Surprisingly distinctive from regular spicy sauces, tasty, extremely cheap and easy to pack. This highly typical Portuguese flavoring should make it to your luggage too!
What exactly is piri-piri sauce?
Personally I would say it’s Portuguese version of Tabasco sauce – but less spicy and a lot more tasty :)
Officialy, it is a sauce made of chilli peppers with touch of lemon, garlic, onions and some other herbs and seasonings which give it highly specific spicy-sweet-sour flavour perfectly matching various dishes.
It is popular not only in Portugal but also in its former colonies in Africa like Angola and Mosambique, where many recipes with piri-piri come from.
Why to bring it home?
It is not just that it is a typical Portuguese product quite difficult to get in regular supermarkets in other countries – this sauce is special, really!
The thing is, adding piri-piri to your food is not about the spiciness itself (in fact, if you expect something super hot, you will be probably a bit disappointed). When it comes to piri-piri, you don’t feel only the chili itself, but it rather gives your food characteristic, amazingly fresh and almost a bit fruity touch thanks to all the other tasty ingredients that it is made of.
For me, piri-piri is not just a spicy sauce – it is an ingredient which quickly enriches food in a way that not many other organic flavourings are able to do.
What to do with piri-piri?
You definitely do not have to cook a special dishes to make use of the sauce.
Just try to add it to your favourite salad, put few drops on your steak or even any regular side dish (I actually add it to cooked rice sometimes). I believe you will love it!
But if you are feeling like cooking some typical recipe, the most popular use of this sauce is a probably piri-piri chicken (see for example here or here).
How much is it?
Usually only about 0.50 EUR. Yes, really! And it will last for many many uses.
Note: more expensive, branded ones cost about 1-1.5 Euros, but honestly I do not see need to buy these – even the cheapest ones were tasty. However, you can try both and let me know if you felt any difference :)
Where to buy piri-piri in Portugal?
It’s so basic ingredient that you can get it in almost every grocery store – if you can, head for example to the nearest Pingo doce or Continente and buy one of the various little bottles (usually about 150-200ml) they offer.
Don’t be afraid of the little bit suspicious plastic packaging and low price, when you taste it, you will see the sauce is just as delicious as it should be.
Enjoy and don’t forget to bring some to your friends too!