Banhoek Chili 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 chili oils available on local and even international shelves, they set out to create their own premium oil; testing and trialling dozens of variations of chilies, 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 Chili 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 Chili Oil is named for the valley we call home; where our premium chili 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 Chili Oil was founded on three principles: quality, consistency and flavour. While there are niche chili oils that use olive oil as a base, we believe that the boldness of the olive taste masks the subtle flavours of the chilies. And we’re all about the chili.
That’s why we use a neutral tasting oil, premium rapeseed 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 chilies 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 chilies in the bottle when we ship it to stores? For starters, the flavour will keep changing. By carefully filtering the chilies from the oil once we’ve achieved the perfect balance of flavour and heat, we ensure that the flavour of Banhoek Chili Oil will be as perfect the day you open the bottle, as the moment it left our kitchens. Also, if the chilies are left in the bottle for an extended period the oil will eventually turn rancid. And what a waste of chilies that would be, right?
THE PERKS OF EATING
Aside from the endorphin rush that comes with enjoying a healthy dose of chili heat, these little packages of edible dynamite are good for your health too. Chilies are a great source of vitamins A, B, C and E. And, did you know that chilies have seven times more disease-fighting vitamin C than oranges? They’re packed with minerals that help your body to flush out toxins, and chilies 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 rapeseed 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 Chili 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 chili oil that carries the bold flavours of sun-ripened Bird’s Eye chilies with just the right hit of heat. Banhoek Chili Oil; an essential addition to every pantry.