Banhoek Chilli Oil was established in South Africa’s Western Cape winelands in 2017; the founders inspired by a “sauce piquante” they’d discovered and enjoyed while living in Europe.
Frustrated by the dearth of chilli oils available on local and even international shelves, they set out to create their own premium oil; testing and trialling dozens of variations of chillies, oils and production methods until they got it right. What began as a passion project in a home kitchen has since grown into a thriving enterprise, and today Banhoek Chilli Oil is sold in hundreds of stores across southern Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Welcome to our world of flavour and heat.
BANHOEK / FEAR CORNER
Banhoek Chilli Oil is named for the valley we call home; where our premium chilli oil is handcrafted in our custom-built production kitchens. In centuries past, travellers braving the Helshoogte (‘Hell’s Heights’) Pass between the historic towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek would keep a keen eye out for the lions and leopards that roamed free here. The eastern slopes of the mountains were particularly intimidating, and they dubbed this valley the Ban(g)hoek, or ‘Fear Corner’. Today it’s a picturesque highlight of South Africa’s Western Cape winelands and – as our many visitors would agree – not at all scary.
THE PURSUIT OF
Banhoek Chilli Oil was founded on three principles: quality, consistency and flavour. While there are niche chilli oils that use olive oil as a base, we believe that the boldness of the olive taste masks the subtle flavours of the chillies. And we’re all about the chilli.
That’s why we use a neutral tasting oil, premium canola oil, harvested from the golden farmlands of the Overberg district, an hour’s drive from Cape Town. It’s the perfect partner for the locally grown Bird’s Eye chillies that are sun-dried, hand-crushed and gently infused into the oil to deliver the perfect balance of flavour and heat.
So why don’t we leave some of those lovely chillies in the bottle when we ship it to stores? For starters, the flavour will keep changing. By carefully filtering the chillies from the oil once we’ve achieved the perfect balance of flavour and heat, we ensure that the flavour of Banhoek Chilli Oil will be as perfect the day you open the bottle, as the moment it left our kitchens. Also, if the chillies are left in the bottle for an extended period the oil will eventually turn rancid. And what a waste of chillies that would be, right?
THE PERKS OF EATING
Aside from the endorphin rush that comes with enjoying a healthy dose of chilli heat, these little packages of edible dynamite are good for your health too. Chillies are a great source of vitamins A, B, C and E. And, did you know that chillies have seven times more disease-fighting vitamin C than oranges? They’re packed with minerals that help your body to flush out toxins, and chillies have even been shown to lower the incidence of cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes.
IN PRAISE OF
Extracted from the seeds of the canola plant – a member of the same Brassicaceae family as broccoli – our non GMO canola oil is one of the healthiest oils on the market; it’s cholesterol free and low in saturated fats. And because it is high in omega-3 fatty acids it can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It is also a potent source of brain-building omega-6, as well as vitamins E and K that can help fight skin damage and the effects of ageing.
Every batch of Banhoek Chilli Oil is handcrafted, with induction technology ensuring an even extraction of flavour from local ingredients only. After infusion the rosy-hued oil is drained, cooled and passed through a 16-stage filter to ensure a crystal-clear chilli oil that carries the bold flavours of sun-ripened Bird’s Eye chillies with just the right hit of heat. Banhoek Chilli Oil; an essential addition to every pantry.