One of my favourite places on the planet is Mexico. I adore the people I have met in Mexico. I love the flavours used to enhance food. The countryside is mesmerising and I am obsessed with the dynamic energy of Mexico City. It is one of the only locations on Earth where I feel completely at ease.
Given my acute fondness for the country and culture, you can imagine how distant Mexico feels from my current home in London. Thankfully, there is a company doing their very best to make sure I get an authentic taste of Mexico right here in the UK.
Please rise for the Cool Chile Company.
I was recently invited to visit the Cool Chile factory in North London and what I witnessed was enough to bring a rumble to the belly of even a well-seasoned foodie like myself. The premises were stacked floor to ceiling with the most mouth-watering spices and condiments this side of Xalapa. Chipotles were whole, diced, powdered, tinned, bagged and presented in almost any way you can imagine. You think of any Mexican ingredient and rest assured the Cool Chile Company have got you covered.
Cool Chile chipotle ketchup
But surely the crowning glory of the company is the stunning piece of equipment they call El Monstruo. This wondrous example of engineering is responsible for the staple of all Mexican cuisine. The tortilla.
El Monstruo works like an independent tortilla factory. It takes the dried masa harina, mixes it into dough, presses and cuts the tortillas before cooking them on a long chain conveyor belt that loops back on itself inside the giant machine.
Workers collect the finished product at the end, weigh the bundles and shrink pack them for greedy consumers just like me. The machine works at the output of 3500 tortillas an hour and chugs away five days a week. That’s a lot of tortillas.
Mixing the dough
Coming out of the oven
The end of the line
Shrink wrapped for sale
I have not been able to source any other corn tortillas in the UK and even with that fact aside, the Cool Chile Company tortillas are some of the best I have consumed anywhere. We use them frequently in my kitchen and they even took pride of place at my Mexican supper club last year.
Vegan jackfruit carnitas made with Cool Chile tortillas
Flautas stuffed with vegan chorizo & mashed potato made with Cool Chile tortillas
If you bulk buy from one food company this year, I couldn’t recommend highly enough that you make it Cool Chile Company. From their corn tortillas to their easy black bean soup mix, the company has everything you need to make delicious and authentic Mexican food.
Shop online via the Cool Chile Website
Visit their stall at Borough Market
Follow Cool Chile Company on Twitter