Stock Up: Peri-peri sauces provide heat plus flavor

Peri-peri sauce from Nando’s. Courtesy of Nando’s
Peri-peri sauce from Nando’s. Courtesy of Nando’s

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

The origin of peri-peri sauce is credited to Portuguese explorers, who carried it to southern Africa. It’s now a mainstay of South African cuisine, but it’s also popular worldwide. More than just hot sauce, this combination of peppers, vinegar and/or citrus, onion, garlic and spices provides heat, but also deep flavor. We tried two local versions and one national brand. We can recommend them all.

Peri-peri sauce from Nando’s

Nando’s line of products is proof that peri-peri is an international thing. The company makes five varieties of peri-peri sauce, ranging from extra mild lemon and herb to XX hot, and all are available worldwide, from Fiji to Ireland. We tried the medium sauce and loved the bright hit of lemon, as well as the way it accents the several kinds of chilis in the mix, including South African-grown African bird’s eye chili. Reading Nando’s website provides a fun introduction to the history of the company, and how even the label represents the brand’s South African heritage.

$3.99 to $4.99 per 9.2-ounce bottle. Available at Kroger, Publix, the Fresh Market, Walmart and Ingles. nandos.com/sauces.

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Peri-peri sauce from the Buttery ATL.  Courtesy of the Buttery ATL
Peri-peri sauce from the Buttery ATL. Courtesy of the Buttery ATL

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Peri-peri sauce from the Buttery ATL

Linton and Gina Hopkins have built an online marketplace that ranges from raw ingredients to fully prepared meals. One of the treasures of the Buttery ATL’s pantry is this house-made peri-peri sauce. It has the thickest texture of the three sauces we tried, flecked with tiny but discernable bits of garlic and pepper. It’s mildly spicy, with a definite garlic kick, and is mild enough to spread on sandwiches. We also liked it straight, as a dip for carrot and vegetable sticks.

$6 per 8-ounce cup. Available for delivery within a 4-mile radius, or for pickup at the Buttery ATL, 2137 Manchester St., Atlanta. butteryatl.com/products/peri-peri-sauce.

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Peri-peri hot sauce from True Story Brands. Courtesy of True Story Brands
Peri-peri hot sauce from True Story Brands. Courtesy of True Story Brands

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Peri-peri hot sauce from True Story Brands

The Anthonys of True Story Brands, owners of Atlanta restaurants 10 Degrees South, Biltong Bar, Yebo Beach Haus and Ski Haus, began bottling their peri-peri sauce back in 2012, because customers loved it and wanted to be able to use it at home. It’s so popular that each of their restaurants has it available as a side sauce order, so diners can splash it on anything they like. If you need inspiration for how to use your bottle of their peri-peri sauce, just look at the restaurant menus. Chicken, tuna, shrimp, chicken livers, lobster (with peri-peri aioli) and even popcorn get the treatment.

$7 per 9.7-ounce bottle. Available at all Biltong Bar locations; Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta; Buckhead Village, 306 Buckhead Ave., Atlanta, and 700 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. biltong-bar.com.

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