Malagueta pepper (Capsicum frutescens var. malagueta, Solanaceae) is a type of chilli used in Brazil, Portugal and Mozambique. It is heavily used in the Bahia area of Brazil . It apparently gets its name from the unrelated malegueta pepper from West Africa (Zingiberaceae).

It is a small, tapered, green pepper that turns red as it matures. It is about 2 inches in length at maturity. It is a very hot pepper, with a range of 60,000 to 100,000 Scoville units (about the same as Tabasco peppers). There are two sizes seen in markets, which will sometimes have different names: the smaller ones are called “malaguetinha” in Brazil and “piri-piri” in Portugal and Mozambique, and 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.

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


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