Our product development process is usually meticulously structured, starting with thorough research, a set sequence of developmental stages, including multiple iterations, peer reviews and the translation of the resulting prototype into a formula that is scaleable.

This structured approach usually leads us to satisfactory outcomes unless it is a hot summer’s day and my boys decide that they want to have home-made ice cream, which requires quite some space for the ice machine inside our freezer. This ice machine is basically a bowl with hollow walls which contain coolant. This bowl needs to sit in the freezer until the coolant has reached a temperature of minus eighteen degrees celsius. As soon as it does, we mix fruit, cream and yoghurt in a blender and pour it into the frozen bowl, while the kitchen machine scrapes the tasty crystals off the wall and blends them into a smooth ice cream. In anticipation of this indulgence, my boys replaced seven large bags of frozen chilies inside our freezer (leftovers from a previous culinary experiment involving fresh chilies) with the aforementioned bowl.

With nowhere else to put the seven bags of thawing chilies, I threw them into the largest pot I could find, added tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and sugar and left the lot to cook slowly until I could fill it into jars.

That day our sweet-7-chili sauce was born; no research, no development, no iterations. Just hungry kids with different priorities than their father’s.