Malagueta Pepper

Malagueta Pepper


Scientific Classification

Capsicum frutescens

Heat rating in Scovilles:

60000 – 100000

A semi-wild relative to the Tabasco, the Malagueta pepper is a type of chili used in Brazil, Portugal and Mozambique. This pepper roduces a bushy, dense plant with very small upright peppers, measuring less than an inch in length.

It goes by many other names. Malaguetinha refers to smaller versions of these peppers (younger peppers), and is common in Brazil. In Mozambique and Portugal, the same small pepper goes by Piri Piri, the Swahili word for ‘pepper pepper’. The larger ones are called malaguetão in Brazil and malagueta in Portugal. They are not different varieties, just peppers of different maturities from the same plant.

The malagueta chile is often confused with melegueta pepper (spelled “mele”), also known as “grains of paradise”, a cardamom-like West African spice.

This pepper is used to season many regional dishes and sauces in Brazil and Mozambique. In Portugal, it is mainly used to season poultry dishes.

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