The History of the Peri-Peri sauce

The History of the Peri-Peri sauce

South African spicy chicken is rising in popularity across North America and beyond. In Canada, a well-known food chain to get your Peri-Peri fix is the food franchise Nando’s; you can taste their sauces within their restaurants or buy your bottles in over 3,000 retail outlets. Despite evolving challenges in recent years, Peri-Peri chicken has persisted in consumer tastes.

What is Peri-Peri?

Peri-peri, also known as Piri-Piri or Pili-Pili, means “pepper pepper” in Swahili, a language spoken in South East Africa. Peri-Peri’s main ingredient comes from a chili— specifically the African Bird’s Eye chili. Despite the name, chilies are not native to Africa but originated from Central America. After Columbus first sailed to the Americas in 1492, Portuguese settler-colonists eventually brought the chili to South Africa around the 15th and 16th centuries. Many sources credit Mozambique as the place where chili was first cultivated; the country was deemed a perfect location to grow the chilies because it had a suitable hot climate and was much closer to Asia, where the demand for chili was high. Eventually, both African locals and Portuguese implemented chili flavors into their cuisines.

It’s important to note that Portuguese traders also popularized using a similar chili variant called Malagueta in Brazil. While coming from the same botanical sub-group, the Malagueta is less spicy than the African Bird’s Eye chili and is typically used for other purposes. The latter chili can register up to 175,000 heat units on the Scoville scale. Although the exact origins of the recipe are still highly debated, the Peri-Peri sauce uses some common ingredients aside from chilies, such as lemon or vinegar, salt, and oil. Other ingredients may include garlic, onion, bell peppers, bay leaves, oregano, paprika, and basil.

Considering its flavourful nature, Peri-Peri sauce is very versatile and can be used in various ways. It can be used as a marinade for proteins, a spicy dip or dressing for snacks, or as additional flavor and spice to any meal. For instance, aside from using it on chicken or prawns, Peri-Peri spice is also incorporated with roasted cashews as a spicy snack. You'd be hard-pressed to find a home, restaurant, or barbeque party in South Africa that didn't have a bottle of Peri-Peri sauce around.

Certain fusion cuisines have taken a step further in integrating Peri-Peri chicken into their meals. A perfect example is Macau, a Portuguese colony in south China, whose national dish is Galinha à Africana (African Chicken). Their dish is made from the usual Peri-Peri recipe but includes coconut milk, peanut butter, and five Chinese spices.



Tips on serving Peri-Peri

In most cases, Peri-Peri sauce is marinated on chicken for a few hours before being cooked. However, as mentioned earlier, there are plenty of other easy ways to enjoy Peri-Peri, especially with Souper’s Mozi Peri-Peri sauce. Listed below are some tips on making the best out of Souper Peri-Peri.

Have it with rice

A great way to enjoy Souper’s Mozi Peri-Peri is to serve your dish with rice. When preparing your Peri-Peri meal, you should consider how your rice will be prepared. For freshly cooked plain rice, a rice cooker can help save time as you can easily organize your main course without needing to check if the rice is ready. Some rice cooker models can also double as a steamer, allowing you to cook your vegetable sides in one quick cooking cycle. When making fried rice instead, it’s better to use leftover rice from the previous day for the perfect texture.

Incorporate it in low-carb diets

While Peri-Peri is excellent with rice, you can also eat Souper’s Mozi Peri-Peri chicken during keto or low-carb diets. As noted in our post “Five Lessons I Learned From My Low/No Carb Week”, more food trends are moving towards lowering carbohydrate intake, and some people may want to revamp their usual dinners. Sometimes these diets can feel quite limiting, so having Souper’s Mozi Peri-Peri sauce can be a great way to spice up meals and make eating more fun. You can make meals tastier by using a grill pan, which can provide an easy way to put some delicious char marks on proteins like chicken or shrimp.

Try Our Souper Peri-Peri sauce and make it your own.



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