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The Fiery Peri Peri

Spicy, fiery, and lively are just a few words that describe peri peri(or piri-piri). What is peri peri? It can be many things, but peri peri is best known as a chile based sauce mostly used as a seasoning or marinade for meat, especially chicken. It is made from crushed chilies, citrus peel, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice, bay leaves, basil, oregano, paprika, pimiento, and tarragon.

Even though peri peri's origins are from Portugal, the sauce is mostly prevalent in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa. Peri peri is also referred to as African birds eye or red devil chile. You might have heard about Nandos famous chicken restaurants renowned for their flame-grilled peri peri chicken? If not, then it is a story worth reading about.

For centuries peri peri grew wild in Africa before it was first introduced to Europe in the late 15th century. It is alleged that Christopher Columbus brought back these fiery fruit pods upon his return from discovering the Americas. However, it is also believed that the Portuguese sailors took the chile peppers to Mozambique and Angola, which were two of their colonies. Hence, the Swahili word for "pepper-pepper" is piri-piri. These peppers are now cultivated commercially mainly for food processing and for the pharmaceutical industry. But for us, we use peri peri to whip up an unusual sauce to use in stir-fries, cooking shrimp, poultry dishes, soups and stews or as a topping for grilled foods.

When you want to prepare something different to serve to your family or friends rather than a bland ordinary dinner, you might consider spicing up your recipes with our peri peri chile blend. To get you started try this zesty chicken recipe:

Peri Peri Chicken and Potatoes - click link