Database of Chilli Pepper Varieties


Species: Frutescens | Origin: Portugal | Heat: Hot

PIRI-PIRI is a Swahili word meaning ‘pepper-pepper’ referring to any peppers. In Portugal, it has come to mean the small fiery hot pepper, found hanging in garlands in all the markets. No chicken is ever ordered in an Algarve restaurant without the question “Com piri-piri?” (with piri-piri?) being asked. Portuguese traders then carried the seeds to their African colonies of Angola and Mozambique. From there, they spread across Africa, along with their Swahili name ‘piri-piri’. To complete the circle, some of the small hot pods were brought back to Portugal, where they have kept their Swahili name up to the present day.

© Marco Budinis

© Allen M Boatman