Wiri Wiri is a pepper variety that’s quite rare and difficult to find outside of Guyana. The usually round berries on the Wiri Wiri plant gradually turn from green to yellow to red. They’re Guyana’s answer to the Scotch Bonnet pepper as the king o’ the heat in chilies. Fresh they’re bright red, and you can take my advice on how to use chilies and control the heat to pull out more flavor. I prefer the whole chilies, so you can use them whole, or create different grinds, but there is a ground wiri-wiri available as well.
The peppers have a fruity-chai-teriyaki scent, and a flavor that is intensely spicy and sharp. The Wiri Wiri is a very hot chili pepper. It rates at around 100,000 – 350,000 Scoville units, in other words, the Wiri Wiri is hot, but generally not as hot as the Sun, or a Habañero, but it will get your attention. If you use the dried, you can break open the full pod and remove some of the seeds if you want to discover more of the flavor, but, on the whole, the dried is going to bring more heat. Use the dried sparingly.
Hot peppers tend to thrive in hot climates, so it’s no surprise that South America is the native home of many varieties of peppers. In the northeastern sector of South America rests the small country of Guyana, where wire wiri chilis originated and currently grow.
- Guyana Pepper Sauce
- Guyanese pepperpot
- Guyanese lo mein
- Mango pepper salsa
- Garnishes for all kinds of dishes (fresh)
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Jazz Chef Jercurrie, my Caribbean-Indian fusion of jerk and curry;
- Pasta Guyanabiatta – A spicy spaghetti in a tomato white wine seafood broth with wiri-wiri, cubanelle peppers, and onions for a spicy savory sweet heat.
- Fiery Farro – A wild ride of wild mushrooms, farro and wiri-wiri.
- The Spicy Swede – The flavor of a wiri-wiri wakes up the stock Swedish meatball and wiri gravy!
- Sizzlin’ shrimp ceviche – Bring the heat and flavor to a simple shrimp ceviche Guyanese-style.
Wiri wiri peppers look like cherry tomatoes, bright and red in appearance. They are about as close to circular as you see in the world of hot peppers. They’re tiny in comparison to most chilies too: About 2 inches in total length. Fresh or pickled, they make a great garnish in addition to being a spicy flavoring agent.
- Bird cherry pepper
- Guyanese pepper
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