The Merchants Mark

Soon after its creation, the company began to use a ‘balemark,’ which identified The Company’s products as they arrived in busy ports or were sold on the trading floor.

Initially a simple mark, this evolved by the 1700s into a heart shaped figure [denoting ‘good luck’] surmounted by a figure four (symbolising Agnus Dei – ‘Lamb of God’] and containing the initials of the company.

This symbol became known as “the chop” a word derived from the Hindi छाप ćhāp – which means stamp.

The chop was not only an easily identifiable mark of The East India Company ownership, for example on tea crates, it also became a symbol of the quality.

The Merchant’s Mark is still used today on all our products, now as then, the distinctive mark of The Company and of quality.


Chilli Jelly

Red chillies are steeped in a sweet jelly and laced with ginger and garlic to deliver a lively and stimulating flavour. This sweet handmade chutney exudes a warmth that makes it perfect for crumbly cheeses.

The East India Company - Lifestyle

Food and Beverages

Chutneys and pickles played an important part in the life of the pioneers of The East India Company - a method of preserving foods that would survive long sea voyages, they were enjoyed at home, in India and beyond.

They were made from a wide variety of ingredients from mangos to tamarinds, lemons, raisins and coconuts, cinnamon, chilies and turmeric to name but a few. All simmered to preservation with vinegar, sugar and spices for about two hours, flavours thus ranging from sweet or sour, spicy or mild.
It was Columbus who discovered the capsicum or chilli pepper in Peru and brought it back to Europe in the 16th century. It was his physician and companion to the New World, Diego Álvarez Chanca, who discovered their medicinal properties and developed the first chilli 'chutney' or paste to administer them.

Chillies soon found their way to India via the Portuguese and became an essential part of Indian cuisine. The East India Company men and women of India became enormously fond of chilli-spiced and aromatic curries, taking the ingredients back to London and trading them beyond.

Our Chilli Jelly is a lively affair - we think it's the critical ingredient to fully savour a chunk of extra mature English Cheddar.


Sugar, Vinegar, Onions, Red Peppers, Ginger, Red Chillies (2%), Gelling Agent: Pectin, Garlic, Lemon Juice (Preservative Sulphur Dioxide).




Typical values 100g – Energy 866kj/203kcal | Fat 0.1g, of which saturates 0g | Carbohydrate 50g, of which sugars 50g | Protein 0.4g | Salt 0g


Store cool and dry, once opened refrigerate and consume within 1 month.


Trade and Spice

Spices and the spice trade have been an enormous influence in global political, social, and economic developments for over 1000 years.

They were considered by those without as rare and valuable, prized for their preservative, medicinal and aromatic qualities. The East India Company realized the opportunity, but it arrived late to the game.

The Arabs in the Near-East dominated the spice trade and then the Portuguese trading in India, the Far-East and the Spice Islands [the modern-day Moluccas of Indonesia).

Of course, not all spices came from the Far-East - the Portuguese had brought chilli peppers from South America to their Indian colonies in the 16th century, which became a part of Indian cuisine and their richly spiced foods.

Captured Portuguese ships full of spice from the Spice Islands whet the appetite for the British, but it was the Dutch that made the first move, sending well-funded fleets to the Spice Islands in the 1590s, using navigational maps stolen from the Portuguese. By quickly establishing trade and being well organised and armed, the Dutch cut off the English, in the form of the East India Company, to the spice trade, who were forced to trade in the surrounding islands.
There was one nutmeg of consolation for the British. Polo Run, which was the only nutmeg-producing portion of the Spice Islands, fell into the Company’s hands from the Dutch in 1616.

The British stumbled upon the opportunity to trade in pepper in Bantam [Java], setting up a ‘factory’ [a fortified warehouse], and there was enough for all to avoid fisticuffs. The East India Company would continue to trade in pepper up to the 19th century.

When the Company arrived in India and started trading, its botanists were exposed to other spices, such as cinnamon from the cassia tree. It then benefitted from its network of Botanical Gardens to propagate seeds and it planted these in new countries within its trading routes. This is why pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon can be found in the West Indies today, now part of the distinctive Cajun cuisine. An enabler to this new trade were spice-grinding operations set up in the docks of London, as it was realised that ground spices were cheaper and easier to ship around the world.

Our spirit delivers no ordinary products

  • FAQ

    Do your chutneys and pickles contain preservatives? How long will it last after opening?
    There are no preservatives, just all natural ingredients. We recommend keeping refridgerated after opening and consuming within 3 months.

  • Delivery & Returns

    UK Standard Delivery: £3.95
    UK Next Day Delivery (mainland UK only): £9.95 (Order before 12pm)
    International Delivery is available, please see our delivery page for details. For more information and Terms & Conditions, please see our Delivery page.

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