Atlantans are going ga-ga for Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce, and for good reason – it’s amazingly delicious!
By Lia Picard
Back in the 80’s, two gentleman dined at a Brazilian chicken shop in Rosettenville, South Africa and dined on the chicken marinated in Peri-Peri sauce. They enjoyed it so much, they bought the place! That was the first Nando’s, and since then over 1,200 Nando’s locations have sprung up globally.
To celebrate the arrival of Nando’s sauces in Atlanta stores, Nando’s hosted a 10 day pop up Braii (read: barbecue) and I was lucky enough to go for a Saturday brunch. Hosted at Atlanta Beltline Bicycle shop, Nando’s made sure to impress attendees by greeting them with upbeat music, brightly colored decor and the enticing aroma of chicken on the grill. The chicken, by the way, had been marinated in Peri-Peri sauce for 24 hours making it extra drool-worthy.
While we waited to go into the bicycle shop’s warehouse, where brunch would be served, guests passed time by taking in the tunes and imbibing “Bloody Peri’s” made with local Old Fourth Ward Vodka, and Peri-Peri sauce while noshing on biltong (beef jerky) from South African restaurant, Biltong Bar. The owner, Justin Anthony, said he practically grew up on Nando’s and still feels a strong connection to it.
Why are Nando’s sauces so good? The chili peppers grow in southern Africa, the perfect spot for the best soil and sunshine combination, and then are dried and crushed for sauce.
I was in awe when I entered the warehouse for brunch – it looked like no warehouse I had ever seen before! Murals in loud, eye catching colors adorned the walls along with baby African Birds Eye Chili plants (which will eventually be turned into sauce). After sitting down we were presented with a huge pile of fluffy waffles immediately followed by freshly grilled chicken.
Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce is considered a hot sauce, but it’s not super hot. It has a nice warmth, and zest, and I couldn’t get enough of the bottle that was on my table. I tried both the medium and garlic flavors, and the medium was my favorite. Why are Nando’s sauces so good? The chili peppers grow in southern Africa, the perfect spot for the best soil and sunshine combination, and then are dried and crushed for sauce.
Ending a fabulous brunch like this is even sweeter when it’s with King of Pops. Atlanta’s favorite pop purveyor partnered with Nando’s for the event, creating unique pop flavors. My choice was spectacular: the sizzling berry with Nando’s Peri-Peri. The sweetness from the berry was immediately chased by the heat from the Peri-Peri sauce.
While we won’t get to visit a Nando’s in Atlanta anytime soon, we can buy their finger-licking-good sauces all throughout the metro Atlanta area. A range of flavors will be available at Target, Fresh Market, Publix and more! Seriously, this sauce can go on much more than just chicken. The possibilities include shrimp, catfish, fried rice and various dips. Visit the condiment aisle of one of these major retailers and get your creative juices flowing!