Nando’s extra extra hot peri peri sauce

23 02 2011

I was doing the rounds in the shops the other day and was pleasantly surprised to find that my local Spar has started to stock a selection of hot sauces from Nando’s.

For those of you who don’t know Nando’s are a South African chain of restaurants serving up Portuguese inspired cuisine; in particular they serve a lot of chicken dishes –  so much so that in the US they call themselves “Nando’s Chickenland”.

The other distinguishing thing about Nando’s is their use of Peri – Peri / Piri – Piri sauce which takes its name from the key ingredient Peri-Peri Chillies – which translates quite literally as hot hot chillies….mmm chicken and hot sauce.

A number of years back Nando’s decided to cash in on the following they have amassed and started producing their various sauces for retail sale; historically the main range consisted of regular, hot and extra hot versions all with one thing in common: they taste great.

The heat in Nando’s sauces isn’t going to melt your face off but the flavour is to die for – (click here to read Scott Roberts review of the other sauces in the range) and even if you are a hardcore chilli head you will find yourself coming back for more as a result.

So enough waffling let’s get onto the sauce itself….

Ingredients:

Water, Vinegar, salt, lemon, African Bird’s eye Chilli (Peri Peri chilli), Onion, Cayenne Pepper, Vegetable Oil, Dehydrated Green Pepper, Paprika, Garlic, Thickner (Modified food starch), Stabilisers (Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate).

On checking out the ingredients list I was pleased to see that Nando’s took the effort of actually listing the type of chillies used – African Bird’s Eye to be precise.

I say this because Peri-Peri isn’t always used as an exact name and can often be used to cover a whole different range of chillies of varying different levels of heat. In this case the African Bird’s Eye should be somewhere in the region of 50 – 70, 000  SHU although there have been instances of some African Bird’s Eyes hitting as high as 175k  – Just a little bit of difference there…

Appearance:

The sauce is a nice vibrant red/orange colour with a good smattering of seeds and small flecks of chillies running throughout. I think that the consistency of this sauce is pretty much spot on, it is just thin enough to pour without issue but is thick enough to really coat food well.

Aroma:

The aroma is ok but there are certainly more enticing sauces out there; you can pick out the smell of the chillies and some of the spices but mostly you get the smell of the lemons and vinegar making it a little on the tart side.

Taste:

I tried this straight up and had slightly mixed feelings about it to be honest. The core Nando’s taste was there and came through quite clearly which was obviously a plus and you could clear pick out the flavour of the chillies as well which was also good.

Unfortunately though the first flavour that you really get is the lemon and the vinegar and whilst a little bit of citrus is really quite nice this was just way too much to take by itself.

Now I realise that very few people eat hot sauce straight out the bottle and as such most mainstream manufacturers haven’t really got their sights set on pleasing us few weirdos that do, as such it was time to add this bad boy to some food and see how things went together.

Seeing as this is a sauce from Nando’s it would be lunacy not to try this with some chicken and so when I was cooking dinner that evening I kept back a little plain grilled chicken and gave it a good smothering of sauce.

Instant redemption.

The flavours worked perfectly to compliment the food without taking over and that citrus and acidity that had seemed so raw and full on previously now seemed fresh and zingy and really just helped give a nice lift.

Next up I had a little salsa from the local supermarket and decided to try to pep it up with a couple of tablespoons of the extra-extra hot sauce.

Again the sauce handled the job admirably, it added a good bit of zip to what was otherwise a lacklustre mass-produced salsa and imparted just enough heat to give you a bit of warmth without having anyone reaching for the milk.

The level of heat here is pretty good actually; granted it didn’t set my mouth aflame with scorching fury but there was enough of a kick from the chillies to give a bit of warmth that lingered well.

All in all I would recommend Nando’s extra extra hot sauce as being a great choice with chicken and can really see it going well with prawns or maybe some  good meaty fish but there is just a slight lack of balance that stops it from really standing out in my eyes.

Heat – 2.5 /5

Taste – 2/5 straight up

4/5 on food





Worst day ever.

11 08 2010

I am sitting here in a state of total and utter shock.

Today is possibly the worst day ever, on a personal level at least.

It started normally enough, but then again day’s like this have a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it.

I had left my girlfriends and arrived at work as normal without any hassles what so ever, I would almost go so far as to say I hadn’t a care in the world. That all changed abruptly about an hour ago…

I had just taken a much needed break after having slaved away for 2.5 hours already and decided to check my email… big mistake.

My email and I have always been on fairly good terms, it doesn’t act as the harbinger of doom and I don’t pick up my tower case and boot it back to the stone age via an upstairs window, as you can see we had an arrangement, not anymore.

I was brought to my knees this morning on reading an email from a lady called Trisha, now I have never met Trisha or spoken to her before but she was writing to me from my bank in South Africa in relation to my account and I have no reason to disbelieve her.

It turns out that I have been rather remiss in keeping track of my finances, as a result my debit card with a balance of $1 million has expired and my funds have been frozen.

Well I was livid, I rely on this money hidden away on the other side of the world to keep me safe and secure in my old age or as a slush fund in case of a rainy day. How dare they freeze my funds just because my card has expired.

Luckily Trisha is an angel in disguise and had already looked into what I need to do to rectify the situation, she has sorted out all the paperwork I need to fill in to reactivate my account and can email it over to me directly, all I need to do is fill it out and send a copy of my passport and one hundred pounds to cover the admin fee. Boy was I ever relieved, the idea of losing this money literally had me breaking out in hives.

This was only the start of my bad day, It hadn’t occurred to me that it could worsen but it has, exponentially.

There was an email from my godmother, not that odd an occurrence, but normally she doesn’t call me dear friend so I figured straight away that something was up.

On reading the email I found out that something terrible has transpired and by terrible I mean dreadful.

My godparents and their four young children were the victims of a terrible ordeal, an ordeal that took place in the city that I dare to call home.

They were robbed at gun point in broad daylight. Some awful scumbag criminal types preyed on them because they were tourists, they threatened them with pistols and took all of their money, mobile phones and passports.

As if this wasn’t traumatic enough for them the hotel they are staying in has refused to let them leave without the bill being paid in full and the embassy is proving to be of no help to them at all.

Obviously I was really shaken up by this and wanted to help them in anyway I can so I followed the instructions in the email and wired them a couple of hundred euros to try and help them pay for food and accomodation etc.

All the time I was getting angrier and angrier about the scum that carried this out, obviously they are very clever and organised and must have followed the family for days in order to ascertain that they were tourists as their native London accents and intimate knowledge of the area must have nearly thrown them off on several occasions.

Getting more and more panicked about their safety I decided to call my godfathers parents who live in London to find out what the story was and also to find out why they hadn’t been able to do anything to help out their family.

Strangely not only is everyone ok but my godparents are safely at home in their huge mansion in Florida that they moved to about 5/6 years ago, obviously this set me thinking, how could they get home so soon? Had they received my money I sent etc…

Oh wait it was all a hoax…. I feel even worse now, how could this happen? There must have been some sort of mistake…. the internet wouldn’t let this happen would it? Surely no one would be sick and evil enough to use the power of the web for something other than good?

So here I am penniless, disillusioned and alone, still at least there is $1million dollars waiting for me in South Africa








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