A Caribbean favourite with a distinct créole flavour, Touloulou Créole Shop has arrived from the French Caribbean island of Martinique to grace the shores of Australia with a sweet heat. Their special sauce blends authentic spices with the popular scotch bonnet pepper, who sneakily disguises itself throughout the French Caribbean islands under a different name: Bondamanjak.
Touloulou is committed to using fresh ingredients and produces products free of artificial colourants, flavourants and preservatives. We caught up with the spicy creator of Touloulou’s Bondamanjak Créole Chilli Sauce, Chef Micka, to find out more about this French Caribbean wonder.
Tell us a bit about your story, your company and how you started. Was there a specific turning point in your life where you realised that the world can no longer do without your sauces?
It all started when I moved to Sydney in 2011, straight from the Caribbean. Starting from scratch is not always fun but when you really want it, it is always an amazing and enriching experience. After a couple of weeks, I realised that there weren't a lot of people from the Caribbean and even less from the French Caribbean islands around. Nevertheless, I met a few and we all started to get together for Caribbean feasts.
Being a pastry chef by trade, I started to bring gifts to those gatherings, gifts in jars. Everyone loved it and I kept their smile in the back of my mind. Fast forward to when I started to work at Jonkanoo, a Caribbean joint (another great experience). We were looking at Caribbean pepper sauces for our customers to use while dinning at the restaurant. Because of difficulties to get the supply on time, I decided to dust off the old family recipe book. People loved it and the rest is history, Touloulou was on its way!
Do you have a philosophy, a mission statement or core values that you would like to share with us?
At Touloulou Créole Shop, we are committed to only offering the highest quality of products such as hot sauces, spice rubs, exotic jams and other delicious condiments, based on traditional family recipes.
Do you grow your own chillies and other ingredients or source them from local providers?
At least 98% of the ingredients that we use in our chilli sauce are Australian grown. We are so very proud about it!
Tell us more about your range of sauces. Eg. Do you have a range of different heat levels available? What types of chillies do you use?
At the moment we only have one level of heat, but you can adjust the heat according to how much you use. We use Scotch bonnet peppers, also known as Bondamanjak.
There are plenty of chilli products on the market. Is there something special that sets your sauce apart?
The recipe for our sauce is from Martinique, a French Caribbean island. Along with the Scotch Bonnet pepper, there are over 10 other ingredients that complement the chilli and add a depth to the sauce that makes you wanna go back for more.
When you smell Bondamanjak creole sauce, you immediately get the sweetness of the Scotch Bonnet peppers. It makes my taste buds go crazy every time!
We’d love to hear your recommendation on where and how to use your sauces – are there specific dishes to which your sauces are best suited? Can they be used during cooking and used as a dressing over say, a salad?
There is something I love to do with Bondamanjak Creole Sauce (besides using it as a condiment of course) and that is to mix it with mayo! There is nothing better than a spicy mayo, French Caribbean style. I also use it to replace fresh chilli or to bring any marinades to the next level.
Which of your sauces is your personal favourite? What about a personal favourite from another brand?
The beginning of 2017 marks our first step into the market with the release of our premier product: Bondamanjak French Créole chilli sauce. Even if our products list will grow over the next few months, Bondamanjak will always have that special place.
Are you also a chilli lover? What’s the hottest chilli you’ve ever tried and how did you look by the end of it?
Scotch bonnets and habaneros are the roots of any Caribbean person; their flavours are so distinctive that it is really hard to look somewhere else.Touloulou is the name for a small land crab found throughout the French West Indies that is rumoured to be absolutely delicious. The sauce is equally delicious with rich hints of Caribbean scotch bonnet peppers and a fantastic combination of fresh ginger, pepper and garlic underlined by hints of thyme, bay leaves and spring onions. It’s time to feel the heat and time won’t wait for anyone – get yourself a bottle of Bondamanjak Créole Chilli Sauce by Touloulou today to add to your chicken, fish, pork, scrambled eggs and even your Bloody Mary!