What is Peri-Peri Sauce?

For most of you, you may have never heard about peri-peri sauce, but it has been around for the last six centuries across our world. Over the years, this sauce has become a staple for great barbecuing, yet it is still underrated in the BBQ world, as more and more people are learning about its goodness. If you are a fan of spice, then you will love peri-peri sauce. It has a kick that is outmatched by few in the world today. Furthermore, it has a texture that is scrumptious and delicious in nature. That is why you should read up about peri-peri sauce, so you can unlock the secrets of this great barbecue recipe.

Historical Context

Since the 1400s, peri-peri sauce has been used in some capacity to help add flavoring to meat. The translation, in Swahili, for peri-peri sauce literally means “pepper-pepper.” It was called this because the chili in the sauce packs a punch that is too hot for a lot of people. It was originally called the “African bird’s eye chili,” and used by the Portuguese people to add to their cooking practices. Initially, this sauce was made with only a few ingredients, but over time, more and more mixes were made to compete against one another.

Many people groups have made claims that they created the peri-peri sauce, such as the Portuguese/Mozambicans and the Portuguese/Angolans. The Portuguese even spell the name of the sauce differently. They spell it with an “i” instead of an “e” (i.e. piri-piri). China has also made claims that the piri-piri pepper has grown in their homeland for generations as a crop or out in the wild. In the many areas that is it grown, the peri-peri pepper comes in a red or green variety. Either way, peri-peri sauce is here to stay and here to be enjoyed for future generations. That could not be clearer than the way the restaurant chain, Nando’s, is doing business in today’s day and age. They are marketing peri-peri sauce, and people are coming from around the world to enjoy the delicacy on a variety of dishes.

Some people even buy a bottle of peri-peri sauce to take home with them to use for their barbecuing purposes, while others give it as a gift. Since 1987, Nando’s has been at the forefront of peri-peri sauce. In their tiny café, Nando’s has seen a heightened interest every year for their sauce. Even celebrities like Beyonce, David Beckham, and Oprah have come to Nando’s religiously because the sauce is so phenomenal. So, the celebrities like this sauce, but why should you is the real question to answer?

Features of a Peri-Peri Pepper

The peri-peri pepper grows on a bush of sorts. The plant has leaves to protect the peppers from harsh elements like the sun or frigid weather conditions. Each pepper can measure out to be about 9 cm in length, on average. The pepper has individualized pods that hold the goodness inside. Cultivators know that the peppers are ready to harvest when they have turned from green to red in color.

Peri-Peri Facts

The peri-peri chili is used primarily with chicken. Vitamin A, B, and C are all interwoven within this chili. Within its roots, the peri-peri chili has capsaicin. If you do not know what that is, you are not alone. This chemical helps with a person’s mood, their metabolism, and endorphin movements. The chili is also a natural preservative, so nothing needs to be added to keep it fresh. Today, the chili is harvested in places across Africa, like Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, and Zambia.

Sauce Ingredients

As stated earlier, there can be a lot of ways to created peri-peri sauce, but the ingredients can be few. One simple recipe calls for only garlic, paprika, and red wine vinegar paired with peri-peri to make the sauce. Others use lemon to add to the acidity of the sauce while adding a fragrant herb of some sort like bay leaves. Even coconut has been used to enhance the flavor of peri-peri sauce. Now, this sauce is no slouch in the spicy department. The peri-peri chili is a hot one. How hot you ask? There is a hotness measurement called the Scoville scale. It was created to quantify heat units. The peri-peri chili tops out at 175,000 heat units. Compared to other spicy chilies, the peri-peri is hotter than the Thai chili, but not as hot as the ghost chili pepper. If you can’t handle even a Thai chili, it would be in your best interest to steer clear of a peri-peri sauce, unless you can add other ingredients to lighten the spice. Another recipe you may want to try involves lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. To add spice to the barbecue, consider adding cayenne pepper and chili flakes. Whisk it all together to complement your meat.

Barbecuing Instructions

Now that you have all your ingredients mixed together for peri-peri sauce, it is time to barbecue your meat. First, slap some chicken on a grill, in a smoker, or over a nice, warm fire. You will need to brush the peri-peri sauce on the chicken before it goes over the heat or during. The choice is really yours to make ultimately. As the meat is cooking, you may want to add more peri-peri sauce to make sure that it cooks into the meat appropriately. When your meat is done, you may want to add some peri-peri sauce for good measure all slathered on your meat. The amount of sauce you put on the chicken is purely up to you, but remember that the heat from the sauce really packs a punch, so be ready to have some water or milk in hand to cool off your taste buds.

A peri-peri sauce can be your best friend when barbecuing. If you like a little spice, this chili is perfect for any brisket, pulled pork sandwich, or chicken wings. Try incorporating different spices together, and see what you come up with.

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