Written by Perified Owner Linda Thomas Sewnarain
Raised by my grandma in a sleepy hollow called Sea Cow Lake in South Africa, I remember her ingenious creativity using home grown ingredients, transforming the ordinary to sensational. My appreciation of flavorful, spicy meals and the Peri Peri chilies she grew were branded on my palate and in my mind at a young age. Food does not have to be bland and tasteless.
Experimenting for a few years trying to recreate those flavors proved fruitful when Perified was borne using home grown Peri Peri chilies and locally sourced ingredients. My passion to create a memorable taste sensation was spurred by the fact I actually loved what I was doing and making others love it too.
Initially, my quest to satiate the palates of friends and family turned into constant demand for more that kept me relatively busy. My endeavors were finally validated by the outpouring positive feedback.
Living in California is a privilege to accessible organic and fresh produce. Working from my home and commercial kitchens, I devised a seamless method of being a one-person operation which evolved into a small energetic dedicated band of fellow chilli-lovers. We strive on sourcing superior ingredients, follow the recipes to the last degree and abide by all food safety and sanitation requirements to make Perified “So good, it’s scary!”
The Peri Peri chilli (African Birdseye which grows wild in Southern Africa) is the highlight of the sauce that’s infused with spices, herbs, perfect amount of seasonings and natural acid to preserve shelf life without any additives. For now it’s a part-time operation on a small scale where we are dedicated to preserve the integrity of our sauces. With the gaining popularity of its flavor and versatility as a marinade, dip, bastes and finishing sauce, expansion of the operation is inevitable. Adding the sauce to soups, stews, curries and cocktails has proven to be exceptionally flavor-enhancing.
Currently we sell online, at local food fairs, through social media posts and word-of-mouth. As a food caterer, I also offer them at private events I host. Our aim is to retain that artisanal feel and not compromise on the quality, flavor and service that our customers are accustomed to.
No meal is complete without the Peri Peri on the top. I pride myself with this creation and will continue churning them out ensuring that every bottle is handmade to perfection. While the sauce appeals to the African Culture because of the familiarity of the chili peppers, there is an increase in curiosity from people tasting it for the first time. The mildly smoky and intense heat can be toned to different heat levels and flavor profiles which we have achieved with our Mild, Hot and Mango Habanero Peri Peri Sauce Range.
To fellow hobbyists, turn your passion, imagination and energy into something tangible or tantalizing and the truth of your creation will speak for itself. Don’t be deterred if at first you don’t succeed. Perseverance is crucial to achieving goals.