this stuff (Macarico Piri Piri Molho) is a godsend, honestly. not too vinegary, very salty, and pleasantly hot. i don’t recall how exactly i stumbled upon it, but it is precisely what i’d been looking for in the vein of an Everyday Sauce – multipurpose, not too distinct a flavour as to limit its wide application, something like a Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot, but less watery and mediocre (no offense to the many lovers of the forementioned sauces, but they just don’t do it for me). it’s also very satisfyingly opaque and bright and bold, i guess in terms of flavour and colour, to the extent that taste and opacity can be intelligibly related. which i have just now decided they can, and intend to think in such terms as often as i can justify in the future.
piri piri is i guess the name used in Portugal and the ex-Portuguese colonies (Angola and Mozambique) for African bird’s eye chilis (to be distinguished from thai or Asian bird’s eye), which register in the 100, 000-350, 000 Scoville range. this is approximately the same as a scotch bonnet, but don’t expect scorching heat from this sauce, as it packs less of a punch than the average scotch bonnet sauce.
i’ve seen this one a couple of places, but first discovered it at the little condiment shop in the Jean Talon market, you know, the one on the…..east side, that sells the prepackaged pakora? no? anyway, it’s there, i can’t remember the name. if you’re in the dirty south, however, you can get a bottle for under 3 bucks at the little African market on Notre Dame just a little west of Greene street, the name of which i also can’t remember, but they’re tiny tiny and reasonably new. south side of the street, easy to miss, next to an equally tiny sushi shop.
in other news, i just started reading Eat, Memory, attracted by the double whammy of food and Nabokov allusion, and so far it’s a lot of fun. it’s inspired me to look into Julia Child’s memoir and Dan Barber’s piece has very indirectly gotten me interested in the potential (for disaster or delight) of pureed sweet potato and white chocolate. indirectly by way of his being about carrots and blanched almonds and that sparking some orange-and-white speculative slip in my brain. appropriately mildly synesthetic (synaesthetic?) for something from a nabokov-referencing book, no? anyway. sweet potato and white chocolate. orange and white. we shall see, we shall see.
also, how fucking good is Public Enemy’s “Yo, Bum Rush the Show”? totally fucking good, that’s how.