickly. It can be dangerous to eat foods past their use by date so treat them with caution.

Best before dates are added to foods with a longer life. They are an indication of when the food will be at its best. If a food has passed this date it doesn’t necessarily mean that the food will be harmful. The flavour and texture may have changed making the food less enjoyable.

 


Have you ever felt like that chocolate bar you loved as a child seems smaller? Perhaps this question has caused discussion and speculation between friends and family, like whether or not chocolate should be kept in the fridge or not, or if Galaxy chocolate is nicer than Cadbury chocolate. Some say you were smaller as a child, the chocolate treat simply seemed bigger. Others are utterly convinced that their favourite chocolate treats have in fact shrunk. We polled 1000 people and found out that 79.8% of respondents in the UK think chocolate is getting smaller, whereas only 48.3% of US respondents thought the same, with many more US respondents believing it has stayed the same or even got bigger. So what is the truth behind the question? We set out to find the answer and finally settle the score.

It wasn’t an easy task. Oh how hungry we felt as we searched for the evidence to bring to you. All the memories of chocolate bars eaten and enjoyed. Images of chocolate bar wrappers floating past our eyes making our tummies rumble. But we were determined to uncover the truth! The results are rather interesting…

AC-Chocolate-Shrinking

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Are Mars Bar Smaller?

As you can see, many of your favourite chocolate bars have varied in size over the years. Take the Mars bar for example. Records track the standard Mars bar weighed 49g in the 1980s, 65g in the 1990s and dropped to 50g in 2009. This is quite a drop that you’re sure to have noticed if you’re having a mars a day to help you work, rest and play.  What’s more, in 2013 the Mars bar then grew slightly to the weight you’ll find today, 51g. If your memory of Mars Bars is from childhood in the 1990s, you’d actually now be eating something that’s significantly smaller than you remember. However since its introduction to the UK it has actually grown by 4%.

Mars

Are Yorkie Bars Smaller Than They Used To Be?

The worst culprit we found was the Yorkie bar, marketed as a chocolate bar so hefty ‘it’s not for girls’. The slogan itself may have caused controversy but so have its various shrinking incarnations. Our records found the original Yorkie bar weighed 58g back in the 1970s, and over time shrunk to 52g, before increasing to a whopping 70g in the 2000s before settling at its current weight of 46g. In total that’s a 20% decrease. You’d certainly notice the missing chunk if you were a regular Yorkie eater, as the once six-chunk bar now only has five chunks to enjoy.

Yorkie

Are Wagon Wheels Smaller And How Big Did They Used To Be?

The shrinking Wagon Wheel question has long been discussed, and was in fact dismissed by this official statement from Burton’s biscuit company, who declared: “Contrary to popular belief, Wagon Wheels have not actually got smaller, most often our first Wagon Wheel experience is in childhood and hence our hands are much smaller.” We were determined to find out the truth where others have failed, and after much investigation we uncovered some findings that might make the Burton’s spokesperson blush.

Depending on your age (I’m not asking!) you might remember the Wagon Wheels of the 80s or before. Sometime during the 80s they saw their first reduction from a 79mm width to a 74mm width. Following this, they shrunk again sometime between their 2006 weight of 41g and today’s weight of 36g. Again this is no small change, a 12% decrease is something you’d be sure to notice.

Wagon-Wheel

Across the board chocolate seems to have shrunk more in the UK than in the US. However, the change of chocolate sizes is an international phenomena as illustrated by some favourites from outside the UK. The Hershey’s Rally was initially 40g in the 1980s but increased to 63g in the 2000s and then shrunk to 47g in the 2010s, creating actual overall growth of 18% from its introduction. However, those who were used to eating the bigger bar of the 2000s will feel the decrease. The reduction in the standard Hershey’s bar caused some controversy but it’s actually one of the smallest changes we’ve found, shrinking from 46g in the 70s to 43g, then further decreasing to 42g more recently. It’s possibly the attempt to mislead consumers that has caused the most outrage in this case. The height and length of the bar are said to have remained the same so the overall appearance seemed the same. However the manufacturers created a thinner bar, which was sold at the same price. This current bar is still bigger than its original 60s incarnation which was just 35g.

Why Is Chocolate Changing In Size?

The amounts that your chocolate bars have changed vary significantly, and there are different explanations for why they might have shrunk and grown throughout the decades. Different manufacturers will have their own reasons or may be making these changes as a result of a variety of factors, so let’s take a look at what these might be.

