gulp | verb | ɡʌlp
"to eat food quickly because of excitement"
Gulp - that feeling of licking the bowl, that satisfying umami tingle in your jaw. It's more than a name, it's a feeling. Wherever we wander, our tastebuds tend to explore cultures through flavours. From one street food stall to the next, every bite has unknowingly been in the name of research. It left our bellies filled, our tastebuds tantalised and our heads wondering - 'how can we transport street food flavours into our kitchens?'. The answer, you guessed it, is hiding at the bottom of each jar.
If you're looking for us, try the kitchen. From dawn 'til dusk, we're like pirates emptying the treasures of our pantry - on a never-ending mission to experiment with ingredients, dabble into flavours and witness their harmonies come to life.
Our inspiration for Gulp blossomed from tiptoeing from one street food stall to the next. There's an irresistible charm to the wonders of street food. The hustle and bustle, the sweaty upper lip, and the mouth-numbing sensations that go with it.
And for us, Biang Biang noodles were the main event. Picture thick hand-stretched noodles that are garnished with fiery chilli peppers, garlic and spring onions and showered in sizzling oil. Simple ingredients, that when brought together, create a firework of flavours.
There had to be a way to transport that street food essence to our kitchen. And thus, our chilli oil quest began. One year, 137 recipes and more noodle bowls than you can ever imagine, we managed to capture our street food memories in a jar
"The secret lies in the complex characters of our simple ingredients. Sichuan chillis, peppercorns and a beautiful bouquet of spices."
Umami in every ruby-red drop
The Sichuan cuisine is notorious for its mastery of hot, salty, sweet, bitter, numb, sour, and aromatic flavours. In order to create a chilli oil that harmonises the soul of Sichuan cooking, we had to get our hands on Mother Nature's finest ingredients. And so we did.
Erjingtiao - complex & fragrant. Chilli peppers have a reputation. Hot, fiery, spicy. But this one, Erjingtiao, is so much more than that. With its milder heat, complex flavour and deep red colour it is the most desired chilli in Sichuan cooking, yet it rarely travels beyond the borders of China. Until now, that is.
Sichuan peppercorns - floral & tongue-tingling. Plucked from the prickly ash shrub, these rich citrus berries leave a numbing yet satisfying sensation in your mouth. An integral part every Sichuan dish, these peppercorns were considered so precious that they were offered as a tribute to the emperor.
Spice mix - pungent & harmonious. Our carefully selected and freshly ground spice blend is where traditional Chinese recipes meet our own signature touch. It's mixed with the Erjingtao chillis for an intense flavour sensation.
Oil infusion - rich & aromatic. We infuse locally sourced rapeseed oil with whole spices before pouring the sizzling fragrance over our Erjingtiao chillis. The results? A ruby-red oil that echoes the flavours that lie beneath.
"The fiery storm of a faintly lit street market is only a distant memory when we find ourselves in front of the stove. If only we could bottle the ambience and add it to our dishes. Well, that's exactly what we did."
Sichuan - where fire meets rain
The Sichuan kitchen is as rich as the name suggests and we haven't stopped thinking about it ever since its fiery character touched our lips.
A Sichuan meal without its namesake peppers is like cooking pasta and leaving out a generous helping of salt to the water (don't even think about it). It's that important. But spin back 500 years and chillis weren’t even part of the Chinese cuisine. In the 16th - 17th century, our fiery friends made their first entrance via the Silk Road, on which they travelled to the East. They were embraced at a time of rebellions and political unrest, influenced by a new stream of immigrants, who all brought their own culinary customs. And while we like to think of our food in flavours, the origin of the Sichuan cuisine was a bit more practical. With the humidity sky rocketing and more rain than sunshine, these fiery peppers were eaten to reduce internal dampness. Soon, the chilli became symbolic for the hot-tempered and strong spirit of the people and has since then happily released endorphins and sweaty upper lips. Today, it is the hero ingredient of the Sichuan cuisine and is known to give a long and healthy life to those who swear by them. But for us, it's the unique flavour that makes these irresistible. Something tells us you'll feel the same soon enough.
We hope you'll drizzle it, like us, on absolutely everything.
Stasja & Julius
Founders & serial noodle slurpers