July 6, 2014
Piri piri is the Swahili word for “pepper pepper.” Peoples in the Democratic Republic of Congo transcribe it as pili pili, and in Malawi it is peri peri. Portuguese-speaking Mozambique uses the Swahili version; Portugal proper has adopted the same.
Piri piri is also known as a “bird’s eye chili;” both are used in English-speaking locales.
All chilies originated in South America, but since its introduction to Africa, the piri pipi grows wild across the continent. The Portuguese have since introduced the piri piri to Goa.
Piri piri may also refer to a sauce made from the chili. The invention of piri piri sauce is attributed to the Portuguese though it finds popular utility in Australia. Piri piri sauces made from both fresh or dried chilies exist.
Dried chilies, like the one illustrated above, are a means of increasing shelf life without affecting the heat they lend as ingredients.
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