1. The Global Demand For Chocolate

Chocolate has become more and more popular, and the global demand has increased significantly. Since 2008, demand is reported to have increased 80% and at the same time cocoa yields are reducing. Chocolate manufacturers may simply be trying to eke out the supplies they are able to get hold of, so they can keep selling volume of their products. The chocolate supply isn’t infinite.

2. Health Concerns

Over recent years obesity has become more of a concern. It is impacting on public health and medical costs. Measures have been put in place to try to improve public health, and pressure has been put on businesses to help. Is our wellbeing as a race at the heart of the chocolate changes?

3.Company Profits

Perhaps the reason most often stated as the cause, but also the most cynical, it’s simply down to company profits. If the manufacturer can sell less of a product for the same price they will make more money on it. In the majority of cases the chocolate producers don’t seem to have reduced prices in line with chocolate shrinkages, so this may be a factor.

Whatever the reason, it has been investigated. Our chocolate bars are changing in size over time. Your own perception will probably be coloured by the size of the chocolate at the time you were growing up, and whether it has grown or shrunk since then. It’s not just nostalgia for the good old days that’s tinting our perception of our favourite treats. Some of our most popular bars have been significantly morphing over the years! Perhaps a smaller chocolate indulgence isn’t such a bad thing for our health? But savour every bite, there’s not always quite so much to enjoy as there used to be 😉

 


Choosing the right range cooker for you

When investing in a range cooker, carrying out the right level of research and planning is essential so that your final purchase is perfect for your kitchen and your lifestyle.

Read our guide to discover which features and options will be the most suitable for you.      

What size do you have room for?

Choosing the right size of range cooker should be the first step you take when finding the perfect appliance for you.

If you are renovating your kitchen, you can be more flexible with the size of your range cooker. However, if you are simply looking to replace your existing appliance, getting the dimensions right is crucial.

Range cookers come in a number of sizes, typically 90cm, 110cm and 120cm, which are somewhat bigger than standard cookers. While smaller range cookers tend to offer six hob burners or induction zones, an oven and a grill, the larger sized appliances include the standard six hob burners or induction zones, along with a built-in griddle, two ovens, a grill and also a storage drawer.

The right fuel source is crucial

Range cookers are available with different fuel sources, and choosing the right option is critical for gaining the best possible culinary experience.

Take the time to understand which fuel sources work well for different types of cooking, so that whether you are a baker or even a multicultural cook, you can invest in the right one.

Electric range cookers, whereby both the oven and hob use electricity as their heating source, are more energy efficient than alternatively fuelled range cookers. They also tend to be more stylish, with sleek, modern finishes on their induction hobs. For those who enjoy baking, electric range cookers with fan ovens can also deliver perfectly sculpted cake and cookies.

Dual fuel range cookers provide both gas and electric features within the one appliance. Their gas hobs tend to cost less to run than electric induction hobs, perfect for when you are saving towards your next kitchen appliance. Not only that, but gas hobs provide the perfect support for woks and other unique cooking accessories, so are great for those looking to try out lots of different cuisines.

Colour and style should be considered

Range cookers are available in many different designs. For more traditional houses, there are classic styles available, many of which resemble original AGA cookers. Whereas for homes with a contemporary edge, there are also range cookers designed with sleek, stunning simplicity.

Colour is also something to think about. While a few years ago, you would have had a limited choice of black, white or silver, you can now opt for appliances in any shade on the spectrum. So, think about your kitchen decor and the mood you want to emanate. If you wish to boost the appetite of dinner guests, deep hues of red work well, whereas blue shades are best for creating a sense of calm and creativity.

Any additional features are beneficial

Once you have chosen the standard features, it is time to turn your attention to personalising your range cooker.

Cleaning features are extremely popular as they can prevent the need for hours of oven scrubbing. Stay-clean liners for example, simply surround the oven and absorb any cooking spills, and are also easily replaceable.

Other popular accessories include adjustable legs, rotisseries, griddles and wok supports.

Think about how you will be using your range cooker

If you have a family, induction hobs are recommended as they come with child friendly features such as child locks and automatic heat reduction.

Meanwhile, those wanting to regularly entertain friends and family with their culinary creations should think about investing in a larger range cooker as well as warming drawers to prepare plates and keep food warm.

As these kitchen appliances play an important role in the home, taking the time to make the right choice will ensure a happy future for you, your home and your cooking.

Author Bio

Rachel Campbell is a content writer for Britannia Living, supplier of premium kitchen appliances, including their well-known colourange, in which those looking to purchase a range cooker can find the perfect appliance for them in any colour they wish.


