We just recently heard about Peri Peri Sauce (also called Piri Piri Sauce). Peri peri meaning “a very hot sauce made with red chili peppers. The word Peri means pepper so the sauce is basically called pepper pepper. So yes, this is hot!!!!
According to Wikipedia, “peri–peri as a foreign word meaning “a very hot sauce made with red chilli peppers”, and gives its ultimate origin as the word for “pepper” (presumably in the native-African sense) in the Ronga language of southern Mozambique, where Portuguese explorers developed the homonymous …”
From our search we found, the sauce has been around since the 15th century when Portuguese explores came across the African birds eye chili pepper. They made a marinade that included garlic, red wine vinegar, paprika and other seasonings. After five hundred years there is still a debate of the exact origins of the recipe. This is what makes food so interesting.
This sauce really brings the flavor to the party!!! As I mentioned, the original Peri Peri Sauce is made with “Birds eye” chili peppers and was found by Portuguese explores in Mozambique. There is a long history around this sauce.
We found any pepper can be used. So, if you want to make a non-spicy version just substitute with a sweet pepper. Of course, we love it spicy and, as we found, is a major keeper!!!!
If youre not familiar with the birds eye chili, according to Wikipedia, its “small, but is quite hot (piquant). It measures around 50,000 – 100,000 Scoville units, which is at the lower half of the range for the hotter habanero, but still much hotter than a jalapeño.”
For our Peri Peri sauce we used a mix of peppers. We used the Purple UFO and Moroccan Cayenne Pepper which are both 30,000 to 50,00 Scoville heat units. And, to ensure it had plenty of heat, we added a ghost pepper which goes up to 1,000,000 on the heat scale!!!! So the sauce had a nice “kick-in-the-whiskers”!!!!
Where Piri Piri Stands Among Hot Peppers
This pepper is hot for sure, but, with a Scoville ranking of 175,000 piri piri ranks at the bottom end of habanero-hot. By comparison, bell peppers and banana peppers rate between 100 and 900 Scoville units, while the very hottest peppers clock in at a whopping 2,000,000 (thats million) units!
The deceptive little piri piri is definitely within the top third of the Scoville scale, but when balanced well in a dish, the heat only shows up at the end of your mouthful, not throughout, making it preferable for many who want the experience of a true hot pepper, without the tastebud blowout.
In African and Portuguese cultures, the piri piri is often used in a marinade with variations on the following range of ingredients: piri piri, onion, garlic, black pepper, salt, lemon zest and/or lemon juice, basil, bay leaf, tarragon, oregano, pimento and paprika.
By far piri piris most popular culinary partner is chicken, though it has been suggested that daring adventurers might even like it in ice cream!
Foodies all over the world are onto piri piri peppers. Some have even called its taste, “light, fresh, and herbal!” Im guessing these are connoisseurs of the higher Scoville ranks! If you like a hotter pepper, but prefer one that doesnt bring the phrase “scorched earth” to mind, give piri piri a try!
Is Piri Piri The Same As Peri Peri?
Piri Piri is the same as peri peri and there is little doubt as to how the names have changed and evolved. By following the lines of the Portuguese explorers you can see the local influences on the name. In Swahili pili-pili means pepper, in Bantu it is pronounced as peri-peri.
So we have seemingly adopted the almost interchangeable peri-peri and piri-piri.
I know how much chili we can take varies from one person to another but the Scoville scale gives us a better guide to compare from.
Piri piri sits at between 50,000-120,000 SHU on the Scoville Scale of pepper intensity. When compared to Jalapenos which are between 2,500-8,000 SHU and cayenne at 30,000-50,000 SHU and even the habanero chili at 150,000-575,000 SHU. So hotter then cayenne but not as hot as a habanero chili.
The intensity of a chili pepper can change and develop depending on how it is used. With peri-peri you can buy as a seasoning or a sauce. This will have an impact on how much you can add before it becomes too hot.
There will be no one perfect replacement but here are some of our best.
It is important to understand the characteristics of piri piri as a pepper before looking at ways to replace it. Then we can compare the Scoville Heat Unit attributed to each alternative and see how we can make them stack up to this fiery chili.
Harissa Vs Peri Peri Sauce
Harissa paste and peri peri both originate from Africa and therefore are used in a similar way to marinade or as a dip. Harissa includes herbs and spices as well as red bell peppers and chili peppers. Although a hotter chili, peri peri has been popularized in many levels of heat intensity.
What is piri piri made of?
What is another name for peri-peri?
Why is it called piri piri?