Many of us love a glass or two of our favourite wine every now and then, perhaps at the weekend or with a nice meal. Others drink it on a regular basis with most meals. We can’t deny that wine drinking is a big part of our culture and lifestyle, an enjoyable treat and even a hobby for some. But there are times when we need some simple solutions to problems only wine drinkers will appreciate. You may recognise some of these familiar issues: How do I open my wine without a corkscrew? What shall I do with leftover wine? How can I cool wine faster? Can I improve a bottle of cheap wine? You may have your own solutions to some of these, but we’ve found some of the simplest and most creative wine hacks to help out wine lovers everywhere.

wine hacks

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Opening the Bottle

Let’s start with the unopened bottle of wine. It can be a challenge to open, even with a corkscrew. But what if you are hosting a dinner party, and at that crucial moment you can’t find the corkscrew? There are actually more ways than you might imagine to tackle opening the bottle. Household items like a picture hook, screw, nail, string and key can get the wine flowing and, ultimately, save the party. One of these items is sure to be hanging around in the absence of the corkscrew. Failing that, a drill and a bike pump can also be used! This one might just be more of a fun experiment, but it could still get you out of a bind.

Leftovers, and Chilling Wine

If you have leftover wine, why not freeze it in an ice cube tray? It will save the wine for use in cooking or for chilling your next glass (if you regularly drink the same white wine). Alternatively you can freeze some grapes to chill wine without watering it down. Genius! Whilst we’re thinking about chilling (the wine, that is), did you know there are some ways to get your bottle cool more quickly? Maybe you forgot to put it in the fridge and guests are almost arriving, or dinner is nearly ready. Try one of these two methods:

  • Wrap the bottle in a wet towel and then freeze.
  • Place the wine in a bucket of icy water and add salt. This will cool the wine faster than using ice alone as the liquid will help transfer the heat out of the bottle and the salt lowers the temperature by lowering the freezing point. Scientific!

Improving Cheap Wine

There are also some tips on what to do with a cheap bottle of wine. Perhaps you didn’t have much money in your pocket when you bought your last bottle, or you were gifted something you wouldn’t usually drink. If you like a sweet wine, adding pineapple will enhance the sweetness in a cheap white. You can also ‘aerate’ cheaper wine in a blender for 30 seconds, this is said to help it taste more expensive.

We’ve created this infographic to share some interesting, helpful and intriguing wine hacks. These quick tips could save a dinner party, perk up a bottle of plonk and speed up the ‘purchase to table’ journey. So enjoy (over your favourite tipple, perhaps?), share them with someone else who will find them useful and tell us about your own wine hacks!


Whether we love it or not, most of us take up the job of cooking for ourselves and loved ones and, especially if you are not the best cook and don’t particularly enjoy it, there are times when it seems that a simple solution to a common problem is just beyond our reach. And, whether you realise it or not, we all have little tricks and hacks that we incorporate into certain everyday processes, some more creative than others; who knew frozen grapes were the perfect wine coolers?

Take for example dried fruit. Occasionally, products available in supermarkets and shops just don’t cut the mustard. With today’s desire for organic and additive free food it might be hard to find the healthy alternatives you’re looking for and it would never occur to most of us that we could just make our own. Luckily there is a solution and a hack for everything, including making your own dried fruit! Who would have known that by simply baking fruit in the oven for the right amount of time would give you tasty dried fruit made from your own selection of fresh, organic products?

food hacks infographic

If you’re a wine lover (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) the mere idea of adding ice cubes to your heavenly beverage probably seems a lot like sacrilege. At first you might delight in the idea of having ice cold wine no matter how warm the weather is. But give it a few minutes and the delicate, zesty notes of that Sauvignon Blanc you’re drinking will start to disappear as it is diluted by the melting ice.

A simple solution: add frozen grapes to the glass to enjoy a glass of chilled wine without watering it down (it also looks much more elegant than ice cubes!). In the very, ahem, rare case that you have left over wine from cooking, why not freeze the remaining wine in ice cube trays ready for future cooking whenever you need it? You’ll have less wastage, easy and convenient access to small volumes of wine when you need it and money saved in the long run – sounds good to us!

Today’s DIY culture has spawned a generation of enthusiasts who just love to “hack” everything from furniture and décor to clothing and accessories. We’ve created this infographic to share some interesting, unique and valuable food hacks. These simple tips will help you to solve those trivial yet annoying kitchen problems as well as save a bit of money, too! And, erm, perfect bacon anyone?! So enjoy, share them with someone else who will find them useful and tell us about your own hacks!

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For millions of us, getting through the day without our coffee is just impossible. Whether you’re genuinely addicted to the caffeine kick that many coffee lovers crave, or you just love the beautiful flavours of your favourite handcrafted drink, this ubiquitous beverage is only growing in popularity (if that’s even possible!). The coffee industry is worth over $100billion worldwide. As a sought after commodity it comes second, only being beaten by crude oil. That puts it ahead of gas, gold, silver, sugar and corn!

Coffee Guide

Each year over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world, so it’s not surprise that it’s the second most traded item. In the US alone 350 million cups are consumed everyday with 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drinking coffee daily. Interestingly, the same percentage of coffee drinkers say that coffee makes them feel more like themselves. Although this is probably a statement that many of us can relate to (I know I do) it is actually a sign of caffeine addiction!

In America the aromatic, freshly brewed varieties are more popular compared to the UK where 77% favour instant coffee at home. In recent years however, coffee shops have popped up on just about every high street everywhere which means freshly made bean to cup beverages are more popular than ever. In January 2014 it was reported that the UK coffee shop market had a staggering £6.2billion turnover with an expected £8.7billion by 2018.

This incredible growth means that great coffee is accessible just about everywhere you go and has encouraged a nation of coffee enthusiasts with many of us opting for modern coffee making machines to create our favourite drinks at home. And of course, the possibilities are endless! All of the lattes, espressos, cappuccinos, frappuccinos, freddos, traditional coffees and the endless concoctions that are being invented everyday mean that there is a drink to suit all tastes. Summer is over so unfortunately that means no more of the tasty iced coffees that we love so much. But in honour of the return of the ever popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, check out this recipe over at The Kitchn so you can make your very own!

pumpkin spice latte

Because we LOVE coffee, we’ve been working on some exciting coffee related content to share with you. There is so much to learn and this infographic is only a part of what we’ve been up to. Enjoy and stay tuned for something even more exciting!

 

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If you haven’t noticed, here at Appliance City we’re going through a bit of a spice obsession. Our round-up of the best chilli recipes in honour of National Chilli Day (27th Feb, get it in your diaries for next year) got us thinking about the humble pepper. From the juicy bell pepper, commonly used for cooking, to the terrifying Ghost pepper, there are so many varieties to try and get your head around. With this in mind, we’ve create this pretty cool (if we do say so ourselves) infographic about some of the fiercest chillies on the planet. So sit back and enjoy The Good, The Bad, and The Spicy:

ac-spice

The Good, The Bad, and The Spicy – An infographic by the team at Appliance City

Embed The Good, The Bad, and The Spicy on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

 

On paper, it might not sound like much, but phew – those top five really pack a punch. Don’t believe us? Check out this video from the guys at the Clifton Chilli Club munching on a couple of the terrifyingly named California Reapers:

Ouch! And the rest aren’t much better either:

Jane from Jane’s Little Word of Chilli and Horrors chows down on a Moruga Scorpian:

Ted from Fire Breathing Idiot gets his chops around a 7 Pot Brain Strain:

Bill of Bill Moore’s Hot & Spicy Reviews takes on the 7 Pot Primo:

and finally, Andy McQuain tackles the Chocolate 7 Pot:

Despite what these videos, and our infographic, might be telling you chillies aren’t all about pain and suffering! In fact, we’ve gathered some interesting facts about chillies that don’t relate to pain. (Well, maybe a little bit)…

Fun Facts About Chilli:

Following salt, chillies are the next most commonly used food in the world.

Chillies can help relieve ailments from arthritis, high blood pressure, headaches and migraines, sore throats and even ulcers!

Farmers in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent use chillies to defend their crops from elephants as they can’t stand the smell!

Chillies make you happy! The part of the brain which registers heat is right next to the part which makes us feel happy.

Avoid water when looking to cool the burn. Milk will help to cool you off because casein, a protein found in dairy products, breaks the bond between your pain receptors and the capsaicinoids in the peppers.

Ounce for ounce, green chillies have more vitamin C than citrus fruits.

Chilli peppers increase your metabolism and curb your cravings for fatty and sweet foods.

Sources:

http://premiumhotsauce.com/story/anatomy-pepper

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoville_scale

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/1/hottest-chili

http://www.thehottestpepper.com/ghost-chili-pepper-fun-facts.html